If you're looking to boost your digestion and gut health, there are certain foods that you should avoid. Processed snacks, alcohol, sugary drinks, refined oils, and artificial sweeteners can all have a detrimental effect on the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Additionally, eliminating foods that contain gluten or common stimulants of digestive symptoms may also be beneficial. It's essential to remember that the intestine relies on the right balance of different bacteria to digest food and prevent infections and inflammation.
What's more, gut health can also influence mental health, weight, blood sugar and liver. On the other hand, there are certain foods that can help promote healthy gut bacteria. Prebiotic foods such as whole grains, bananas, vegetables, onions, garlic, soy and artichokes act as food for healthy gut bacteria. Probiotic foods like yogurt are already full of good bacteria. Fermentation is another method of preserving food with bacteria and yeasts.
When you eat fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut, they contain live bacteria which makes them a great source of probiotics. Bananas supply the intestine with inulin, a type of fiber that helps good bacteria to grow. These food compounds protect cells from damage and, at the same time, fight inflammation and infection. Colorful foods are also rich in polyphenols which can help fight “bad bacteria” such as E. Coli and soothe symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and peptic ulcers.
Polyphenols can also promote the growth of good gut bacteria. Tea, coffee, and red wine are all great sources of polyphenols as well. When it comes to protein sources, it's best to opt for leaner proteins such as fish or plant proteins like beans and tofu. If you can't give up beef, pork and lamb completely, choose leaner cuts with names that include round, loin or sirloin. Fried foods should also be avoided as they can move undigested through the body too quickly and cause diarrhea or stay in the digestive tract for too long making you feel full and bloated. Finally, it's important to be aware of the symptoms of food poisoning such as muscle pain, fatigue and abdominal cramps as it can be life-threatening.
By avoiding certain foods and incorporating prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet you can improve your digestion and gut health.