5 Foods That Are Good for Gut Health
Functional medicine practitioner William Cole started one of the world's first telehealth functional medicine clinics more than a decade ago. Patients always come with intestinal health problems. After diving into various cases, Cole highlighted foods that contribute to floating good bacteria in the gut.
Reported by Mind Body Green on Friday (10/9), here are five foods that can help improve gut health.
1. Sulfur-rich vegetables
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and red cabbage all contain sulfur, one of the most abundant minerals in the body. The mineral is responsible for important bodily functions, including repairing DNA and regenerating its main antioxidant, glutathione.
These antioxidants help support oxidant balance throughout the body, including in the intestines, which is important for its integrity and health. Cooking these vegetables or putting them in soups and stews can help break down some fiber and sugar, as well as make them easier for the intestines to digest.
Ginger is not just an added flavor to food. Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a tool to soothe the stomach, due to its herbal bioactive properties. In fact, research shows the anti-inflammatory content is very good for the body. Try adding more ginger to the recipe or slice some fresh ginger for tea after a meal.
3. Resistant starch
If you've never heard of resistant starch, it's a type of starch that's often recommended to patients for gut health. This type of starch works by resisting the digestive process and acts as food for gut bacteria. Not only is it beneficial for the gut, but it can also support metabolic health (e.g., blood sugar levels), and overall health.
Resistant starch is found in foods such as wheat, beans, rice and potatoes, as well as green bananas. Resistant starch is also found in potato flour and resistant hi-maize starch powder which makes it easier to add to smoothies or other recipes, for an additional gut-supporting boost.
If you like to cook, most likely you already use garlic in reasonable portions. But with the antibacterial and antifungal properties inherent in garlic, it may be time to increase the amount you eat. Garlic has been shown to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, help beneficial strains dominate, and keep unwanted microbes from creeping up.
Plus, garlic contains high inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that triggers good bacteria and allows them to thrive in the gut. Be creative and add garlic to the sauce, homemade seasonings, and anywhere can tuck it in a little extra flavor.
5. Olive oil
Olive oil is packed with heart-healthy polyphenols and fatty acids, which also help boost the good bacteria in the gut. Fatty acids and polyphenols are not only limited to olive oil, other foods like almonds and flaxseeds are also rich in both of these nutrients.
A great way to add more olive oil to a meal is to pour it over roasted vegetables, salads, and other foods. You may be surprised how much gut health can improve by diversifying foods, with these nutrient-dense foods.
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