Along with our product features, we love bringing you lifestyle posts on health, beauty, and fitness topics. In today’s post we’re exploring the latest trend to improve digestive health. This “gut health” trend has been linked to tons of health benefits like improved heart and brain health. Learn how improving your digestion can lead to better overall health below!
What is Gut Health and Why Should You Care?
Gut Health refers to your digestive system. In more scientific terms, we’re actually talking about the microbes in your intestines. There are millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microscopic living things that exist inside your intestines. Kinda gross to think about, but these microbes are good bacteria and are vital to your health.
The majority of these microbes live in a “pocket” of your large intestine called the Gut Microbiota. This area of your large intestines is responsible for a number of important functions in your body, including: digesting fiber, controlling blood sugar and lowering diabetes risk, improving heart health by promoting "good" HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, aiding your immune system, and improving brain health.
Improving your gut health or gut microbiota contributes to aiding in all of these functions and improves your overall health.
What Foods You Should Eat to Improve Your Gut Microbiota
Now that we know how important microbes and gut health are, let’s talk about the foods you should eat to improve your Gut Microbiota.
- Fermented Foods: When a food is fermented, it means that it’s left to sit and steep until the sugars and carbs that the food naturally contains interact with bacteria, yeast and microbes to change the chemical structure of the food.1 Fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir all promote the growth of good bacteria in your intestines
- Probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms intended to provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora.2 Probiotics are closely related to Fermented foods, and in fact, many fermented foods also contain probiotics. Examples of foods that contain probiotics are: aged cheeses, yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, dill pickles, miso and tempeh
- Polyphenols: Polyphenols are plant compounds found in red wine, green tea, dark chocolate, olive oil and whole grains. They are broken down by the microbiome to stimulate healthy bacterial growth
- Other foods: Additional foods to eat to promote good gut health include: almonds, bananas, brussel sprouts, garlic, ginger, olive oil, and peas.
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Cover Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels