We all know it’s important to keep our gut healthy. A healthy gut is a major component of the overall health of your entire body.
Some foods are good for your gut, meaning it supports its healthy bacteria. However, some foods are bad for your tummy, destroying your gut flora and causing all kinds of issues.
So, to help you improve your gut health, here, we’re going over 5 foods that are bad for your gut and 5 foods you can eat instead.
Read until the end for a BONUS gut-friendly salad recipe!
Foods That Are Bad for Your Gut
Let’s start with some of the foods that are the worst for your gut. They include:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Saturated fats
- Red meat
- Processed foods
Essentially, these are all foods you already know are unhealthy and should be avoided to care for your stomach. But, what to replace them with?
Before we harp on for too long about bad foods for your gut, let’s talk about the delicious foods that can help build your gut flora.
Foods That Are Good for Your Gut
The best foods for your gut include the following categories:
- Fermented foods
These qualities make certain food incredibly beneficial for your gut flora. So, here, let’s go over 5 foods that fall into these categories that you can eat to keep your gut happy.
Natural yogurt is one of the best foods to eat to improve your gut health. However, your yogurt must be fermented with active cultures and probiotics to get the benefits.
Many “yogurt” brands are packed with sugar and use chemicals to create the sour taste of a naturally fermented yogurt. However, authentic Greek yogurts and natural organic yogurt usually keep all the healthy goodness. Just double-check the packaging to be sure.
Sauerkraut is essentially just cabbage and water with various spices fermented to foster the growth of “good” bacteria. These “good” bacteria help to support healthy flora in your microbiome.
Other fermented foods that are good for gut health include kimchi, miso, and tempeh.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic make up the base of many delicious dishes around the world. From Asian-inspired stir fry to your favorite Italian sauces, onions and garlic make for an iconic starting point.
They’re good for gut health, too, because of their prebiotic qualities. Onions help to build your gut flora while also reducing cholesterol and relieving constipation. And garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Other types of prebiotics that are good for the gut include raspberries, beans, legumes, asparagus, bananas, pears, watermelon, and apple cider vinegar.
Oats are extremely high in fiber, making them gut-friendly. Plus, instead of being a carbohydrate that immediately breaks down into sugar, oats digest slowly and ferment within your digestive system.
Similar to how natural yogurt and kimchi are fermented before you eat them for better gut health, oats actually ferment inside of you to feed “good” bacteria within your gut flora. Pretty cool, huh?
Last but not least, berries contain polyphenols that feed the “good” bacteria in a healthy gut, especially berries with deep purplish colors like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. These sweet fruits are packed with antioxidants, making them incredible gut foods.
Other foods that contain polyphenols include apples, tea, and dark chocolate.
Bonus Salad Recipe for Gut Health
Now, let’s put it all together into a delicious salad with a probiotic boost of healthy gut flora.
The dressing features apple cider vinegar and garlic, while the salad includes chickpeas, red onion, and sauerkraut.
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Spring mix, two handfuls
- Kale, two handfuls
- 1 large red beet, roasted and chopped
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sauerkraut
- 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup raw walnuts, chopped
Mix dressing ingredients in a separate bowl. Assemble salad ingredients and top with dressing. Enjoy! Your gut will thank you.