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The Best Foods to Eat for Gut Health

The Best Foods to Eat for Gut Health

Your gut is home to your stomach and other digestive organs. Odds are you don’t think twice about it except if you have a tummy ache or indigestion. However, gut health can affect overall health and well-being. Neglecting it can cause problems that affect your body as a whole. 

What you eat can support your gut health or throw the whole system out of whack. At ARA Integrative and Functional Medicine in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, Dr. Rina Kapoor understands the connection between your gut and nutrition choices more than most. 

That’s why she advocates following a nutrition plan developed specifically for you by a board-certified internal and integrative medicine specialist to nourish your gut and entire body. 

In this article, she details the best foods to eat to support your gut health and what to do if your gut gives you trouble. 

The connection between your diet and gut health

Every bite of food you eat has the potential to impact your gut, which contains a delicate ecosystem of bacteria that aid in digestive processes and protect your gut. Your diet can influence the diversity and amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut. 

An unbalanced microbiome can affect everything from your body’s ability to carry out the regular digestive process to your immune response. Understanding the connection between food and your gut helps you make better dietary decisions. 

So, what dietary choices should you make to maintain a healthy gut? Here are some tips:

Eat more fibrous fruits and vegetables

If you’re a working adult in the 21st century, you’re likely not getting enough fruits and vegetables; processed foods may seem more convenient for your busy schedule. But foods like broccoli, berries, and apples are high in fiber and feed healthy bacteria in your gut.

Your body doesn’t digest these fibers, but they enhance your gut’s microbiome, helping you maintain a healthy gut.

Whole grains are good for you

Foods such as quinoa, oats, and barley are rich in fiber and essential nutrients. They support the growth of good bacteria in your gut and help protect it.

Lean proteins protect your gut

Lean proteins like fish, poultry, and legumes can support your gut health. Fish, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids, can also reduce inflammation in your gut.

Probiotics and fermented foods ease digestion

Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha are natural sources of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that can improve the diversity and resilience of your gut’s microbiome, making digestion easier and boosting your immune system.

Anti-inflammatory foods protect your gut’s lining 

Chronic inflammation can harm your gut health. Anti-inflammatory foods, including turmeric, ginger, green leafy vegetables, and nuts, can help soothe your gut lining and reduce inflammation, creating a healthy digestive system.

Foods to avoid for your gut health

Just as some foods can boost and promote your gut health, others can sabotage it. The most common culprit is processed foods, which are high in sugar and unhealthy fats. They can disrupt the balance of healthy and harmful bacteria in your gut, leading to inflammation.

There’s no one-size-fits-all diet to heal your gut health. To figure out what works best for you, consult Dr. Kapoor at ARA Integrative and Functional Medicine; she can create a personalized nutritional plan just for you.

Request an appointment online today or call our Philadelphia-area office at 610-358-3300.

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