search iconmenu Icon

Superfoods for Gut Health — The Best Gut Healing Foods

Updated on April 28, 2022
Written by
Kelly Jamrozy
3 sources cited
KnowYourDNA is reader-supported. This means we may receive a commission when you buy something from one of the links on this page.

Your gut health plays a big role in your overall health and well-being. You might even hear “gut health is the key to overall health.”

There are many reasons why gut health is so important. 

For one, your gut houses a large portion of your immune system. The majority of your immune system is located in your gut. This means that if your gut health is not up to par, you are more likely to get sick and have a weakened immune system.

Another reason why gut health is so important is that it plays a big role in digestion. If your gut health is not good, you may experience problems with digestion, such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas.

What can you do to improve gut health?

Healing Your Gut With A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is important for many reasons. One of the most important is how it affects your gut flora. Your gut flora is the collection of microorganisms that live in your digestive tract, and these little guys play a big role in keeping you healthy.

A healthy diet provides the right nutrients for gut bacteria. Gut bacteria need certain nutrients to survive and thrive and a healthy diet ensures that your gut bacteria are getting the nutrients they need.

A healthy diet also reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of health problems, including gastrointestinal disorders. Eating a diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce the amount of inflammation in your gut, and thus, support gut health.

Finally, a healthy diet promotes a diverse gut microbiome. The more varied your healthy diet the better.

KNOWYOURDNA REVIEWS

Best Gut Health Test

We reviewed all of the best Gut Health Tests out there

Best Food for Healthy Gut Bacteria

Several foods help you improve gut bacteria. For example:

1. Fermented food

Fermented foods act as natural antibiotics. They contain helpful bacteria that help balance gut flora. 

Fermented foods include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
  • Miso soup
  • Tempeh

2. Coffee and tea

Coffee and tea are both helpful for improving gut health. Just be sure to choose true coffee and tea over coffee and tea beverages that might contain sweeteners that are damaging to gut health. 

Additionally, natural tea leaves offer a better concentration of polyphenols. 

3. Fiber-rich foods

Fiber-rich foods are prebiotic. This means they nourish the good bacteria in your gut. Examples of fiber-rich foods include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Avocados
  • Black beans

4. Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are not only good for your overall health, but they also have a positive impact on your gut health. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is the key to increasing gut bacteria.

Fruits and vegetables contain prebiotics, which helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Produce is also a good source of fiber, which is essential for a healthy gut. Fiber helps keep things moving along in the digestive system and can help prevent constipation.

Additionally, fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which protect the gut from damage. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation, which is often associated with gut disorders.

Keep in mind, you want to choose a variety of different types of fruits and vegetables to gain the greatest benefit. 

5. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3s reduce the “bad” kind of cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Studies have also shown that a diet high in omega-3s also reduces inflammation and lowers the risk of obesity.

And they also improve gut flora diversity.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Salmon and other fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flax, hemp, and chia seeds

Best Food for Leaky Gut

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which the lining of the intestines becomes permeable, allowing toxins, bacteria, and undigested food particles to "leak" through into the bloodstream. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body and a host of other health problems.

Leaky gut can lead to inflammation throughout the body. When toxins and bacteria "leak" through the intestines into the bloodstream, they can cause inflammation throughout the body. This can lead to a host of health problems, including fatigue, joint pain, and skin conditions like eczema.

What you eat has a big impact on your gut health. Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can contribute to leaky gut. On the other hand, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fiber, fermented foods, and healthy fats can help heal the gut.

1. Lactose-free or low-lactose dairy products

Regular dairy products containing lactose are difficult to digest. This is especially problematic for people who lack enough lactase – the enzyme that breaks down lactose. This accounts for about 65 percent of the human population.

The majority of people who eat standard dairy experience stomach upset after doing so. The good news is switching to a lactose-free or low-lactose diet helps.

Examples of lactose-free or low-lactose foods include:

  • Hard cheeses, such as parmesan, Swiss, and cheddar
  • Lactose-free milk
  • Dairy alternatives

2. Yogurt

Yogurt with live and active bacterial cultures is best if you struggle with leaky gut. This type of yogurt contains bacterial cultures that break down lactose. Low-fat yogurt is also high in calcium.

Treats like frozen yogurt don’t offer the same benefit because they lack live cultures. Frozen yogurt can have the opposite effect and aggravate lactose intolerance.

Lactose-free yogurt is also available. 

3. Foods rich in healthy fats

Healthy fats are a great way to reduce inflammation in the gut. They help to soothe the digestive tract and can also provide essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly.

Some of the best sources of healthy fats include:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

4. Organic produce

Fruits and vegetables that contain pesticides may cause gut inflammation. Suggest to readers to find organic alternatives instead.

People who eat a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables have lower levels of inflammation than those who eat conventional produce. This is because pesticides used in conventional farming might cause gut inflammation. 

Choosing organic alternatives could help you reduce gut inflammation and reduce your risk of leaky gut.

5. Gluten-free alternatives

For those with celiac disease, consuming even a small amount of gluten can trigger an immune response that damages the lining of the gut. This can lead to digestive symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, as well as fatigue, anemia, and other health problems.

Some experts also believe that gluten can still cause problems for those who are sensitive to it, even if they don’t have celiac disease. They claim that gluten can damage the gut lining and lead to digestive issues, as well as fatigue and other health problems.

Choosing gluten-free alternatives helps you reduce your risk of gut health problems.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth is rich in collagen and other nutrients that are essential for gut health. Collagen helps to heal and seal the gut lining, while other nutrients like glycine and proline help to reduce inflammation. 

Bone broth also contains glucosamine, which can help to repair damaged joints. All of these factors make bone broth an excellent food for gut health.

7. Hypoallergenic proteins

Hypoallergenic proteins such as pea, rice, hemp, and chia seeds are great alternatives for people with food sensitivities and allergies. 

Best Food for Gut Health & Digestion

There are many reasons why healthy digestion is important. For one, the digestive system helps to break down food so that the nutrients can be absorbed into the body.

Healthy digestion is important because it helps the body to get the nutrients it needs from food. Digestion also helps to eliminate waste from the body, which can be harmful if it builds up.

Additionally, healthy digestion can help to prevent problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.

1. Water

Water is essential for gut health and digestion. It helps break down food, lubricates the intestines, and prevents constipation. Without enough water, stool can become hard and difficult to pass. This can lead to abdominal pain, cramping, and other digestive issues.

Dehydration can also make existing digestive problems worse. 

For example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often triggered by stress, and dehydration can make the symptoms worse.

Drinking plenty of water is the best way to stay hydrated and promote gut health. Other fluids, such as juices and soups, can also help. However, it’s important to avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, as these can lead to dehydration.

2. Herbal teas

There are many different ways that herbal teas improve gut health and digestion.

For example, ginger tea relieves nausea and vomiting. Chamomile tea soothes stomach upset. Peppermint tea helps with indigestion and alleviates bloating and gas.

Other herbs that have been traditionally used to aid in digestion include fennel, licorice, and dandelion.

Herbal teas increase the production of digestive enzymes, which break down food more effectively.

And finally, herbal tea helps to increase the amount of good bacteria in the gut, which has a positive effect on digestion.

3. Fruits

Fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps to keep the gastrointestinal tract clean and functioning properly, and also helps to regulate bowel movements. In addition, fruit contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are essential for gut health.

4. Dietary fibers

Dietary fiber, especially that of the insoluble variety, ensures that material moves through your digestive system as it should. It also increases the bulk of your stool, which helps alleviate problems with constipation. 

Foods that are rich in insoluble fiber include:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Nuts
  • Wheat bran
  • Beans 
  • Vegetables, especially green beans, cauliflower, and potatoes

KNOWYOURDNA REVIEWS

Best Gut Health Test

Our review of the best at-home Microbiome Tests

Resources

SHOW
HIDE
Minus IconPlus Icon
  1. ​6 Gut Health Hacks That Work.” American Association of Retired Persons.
  2. Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  3. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet.” Mayo Clinic.
Kelly Jamrozy
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
back to top