Gut Healing Foods: 15 Foods To Heal Your Gut
If you struggle with gut health issues, indigestion, reflux or food sensitivities you have to start paying close attention to what you eat to get well.
Because some foods will make your gut problems worse (see: 9 tips to support and heal your gut) whereas some foods are healing to the gut. To support and heal your gut, you should focus on eating foods that can repair and strengthen your gut lining.
Moreover, you should also make sure that you consume food sources of pre- and probiotics that can provide you with plenty of good bacteria. This will give you a balanced gut microbiome.
Think of probiotics as healthy gut bacteria, and prebiotics (indigestible fiber) as food for the probiotics.
A balanced gut microbiome is essential for optimal digestion, absorption of nutrients, and elimination. Furthermore, it supports a healthy inflammatory response and keeps our immune system strong.
So what foods should you eat that support and heal the gut?
14 Foods That Can Help To Heal And Restore Your Gut
1. Apple cider vinegar: stimulates digestive juices and increases stomach acid production, it also has antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Additionally it can help to reduce growth of “bad” bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and to rid the body of excess yeast.
2. Asparagus: works as a prebiotic. It contains high levels of the indigestible fiber inulin, which feeds healthy bacteria. Artichoke is another example of a vegetable that’s full of inulin.
3. Bananas: are a good source of prebiotics, and due to their high levels of potassium and magnesium, bananas may help reduce inflammation and promote harmony between gut microbes.
4. Bone broth: contains minerals and healing compounds such as gelatin, collagen, and the amino acids proline, glutamine, and arginine, which help to seal the gut lining.
5. Broccoli: the sulfur-containing metabolites found in broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, and cabbage) reduce inflammation in your gut. Moreover, it appears to regulate the microbiome and prevent leaky gut.
6. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): supports healthy digestion and aid in nutrient absorption since it encourages the production of peptides. Moreover, the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil may help balance the bacteria in the digestive tract, slowing the growth of unwanted bacteria including Helicobacter pylori which is linked with stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. It may also reduce the risk of acid reflex.77. Ginger: helps to calm and relax the stomach, relieve nausea, alleviates gut ailments and can prevent bloating. It also aids in the production of stomach acid and it stimulates the digestive system to keep food moving through the gut. Add fresh grated ginger as a spice when cooking and also to your tea and smoothie.
8. Greek yogurt: a dairy product made by fermenting milk with a yogurt culture. Greek yogurt has less lactose and sugar and more protein than regular yogurt due to the whey removal. Moreover, it contains living bacteria known as probiotics that strengthen the digestive tract, and it provides protein and calcium (Note: some yogurt products are not very healthy due to too much added sugar and processing).
9. Manuka honey: may support your microbiome since it contains a certain type of sugar called oligosaccharides, which has a prebiotic effect and is known to promote good bacteria. Its high antioxidant content has been effective in helping to treat gastric ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease. Moreover, it can fighting pathogens such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a strain of harmful bacteria responsible for colitis and other forms of gastric disease, and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a pathogen linked to mineral deficiencies, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, acid reflux, and even gastric cancer.
10. Onion and Garlic: they are both excellent prebiotic foods and contain quercetin (a powerful antioxidant) that fights damaging free radicals in the body. Garlic has also high levels of inulin, which fuels the good bacteria in the gut. However, many people with digestive issues are sensitive to garlic and onion, so don’t go overboard with it till you know it doesn’t cause you more digestive problems.
11. Papaya: contains the enzyme papain that helps with digestion, particularly digestion of proteins, and can help relieve bloating and constipation (Note: if you’re pregnant avoid unripe papaya, since it’s high in latex, which can stimulate contractions).
12. Peppermint: the compounds in peppermint activate an anti-pain channel in the colon and can therefore be a beneficial treatment for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A few drops of peppermint oil or a peppermint tea can also help with indigestion, gas or pain lower in your gut,. However, steer clear of mint-flavored products if you have heartburn due to gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) since it may relax the sphincter muscle which closes off the stomach from the esophagus and make the symptoms worse.
13. Pineapple: contains an enzyme called bromelain, which works as a digestive aid, helping to break down protein from large food molecules into smaller peptides. It can also reduce secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines that can damage the gut lining.14. Sauerkraut: cabbage fermented with lactic-acid bacteria, the probiotics found in sauerkraut may help improve the balance of bacteria in your gut, which helps keep your gut lining healthy. Additionally it provides lots of fiber and compounds that boost the immune system.
15. Wild-caught Salmon: has high quantities of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, which may protect against several gastrointestinal diseases and boost the diversity of bacteria in the stomach. Having a diverse gut microbiome is linked to a lower risk of diabetes, obesity and inflammatory gut diseases like colitis or Crohn’s.
Eating Gut Friendly Foods Can Help You Have Your Health Back
Many people struggle with bloating, stomach ache, indigestion, reflux and more. And since gut problems are the source of many other health problems – ranging from hormonal disorders, skin issues and auto immune conditions to mental health problems – it’s crucial to restore your gut health.
To heal and support your gut, swap out foods and drinks with lots of sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods and foods high in trans fats and add more of the the foods listed above.
Remember though to consume everything in moderation, because you can have too much of even super healthy foods! For example, too large amounts of ginger or pineapple on an empty stomach will most likely cause you stomach pain!
It’s important to eat a variety of wholesome foods, not only for your gut health but for your overall health. Eating gut friendly foods can help you start feeling more energy, heal inflammation, lift brain fog and have your health back.
For more tips how to improve your gut health and get rid of digestive problems, download this FREE guide:
I hope this helps anyone struggling with digestive problems. Please share what’s worked for you in the comments below. And don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!
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