Roughly 15% of the U.S. population have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Even for those of us who don’t it is easy to underestimate the importance of a healthy gut. Our guts are communicating with us all the time, and our overall sense of health and wellness is more often than not connected to how our gut is feeling. Today we are going to talk about gut health and look at some easy ways to keep it in balance and feeling good.
The function of the gut is to help us effectively digest our food. When your digestion process is off you can experience a whole range of unpleasant symptoms including gas, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and even headaches. When your body can’t process food properly, it slows up the whole system making you feel tired and sometimes ill.
Foods that Promote Healthy Digestion
The following foods are easy to digest and promote a happy and healthy gut:
- Whole grains – fiber, fiber, fiber. Experts suggest eating at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Gut bacteria thrive on fiber and omega-3 fatty acids
- Leafy greens – along with having essential vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamins C, K, and A, leafy greens also contain a certain type of sugar that promotes healthy gut bacteria
- Avocados – are nutrient-dense and low-fructose so you get the superfood nutrients you need without the possibility of gas or bloating that you get with higher-fructose foods
One of the cornerstones of gut health and healthy gut functioning is through eating probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that restore and promote healthy gut flora. They are naturally found in the following foods that you can incorporate into your diet:
- Yogurt – yogurt naturally has live cultures that are good for our digestive system. If you don’t eat dairy, there are plenty of yogurt alternatives with added live cultures, such as coconut or cashew yogurt
- Kimchi – fermented vegetables are a great source of probiotic as well as B vitamins, riboflavin and folic acid
- Miso – fermented soybeans with a wide variety of cooking uses
- Pickles – most store-bought pickles are not fermented. You will want to check and make sure that the pickles aren’t just pickled, but have been fermented and actually have probiotics
Gut health is incredibly important to a well-functioning body. Fitness Kitchen LA is here for you, serving up gut-happy foods every week.