Foods For A Healthy Gut

by Dr Jonathan D'Souza
Our digestive system effectively absorbs nutrients and water from the food we eat every day. However, while performing its duties, the digestive system has to also resist harmful microbes and get rid of waste. What we eat is important as it affects our digestive system directly. An imbalance of microbes in the gut can lead to excess gas, bloating, and indigestion.

Diversity in the friendly bacteria present in the gut means more resilience to harmful microbes and the less probability of a food component triggering an inflammatory response. Fermented foods play a vital role in restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut.

In a recently aired episode of Health Soup, host Ereka Vetrini meets up with Cara Pescatore & Alexandra Lopez, the owners of Seed to Sprout to talk about foods that are good for the gut, what having a healthy gut is and why probiotic foods are healthy.

Here are five foods that can improve gut health.
1. Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is a German word that simply means sour white cabbage. Cabbage by itself has a number of health benefits but the process of fermentation increases the availability of nutrients making sauerkraut an even healthier option. Made from just cabbage and salt, this fermented food delivers a healthy dose of good bacteria and fiber.

2. Tempeh
Made from naturally fermented soybeans, tempeh has a slightly nutty flavor. Tempeh contains all the essential amino acids which make it a good source of healthy bacteria.

3. Yogurt
Yogurts that clearly state 'live and active cultures' guarantee about 100 million probiotic bacteria cultures per gram (about 17 billion good bacteria in a six-ounce cup) at the time of manufacturing. Even yogurts without this seal contain some good bacteria.

4. Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that somewhat tastes like drinkable yogurt. It is rich in calcium and good bacteria.

5. Kimchi
Often referred to as the sauerkraut's Korean cousin, this fermented cabbage is spicy. Check out the refrigerated section near Asia ingredients or pickles.
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