4 Best Foods for Gut Health
When your gut is imbalanced, your body has a difficult time functioning effectively. It struggles to absorb necessary nutrients, store fat properly, and regulate its blood sugar due to the bacteria overgrowth or lack of nutrients. It usually leads to unhealthy weight fluctuations and digestive issues.
People with imbalanced gut bacteria may suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, excessive gas, diarrhea, recurrent heartburn, or belly bloat. In addition, gut bacteria imbalance can cause other wide-range of physical and mental symptoms such as skin irritations, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and moodiness.
The good news is that there are natural ways to regulate and rebalance your gut bacteria. Oral pre- and probiotic supplements can be a great solution to restoring balance. Many people can experience digestive recalibration by simply adding some of the best foods for gut health into their diet.
Foods For Gut Health To Start Enjoying Today
Incorporating whole foods that contain digestive enzymes into your daily diet may do wonders for gut health. Digestive enzymes are proteins that break down large molecules (fats, proteins, and carbs) into smaller molecules, referred to as their building blocks, that can be absorbed easily by the body. Digestive enzymes occur naturally in many foods, so knowing what to add to your grocery list is key. Here is a list of 4 must-have foods for gut health.
Fermentation’s definition is “foods or beverages produced through controlled microbial growth and the conversion of food components through enzymatic action.” Basically, this means bacteria are used to digest the natural sugars in a product, converting them into organic acids and CO2. The fermentation process promotes bacterial growth while adding nutrients, enzymes, and other beneficial compounds to a product.
Fermented foods contain probiotics, which are live microorganisms that are considered “good” bacteria and are linked to reduced bloating and gas, as well as helping alleviate other digestive symptoms. Common fermented foods include:
- Sauerkraut – raw shredded cabbage fermented in various lactic acid bacteria.
- Kefir – a fermented, drinkable milk beverage, similar to yogurt.
- Kimchi – a spicy side dish made of fermented vegetables.
Additionally, many tropical fruits contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes.
- Pineapples – contain a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain. These enzymes are proteases that break down proteins into amino acids for easy absorption.
- Papayas – contain a group of enzymes called papain. These are proteases also.
- Mangoes – contain the digestive enzymes amylases. This group of enzymes further breaks down starches and carbohydrates into sugars.
Raw honey is chock full of beneficial digestive enzymes including:
- Diastases – turn starch into maltose
- Amylases – turn starch into sugars (glucose and maltose)
- Invertases – turn sucrose into glucose and fructose
- Proteases – turn proteins into amino acids
Avocados contain the digestive enzyme lipase, which significantly helps digest fat molecules into smaller molecules, which facilitates easy absorption.
Foods For Good Gut Health & What To Avoid
Now that you know the best foods for optimal gut health, it’s equally important to know the worst foods for gut health. As a general rule, steer clear of refined sugar, processed foods, and GMOs.
If you are looking for a streamlined approach to healthy eating and portion-controlled meal prep, Z.E.N Foods can help. We customize meal programs for weight loss, healthy lifestyles, and vegetarian lifestyles to meet your nutritional needs with unmatched taste and convenience! Contact us today to find out how we can help!