Improving your gut health has proven to be more than just a passing fad, so we’ve found five top foods to help your gut flora.
When thinking about gut health it can be easy to think that including gut-friendly foods is just too hard. But, there are so many everyday foods that fall into this category.
“It is all well and good to pop a pro-biotic, but the key to optimum gut health is actually bio-diversity with a combination of organic fruits and vegetables of lots of colours, fermented vegetables, bone broth and a healthy lifestyle,” nutritionist, personal trainer and ambassador for Australian Organic, Luke Hines says. “Our guts are the gateways to our immunity, so we need to tune into how we are digesting, absorbing and eliminating.”
Here, Luke shares his top foods that will help improve your gut health:
Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, watercress and radishes. “They are especially good at protecting our insides because their high-quality fibre helps to cleanse our intestinal walls,” Luke explains.
Not only that, but Luke says that these veggies offer even more since they also contain molecules called glucosinolates (phytochemicals). “Research has shown these molecules significantly supports the ability of our liver, and other organs, to detox.”
Sauerkraut, or fermented veggies
“Possibly the most popular and easily accessible, fermented veggies are loaded with beneficial bacteria that can support our digestion and improve our gut microbiome,” Luke says.
He adds that since the vegetables have been partially broken down by the lie cultures, the vitamins, minerals and nutrients are more easily absorbed by our bodies.
Apple cider vinegar
One of the hero ingredients in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. “This is a powerful antibacterial and has anti-fungal properties, meaning it helps stop the growth of bad bacteria, fungus and even yeasts,” Luke tells.
He adds that apple cider vinegar can also breakdown excess mucus and help kill bad bacteria. “It also assists our digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes, acids and bile,” he says.
When it comes to spices, Luke suggests adding cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cayenne pepper to your diet.
“These spices have been shown to support digestion and improve gut health in many ways,” he says. “From their antiseptic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can help inhibit the growth of bad organisms, to their ability to stimulate the release of digestive enzymes that help breakdown our food.”
Luke says that trusty bone broth is one of the best foods for improving our gut health and overall immunity.
“Packed full of easily digested, gut-healing amino acids and collagen that repairs and soothes the cells and tissues of our gut lining,” he explains. “It also contains essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, phosphorus and more, which support our immunity and aid repair.”