Today I want to share with you some of the best foods to eat for a healthy gut.Before we get to the specific foods let’s talk about why your gut healthmatters.
Your gut health is so important to the rest of your body’s overallhealth. Chances are if you have a healthy gut you probably also have a healthybody, but if you have poor gut health it might be the root cause behind some ofyour other health problems, ranging from physical to mental health issues.
So ifyou find yourself getting sick frequently and you’re not sure why, oryou have brain fog and trouble focusing, it might be because you have anunhealthy gut. Your gut health is affected by a bunch of different factorssuch as the environment, whether you are taking certain medications, and of courseyour diet. And because it can be hard to control external factors like theenvironment, the easiest way to heal your gut is to heal your diet.
When it comesto diet, there are two main things I want to talk about. The first one isprobiotics. You might have heard of probiotics before. They are the healthygut bacteria that live in your gut microbiome. And foods that are rich inprobiotics tend to be fermented foods. And a food is fermented usually byleaving it out on the counter for a long enough period of time that it’s exposedto bacteria and yeast.
Of course you can’t ferment every single kind of food. For instance you can’t just leave a chicken out on your counter and hopethat after ten days it’ll be fermented and good for you. It’ll give youSalmonella so don’t try it. On the other hand, you can ferment lots of vegetablesand that’s why it’s great for a vegan diet.The second part of your diet that Iwant to talk about is fiber. And dietary fiber acts as a food for those probiotics, enabling them to grow. And the reason you want the healthy gut bacteriato grow is because the more you have and the more diverse your bacteria, is the healthier your gut, which means you’re less likely to have chronic illnessesand inflammation.
And you’ll find dietary fiber in fruits vegetables, whole grainslegumes, nuts, seeds. So basically if you’re eating a vegan diet, particularlya whole foods based vegan diet, you’re gonna have no problem getting enoughfiber. So now that we’ve talked about probiotics, let’s talk about foods thatcontain probiotic. Of course you can take a probiotic supplement, but they can bereally expensive particularly the higher- end brands so if you want to heal yourgut through food only and save some money, here are some great plant-basedfoods that are full of probiotics.
A really rich source of probiotics issauerkraut, which is simply fermented cabbage. You might have had sauerkraut on a burger or hot dog before, and my favorite way is actually to pair it witha kale salad and some creamy salad dressing and a bunch of nuts and seeds. The combination of textures and flavors is really delicious. The next food on ourhealthy gut list is kimchi. It’s salted and fermented cabbage, usually Napacabbage and Korean radishes, and it’s then flavored with chili powder and abunch of other seasonings.
It’s really delicious and like sauerkraut you canmake it at home and ferment it at home or you can buy it at the store. Typically Ipair kimchi with some Asian flavored food like ramen or rice, but you can putit on a sandwich or burger or really anything.
The next food on our list istempeh, which is whole fermented soy beans. I talked a lot about thenutritional benefits of this superfood in an earlier video on “where do vegans get their protein from?” so if you want to check that out and learn more about tempeh, I will link to that right here. Our next source of probiotics areplant-based yogurts and kefirs. You might have heard that traditional dairyyogurt is a great source of probiotics and it is, but it’s not the dairy that’sthe source of probiotics. It’s the live active cultures that are used to makeyogurt. So most plant-based yogurts and kefirsare also going to have a high source of probiotics. These are two of my favoriteplant-based yogurts and kefirs. One is almond milk based the other is coconutmilk based. If you look at the ingredients on this, you will see there are live active cultures in here. Just try to stick tothe unsweetened yogurts or yogurts that have a low amount of sugar because youwant to make sure that the bacteria in your gut is feasting on the probiotics,not on the sugar.
Next up on our probiotic list is miso. Miso is atraditional Japanese condiments and it’s made of fermented soy beans. Of courseyou’ve put miso in miso soup which you’re served at Japanese restaurants, but Ialso like to put miso in salad dressings, marinades and sauces. I actually put alittle bit of miso in my vegan cheese sauce because it adds that extra umami flavor. If you want to check out that recipe, I will link to that righthere. Next up in our healthy gut list are olives.
Once olives are soaked in brine,which is a solution of water and salt, the healthy bacteria causes them toferment, making them a good source of probiotics. So if you love olives as muchas I do, take this as your excuse to eat as many as you want. Another saltyfavorite of mine are pickles. You want to make sure though you’re buying picklesthat have been pickled in salt water, not in vinegar. If they’ve been pickled invinegar, they’re not going to have the fermentation process. And they’ll still bedelicious but you won’t be getting any probiotics.
Saltwater pickles aretypically sold in the refrigerated section and they might carry a labelthat says “active cultures”and vinegar pickles are usually sold in theshelf-stable aisle of the grocery store. Last but not least, my favorite source ofprobiotics is kombucha. Kombucha is a black or green tea that’s beenfermented by a colony of bacteria and yeast. And you can buy kombucha at thestore or you can make it at home. Now that we talked about foods that are rich in probiotics, I want to quickly talk about prebiotics. As I mentioned earlier,probiotics are live microorganisms that need food in order to grow and flourish, and the food they eat usually comes in the form of dietary fiber, but it’s also referred to as prebiotics. Some of the best sourcesof prebiotics are onions, garlic artichokes, asparagus, leeks, sweetpotatoes, bananas, legumes, whole grains. You get the point:stuff that vegans would eat anyways. But I do want to mention two of my favoritesources of prebiotics because it might surprise you that they’re good for yourgut. If you’re like me, you probably don’t need any excuse to eat more chocolate,but here’s just another excuse.
Chocolate is actually a prebiotic food becausewhen you eat chocolate, the healthy gut bacteria in your microbiome ferment thecompounds in cocoa. I don’t know about you, but that certainly makes me feelbetter about all the times I’ve eaten a dark chocolate bar in one sitting. It happens all the time, like once a week, so I feel better now. The last prebiotic I want to talk to you about that might surprise you is redwine. And you might have heard that red wine is good for your heart, but it’salso good for your gut. Like cocoa, red wine encourages the healthy gut bacteriato grow in your gut. Of course I feel obligated to tell you to drinkresponsibly and to not treat red wine as your sole source of prebiotics. Make sureyou also eat vegetables and all that stuff. So the next time you have a glass ofred wine and a piece of dark chocolate, or a few pieces of dark chocolate, giveyourself a pat on the back because you’re doing your gut and your health abig favor. Well that does it for my video on foods to eat for a healthy gut. If youfound this video informative or helpful or learned something new, I would love itif you hit that “thumbs up”button as well as that “subscribe” button so I know thatyou’re enjoying these videos. If you want to talk more about gut health.
Heal your gut through vegan diet