The 10 Best Foods for a Healthy Gut

Canva Design DAFTReLvkuwYour gut contains more than 100 trillion bacteria — some good and some bad. The more balanced this ratio of good to bad bacteria, the healthier your gut. How do you achieve this? By choosing plenty of nutrient-dense foods that provide you with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and strengthen the bacteria already in your system (prebiotics).

Here are some of our favorite foods your gut will love:

Yogurt: One of the most common probiotic foods, yogurt is made from milk that’s been fermented by good bacteria. Make sure to check the label for “live and active cultures” to ensure you’re getting the maximum amount. This Strawberry & Yogurt Parfait is packed with 85 grams of vitamin C and 17 grams of protein to keep you energized ‘til lunch.

Miso: A fermented paste made from soybeans, rice, or barley, miso helps reduce digestive problems, including irritable bowel disease. While it’s commonly prepared as a Japanese miso soup, it also complements seafood quite nicely, like in this recipe for Miso Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy and Shiitakes.

Sauerkraut:  With a distinct sour flavor and fermented by bacteria and lactic acid, sauerkraut is a great source of probiotics, as well as fiber, vitamins C and K, iron, and potassium. Combine it with fiber-rich fennel in this Fennel Sauerkraut with Turkey Sausage & Potatoes for a punch of prebiotics as well.

Tempeh: Made from soybeans, tempeh is another fermented food that provides your gut with probiotics. It’s also high in protein and rich in B vitamins, manganese, calcium, copper, and zinc. This Tempeh “Chicken” Salad comes together in just a few minutes and packs in 28 grams of protein.

Bulgur: A popular Middle Eastern grain, bulgur is a high-resistant starch that promotes good bacteria in your gut. Compared to quinoa or rice, it’s lower in carbs and has more fiber. These Chickpea & Bulgur Stuffed Grape Leaves are sure to impress.

Lentils: Loaded with prebiotic fiber, protein, and resistant starch, lentils ferment in the large intestine and feed the good microbes to support your daily health. Our Very Green Lentil Soup, featuring spinach, broccoli, and a variety of savory spices, can be made ahead of time for easy prep — just reheat and serve. 

Bananas: Budget friendly and easy to grab on the go, bananas contain insulin, a soluble fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. This Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie is a delicious treat that can relieve gastrointestinal issues while it satisfies your sweet tooth.

Asparagus and Garlic: Because they’re high in fructans, asparagus and garlic are powerful prebiotics. They’re also powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals and other inflammatory compounds — get a double dose of healthy in this delicious Roasted Garlic & Asparagus Salad.

Pears: In addition to its prebiotic properties, pears contain pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. Serve these Caramelized Spiced Pears for dessert to help you digest your last incredible meal.

Keep in mind, if you don’t normally eat these types of foods, start with low amounts and gradually increase them as your body adjusts. Bon appétit!

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