A healthy digestive system is instrumental to your health and well-being. When the body is able to harness nutrients from the food you eat, the cells, tissues and organs work at their best. The fact is, the digestive tract relies on beneficial microbes to process food. These bacteria protect the body from digestive disorders. Friendly microbes also minimize the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut. To keep the gut healthy, you have to eat foods that good bacteria “feed” on. In today’s post, we are listing down foods that will improve the digestive health:
Orange contains soluble fiber that keep the gut healthy. Eating oranges regularly also creates an environment that’s conducive for the proliferation of good bacteria in the body. How? Soluble fiber is fermented in the gut by good bacteria. This triggers the release of fatty acids called butyrate. Butyrate keeps the cells healthy.
Just like oranges, butter contains butyrate. Butyrate is the byproduct of fermented foods in the large intestines by beneficial bacteria. Foods rich in butyrate can also boost the intestinal barrier in the gut and improve digestive health. However, do note that butter from cows that are not grass fed does not contain butyrate.
Although garlic contains antibacterial compounds, these chemicals seem to not affect beneficial bacteria in the gut at all. Garlic creates an environment conducive for good bacteria to multiply. However, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, you’ll have to avoid garlic. Garlic contains fructans, a type of carbohydrate that’s hard to digest.
Here’s another reason to eat dark chocolate (not that you need any reason to love chocolates!) Dark chocolates contain anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. These nutrients keep the gut healthy. Even better, beneficial microbes like Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feed on dark chocolates!
Consuming a reasonable amount of dark chocolate also keeps the heart strong. Ideally, you want dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao.
All types of fermented foods can boost the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These foods include miso, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha. Fermented foods contain probiotics, bacteria that improves digestion and minimize digestive problems. These foods also contain a cocktail of antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative damage. Antioxidants also help strengthen the immune system.
Jerusalem artichokes contain inulin. Inulin is a type of insoluble fiber that feeds beneficial bacteria. And just like oranges, Jerusalem artichoke contributes to the fermentation of fiber in the large intestines. This leads to the generation of butyrate. If say, you prefer other vegetables than artichokes, lentils, asparagus and bananas also contain inulin.
Greek yogurt contains dairy-based probiotics, amino acids, and calcium. It also contains antioxidants, protein, and essential nutrients that keep the gut healthy! Even better, Greek yogurt may help improve the metabolic rate, boosting the chances of weight loss.
Ideally, you want plain, Greek yogurt, not “Greek-Style yogurt. Greek-style yogurt contains binders like gelatin and milk solids to thicken the product. If you’re shopping for Greek yogurt, always read the label. The yogurt should include dairy-based cultures.