Sometimes you just have to “go with your gut.” We’ve all heard that phrase a million times, but it’s more accurate than some of us may realize.
Your gut is composed of trillions of microbes that keep your body and brain functioning properly. Studies show these microbes can have an effect on how your body stores fat, balances blood glucose levels, and how it responds to hormones that make you feel hungry or full. The wrong mix of microbes can cause an environment ripe for health issues as we age.
Gut bacteria also produce neurotransmitters that regulate mood and play a key role in mental health, including serotonin and dopamine.
Bottom line: Gut health is important to your overall health. So how can you help keep your gut healthy? We’ve done a bit of research and put together a list of the top 8 superfoods that can change your life by helping to maintain the right mix of healthy gut microbes. Read on!
Superfoods You Should Add To Your Diet
Eating a handful of walnuts each day can increase bacteria species known to generate butyrate – biologically active compounds that support gut health, blood sugar regulation, and appetite control. Other nuts that also support a healthy gut include almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios.
Another way to boost butyrate production in the gut is by increasing your intake of complex sugars (fructooligosaccharides) that pass through the digestive system, allowing intestinal microbes to break them down. Foods such as onions, leeks, and garlic are high in fructooligosaccharides.
The consumption of olive oil has been shown to aid in the prevention of type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus).
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in flavanols and polyphenols and can increase bifidobacterial and lactobacilli populations in the gut. Don’t overdo your intake, however. Two tablespoons of cocoa powder in a smoothie, three times per week is a good rule of thumb for healthy chocolate intake.
This fermented soy food has been eaten for hundreds of years, and a 2014 study found that eating tempeh can increase healthy gut bacteria such as lactobacillus.
These two fermented vegetable dishes can be high in probiotics, an excellent fuel for maintaining gut health. Sauerkraut is high in B vitamins and helps the body to absorb iron. Kimchi has been shown to fight cancer, obesity, aging, and constipation while aiding immune systems and skin and brain health. Try to make these foods yourself, as homemade versions are lower in sodium than packaged versions.
This overlooked weed is actually fantastic for your gut. Dandelion greens are full of minerals and can improve blood lipids. They are also saturated in inulin, a prebiotic fiber that boosts the production of bifidobacteria.
This is just a small sampling of the top foods you can eat to help maintain a healthy gut, so don’t be afraid to experiment with other foods that are gut-friendly, like:
- Fiber: whole grains, beans and legumes, and whole fruits and veggies
- Fermented foods: Miso, kefir, pickles
- Greens: Asparagus, seaweed
- Roughage: Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, flaxseed
- Fruits: Bananas, apples
A Healthy Gut Leads To A Healthy Mind & Body
If you’re looking to maintain a healthier diet, increase your energy, and regain vitality, a good diet is the first place to start, but there’s more you can do.
For example, you can consider an age management program that is tailored to your personal needs, based on key areas of lifestyle and health such as:
- Sleep & Stress
- Fitness & Exercise
Matrix’s Age Management Program can take you from evaluation, to plan, to success in your quest for a healthier mind and body.
Don’t let age slow you down! Contact one of our professionals and schedule a consultation today!