Focus on your gut health is something that can help you maintain your health in addition to helping you go to the bathroom a little more regularly. To support your immune health to possibly support your Mental Health, your gut health can have a profound impact on your overall well-being. Sure, it might come as a surprise that the state of your gut can affect so many aspects of your health, but prioritizing your gut health can really impact so many facets of how you feel.
In fact, recent studies have suggested that the gut microbiome plays an important role in reducing the risk of several chronic diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. At the same time, it is now understood that diet plays a major role in our gut health, particularly through the health of our gut microbiome. There is some data showing that dietary changes can impact the gut microbiome in as little as 24 hours.
So what is a gut-healthy diet? In general, a diet rich in herbal and high fiber foods and foods with live probiotics will make up the bulk of your food choices. Low-fiber and refined carbohydrates, concentrated candies and sugary drinks will be consumed less frequently (but not ever, we’ll never tell you to skip a slice of cake on your birthday!).
Supporting your gut health doesn’t mean having to rely on trendy wellness shots, supplements or powders that claim to keep your gut wellbeing in check. Based on simple to make and totally delicious recipes that contain certain fiber-rich ingredients, probioticsand other important factors can help support your gut health in a very accessible and satisfying way.
If you’re looking to try your hand at whipping up gut-friendly recipes in your own kitchen, here are six delicious recipes to try.
This grilled chicken and avocado salad is packed with gut-healthy ingredients like veggies and avocado. But the shining star of this gut-friendly salad is the addition of nuts.
Nut are not only a nutritional powerhouse that has a good balance of healthy fats, plant-based proteins, and fiber to help give this salad some toughness, but these nuts also play a role in the gut microbiome.
A study published in Nutrients found that consuming a nut-enriched diet had a positive impact on the gut microbiome by improve the “good” bacteria producing probiotics and butyric acid. Butyric acid is thought to be helpful for digestive health by helping to maintain colon health. Additionally, a USDA and University of Illinois study, published in The Nutrition Diary, found that nut consumption was associated with positive changes in the gut microbiome. Adults who ate 42 grams (about 1.5 ounces) of nuts every day for three weeks experienced an increase in beneficial gut bacteria and a decrease in secondary bile acids, which may play a role in colon cancer, inflammation, and gastrointestinal disease.
This salad can be an easy recipe to use on busy days when you want to eat nourishing foods and keep your gut health in check at the same time.
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When people think of gut health, they don’t always think of dessert choices. But this sorbet is completely respectful of intestinal health, thanks to the inclusion of kiwi fruit (including the skin!), which gives this treat a healthy dose of fibre. Combining nutritious ingredients like kiwi and fresh orange juice and relying on a Ninja™ CREAMi® machine to create a simple sorbet, eating to support gut health is totally delicious and simple to make.
Get the recipe from Nutrition advice now.
Beans are generally the ultimate food for intestinal health. The dietary fiber found in beans, called resistant starch, is not broken down in the small intestine and eventually enters the colon in its whole form. This starch will be fermented and produce certain fatty acids as a byproduct, causing a lower pH environment where potentially harmful bacteria (like e.coli) cannot thrive. This Slow Cooker Bean Soup is filling, nutrient-dense, and incredibly easy to make.
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Coleslaw usually drowns out heavier additions like mayonnaise. But this coleslaw recipe makes the gut-healthy veggies shine. Loaded with a variety of cabbage for fiber, greek yogurt for live cultures that support gut health, and carrots For a natural crunch, this coleslaw is a versatile side that can be enjoyed several times a week.
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The combination of beans and vegetables gives this dish a healthy dose of a variety of gut-healthy fibers, as well as important vitamins and minerals. Make a big batch of this salad and store leftovers in the fridge to enjoy all week.
Get the recipe from The view of the big island.
Sauerkraut is one of the best foods for gut health thanks to fiber and beneficial bacteria, called probiotics. Like everything fermented foods, eating sauerkraut helps colonize the gut with the “good” bacteria to help you have good gut health. Add this sauerkraut to sandwiches or include it on your vegetarian dog for a probiotic boost.
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Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning dietitian, book author and recipe creator who has been practicing for nearly 20 years. Read more