The human gut contains a whole host of beneficial microbes, known collectively as gut flora, that helps to regulate fat storage, hormone and glucose levels, and nutrient absorption. A poor diet can lead to an imbalance in these microbes, leading to bloating, inflammation, skin problems, and mood changes. Thankfully, some foods can supercharge your gut flora and promote proper balance, helping you to lose weight, reduce bloat, and feel your best.
Lentils and other high-fiber legumes are rich in soluble fiber, which aids in digestion and reduces the risk of constipation and hemorrhoids. Lentils are an especially good choice since they also contain prebiotics that feeds healthy gut bacteria. Keep in mind that since most adults don’t get enough fiber in their diet, eating more of it may temporarily cause bloating and gas while your body adjusts.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has numerous health-related benefits, and some of those extend to promoting better gut health, as well. Because it supports increased hydrochloric acid production, apple cider vinegar aids in digesting fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, while also balancing acid levels in the stomach to relieve acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Kefir is an Eastern European dairy product that closely resembles yogurt, though it has a more tart flavor and a more liquid consistency. Kefir is created by introducing live cultures to milk, and as a result, it contains as many as a dozen active strains of beneficial bacteria. That’s more than three times as many as in most yogurts–including lactobacillus, which relieves irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and reduces the risk of infection from stomach ulcers, in addition to creating a more healthy gut environment in general.
Sauerkraut and other fermented foods, such as Korean kimchi, promote overall gut health by delivering beneficial bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract. Recent studies also suggest that fermented vegetable products may help boost the immune system. Look for sauerkraut and kimchi in refrigerated sections of the grocery store, since shelf-stable canned versions are pasteurized, and that process destroys much of the useful bacteria.
When digested, the soluble fiber in bananas creates a fatty acid byproduct called butyrate, which is the ideal fuel force for cells that line the gastrointestinal tract. Also, the high potassium and magnesium content in bananas has been shown to reduce inflammation of the stomach line, which is linked to ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
Coconut oil is one of the most healthy oils to use in cooking, thanks to its natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. The fatty acids contained in coconut oil do an excellent job of killing off yeast and harmful bacteria without wiping out the beneficial microbes, helping to reduce illness and inflammation while keeping acid and bacteria levels in the gut adequately balanced.
Eat Well, and Supplement
The wrong diet can interfere with your gut’s ability to properly take in nutrients and flush out toxins, which can contribute to a wide range of health complications in the short term and later in life. By incorporating the foods above into your diet whenever possible, you can help re-balance your gut flora, helping you look slimmer and stay healthier.
Our comprehensive GI COMFORT gut health formula provides broad support and probiotics for healthy digestion. It’s an easy way to boost support – just once a day on an empty stomach at least an hour before or after food.