These Five Foods Can Give Your Gut Some Serious TLC

Happy gut, happy you.
Tanja Ivanova via Getty Images

The nation has one thing and one thing only on it’s mind… gut health. Yes, you heard correctly.

According to data from Google Trends, searches for “gut health” have increased by 2,900% in the UK over the last five years.

It’s positive news that people are prioritising their guts, as an unhealthy one can contribute to several health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and even anxiety.

Signs your gut might need some TLC

If you regularly experience any of the below symptoms, it could be a sign that your gut needs a boost, according to health experts at superfood supplement store Human Tonik:

1. Upset stomach – this could include gas, bloating and even heartburn.

2. Unexplained weight changes – gaining or losing weight. An imbalanced gut can make it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar and store fat.

3. Fatigue – poor gut health can cause broken sleep cycles, which may cause extreme tiredness.

4. Skin issues – poor gut health can contribute to eczema, psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions.

Below are five foods that health experts suggest can give your gut a much-needed boost.

1. Ginger

Ginger is a superfood that has several surprising health benefits. It can help with congestion, reduce heartburn and even promote weight loss.

However, ginger can also be used to provide relief for an upset stomach and other digestive issues and support a healthy gut.

Gingerol, a natural compound found in fresh ginger, is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help restore gut balance.

Ginger also helps promote digestion, meaning food doesn’t linger around in your gut for an extended period.

There are plenty of ways to add ginger to your diet. Add chopped ginger to your tea or hot water in the mornings. You can also blend it into a smoothie.

If you’d rather take supplements, ginger capsules can be taken daily to improve gut health.

2. Bananas

Bananas are another food that can contribute to improved gut health. Bananas contain inulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

Inulin is a prebiotic that can help develop a microbiome and provide fuel for good bacteria to live in your gut. Eating inulin-rich foods can help your bacteria perform activities that keep your gut healthy.

Bananas are also a rich source of fructooligosaccharides (try saying that really fast), which act as a probiotic and promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract, which ultimately helps with digestion.

The carbohydrates in bananas are also easily broken down. The fruit is gentle enough to be eaten if you are suffering from stomach ailments, and it restores lost electrolytes back into the body.

So, eating one or two bananas a day can seriously improve gut health.

3. Yogurt

Yogurt is usually the first food you think of when it comes to gut health. Rich in probiotics, which are live microorganisms that keep the git microbiome healthy, yogurt can help with issues such as bloating.

Having a proper balance of bacteria in your gut improves digestion and can block dangerous organisms that can cause infections and boosts your immune system. Foods such as yogurt can also help your body absorb vital nutrients from food.

However, not all yogurt is live with probiotics, so be sure to read the label and search for ones that contain live bacteria. High-protein yogurt with minimal sugar is the best.

4. Lentils

Lentils are a versatile food rich in nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, as well as resistant starches, which are brilliant for gut health.

Resistant starches are carbohydrates that do not break down into sugar and are not absorbed by the small intestine.

They pass through most of the digestive system unchanged, usually fermenting in the colon. They then decrease the pH level in the colon to help create an environment where beneficial bacteria thrive.

There are many ways to add lentils to your diet. You can add them to your soup, pasta and salads. You can also bake them with chicken or fish in the oven or simply serve them as a side dish.

5. Almonds

Almonds are high in fibre, which can increase the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that promotes gut health. So, eating a handful of almonds a day can positively affect our overall gut health.

Butyrate is produced by gut bacteria and supports digestive health. However, it should also be noted that almonds are high fat, so while a handful of almonds a day is recommended for gut health, be sure to eat them in moderation.

Adding almonds to breakfast smoothies or yogurt is a great way to get them into your diet. Or you could try adding almond butter to your porridge.