Foods for Gut Health: Enhancing Your Digestive System Naturally

Foods for Gut Health: Enhancing Your Digestive System Naturally

MedicusUnion Team
MedicusUnion Team

January 24, 2024

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Unlock the secrets to a healthier you! Explore the transformative power of gut-friendly nutrition in our latest article. Discover key foods that naturally enhance digestion, boost immunity, and promote overall well-being.

An ever-growing amount of research  highlights the vital role our gut plays in keeping us healthy. The digestive system is responsible for nutrient absorption, immune function, and even mental health. In fact, about 70-80% of your immune system resides in your gut.

healthy gut helps in preventing chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, , reduces inflammation, supports your cognitive health and helps you maintain a healthy weight. 

In this article, we will explore the role of nutrition in supporting gut health and highlight key foods that can enhance your digestive system naturally.

Fermented Foods

Fermenting is a method of preserving foods with bacteria and yeast. Foods undergoing fermentation are packed with advantageous probiotics and have been linked to various health advantages, spanning from improved digestion to enhanced immune function.

Examples of probiotic foods include:

  • Kefir
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Dry Curd Cottage Cheese or Farmer’s Cheese
  • Fermented Vegetables
  • Fermented soy foods, such as tempeh, miso and natto
  • Pickles (in salt, not vinegar)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha (no sugar)
  • Other probiotic drinks (no sugar), like beet Kvass, apple cider

High-Fiber Foods

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods, and it’s categorized as soluble or insoluble.

Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that dissolves in water. It’s  found in the insides of plants and includes substances like pectin. Soluble fiber can help you feel full, manage your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as reduce constipation. It's found in:

  • Oats
  • Legumes (peas, beans, lentils)
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Breads, cereals and pasta

Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water and comes from the outer skins of plants. Because insoluble fiber absorbs water, it helps to soften the contents of the bowel, keeping the bowel movements regular and preventing constipation. It’s found in:

  • High-fiber and whole grain breads and cereals
  • The outer skins of fruit and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds

It’s important to get the right amount of fiber to keep your digestive system running smoothly. Most European dietary guidelines recommend the following amounts of a daily fiber intake:

  • Women under 50: 25 to 32 grams per day
  • Men under 50: 30 to 35 grams per day

Anti-Inflammatory Foods 

Like any area of the body, the gastrointestinal tract can suffer the effects of chronic inflammation, which can be caused by a variety of factors. Avoiding pro-inflammatory foods and including anti-inflammatory foods may help with lowering inflammation.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), chia seeds, and flaxseeds, possess anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit the digestive system. Including these sources of healthy fats in your diet may help reduce inflammation and promote gut health. The most anti-inflammatory foods may include:

  • Berries (grapes, cherries)
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa
  • Vegetables (broccoli, peppers and tomatoes)
  • Avocados
  • Green tea
  • Mushrooms
  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines and anchovies)
  • Turmeric
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Collagen-Boosting Foods

While collagen is commonly associated with skincare and achieving youthful-looking skin, its benefits extend beyond the realm of beauty. Collagen contributes to gut well-being due to its rich content of amino acids, specifically glycine, glutamine, and proline. These amino acids offer notable advantages for both the intestinal tract and the stomach. The best collagen-rich foods to add to your eating pattern are:

  • Bone Broth
  • Chicken
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers

Conclusion

If you're not used to these foods, adding them all at once can cause gas and bloating. Start with small amounts, and each week, increase a bit based on how you feel. Moderate processed foods, and limit added sugars and alcohol for a happy gut and lower risk of chronic diseases.

As we learn more about how what we eat affects our gut, it's clear that making smart food choices can impact our overall well-being. By paying attention to what we put in our bodies, we can support good digestion, keep our minds sharp, and maintain a healthy weight.

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