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What to Eat for a Healthy Gut

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Did you know that there are these tiny little microbes that live inside your gut called probiotics? They work very hard to keep you healthy and to thank them for all that they do and help improve their performance.  Here are some tips today on what to eat for a healthy gut.

Why A Healthy Gut Matters

The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is a series of organs that are responsible for the breakdown and digestion of food, as well as the absorption of nutrients. The gut flora (aka microbiota) is the vast community of living organisms that reside throughout the gut and aid in these activities.

In addition to facilitating digestion, researchers have also found that gut microbes aid in enhancing our immune system and in producing vitamins for a healthy gut.

There is also significant evidence to suggest that the activity that takes place inside the gut influences other aspects of our health, including our hormonal responses and blood sugar control. Unhealthy guts can lead to SIBO and SIFO. Simply put, one’s overall health appears to be mostly dependent on one’s gut health and so choosing to eat in a way that optimizes its performance is a wise idea.

Red Cabbage
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Fermented and Cultured Foods

Fermented and cultured foods are excellent sources of probiotics. Some of these foods offer a greater variety of probiotics than others. When it comes to a healthy gut, recruiting a robust microbiotic profile is vital because each probiotic performs a slightly different role. Popular fermented and cultured foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, miso paste, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, and kombucha.

Healthy Vegetables
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Fiber

Fiber is an excellent source of prebiotics, which are the non-digestible components in some of the foods that we eat.

Prebiotics act as the fuel that probiotics need to help keep them working at their best.

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and a balance of both is essential for digestion and bowel regularity. Fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, but you can also find it in whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils. In keeping with the present theme, obtaining your fiber from a variety of these foods is best.

Dessert with Oats and Berries
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Synbiotic Meals

A synbiotic meal is a term used to describe a combination of foods that simultaneously provide the body with both pre and probiotics. Upon digestion, pre and probiotics work together to alter the composition of the gut’s ecosystem and enhance its productivity.

A simple example of a synbiotic meal would be a yogurt parfait topped with granola and fresh berries, whereby the yogurt would be your source of probiotics. In contrast, the granola and berries would provide the prebiotics.

Bottom line?

There is still so much to learn when it comes to a healthy gut, but scientists are diligently working to piece it all together. Based on what we do know, however, making an effort to eat foods that help to improve the performance of the little friends living in our gut does appear to present a host of beneficial results on our health.

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Mirieta Selimovska

Written by Mirieta Selimovska

Mirieta is a Toronto born and raised foodie and aspiring Registered Dietitian. Her motto? All foods fit! It’s no secret that keeping fuelled with food that is both nutritious and delicious can be challenging at times. Lucky for you, Mirieta is here to help inspire your own (realistic!) journey towards improved health. You can find her on Instagram (@thesweetenedpea) or grabbing a coffee wherever the photo-worthy latte art is.

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