Having a Happy Tummy in 2024 : Best Foods For Gut Health!

May 09, 2024

Having a Happy Tummy in 2024 : Best Foods For Gut Health!

Imagine a tiny zoo inside your belly! That zoo is called your gut microbiome, and it's teeming with millions of microscopic bacteria, both good and bad. These little guys actually play a big role in how healthy you feel and require the best foods for gut health maintenance. 

The key is to keep the good bacteria happy and outnumber the bad ones. This good-to-bad ratio is unique to each person, kind of like a personalized fingerprint. How you were born (vaginal birth or C-section) and whether you drank breast milk as a baby can even influence this fingerprint.

But don't worry, you have some control as what you eat feeds the good bacteria and keeps them strong. In this blog we will be discussing what you need to eat and what not 

for that natural gut health.

Introduction to Gut Microbiome

Trillions of bacteria and other microbes residing in our intestines, collectively known as the gut microbiome, play a critical role in our overall health. They influence the development of various chronic diseases, such as metabolic disorders, digestive issues, and even colon cancer. These conditions are becoming increasingly common in Western societies, posing a significant healthcare challenge.

The good news is that what we eat and our environment significantly impact the makeup of our gut bacteria in real-time. Diverse communities of intestinal bacteria bring benefits by fermenting dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids act as internal signals, helping regulate fat metabolism and reducing inflammation.

Ongoing research suggests that a person's initial gut bacterial profile plays a key role in determining how well they respond to treatment with probiotics (live bacteria meant to promote gut health). 

The gut microbiome is super complex, so scientists are figuring out ways to break it down. One way is by looking at the different types of bacteria present, how many there are of each kind (like Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes), and how many "good" bacteria there are compared to the not-so-good ones.

Best Foods Healthy Gut 

Forget boring! We've got surprising & tasty gut-friendly foods coming your way. Ready for some yummy gut heroes? Let's go!

5 of the Best Foods for Gut Health | Health News

  • Kimchi

  • Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. It offers a delicious way to boost your gut health . This fermented vegetable dish is packed with beneficial probiotic bacteria, vitamins, and fiber. 

    Baechu Kimchi

    Kimchi is generally enjoyed as a vibrant side dish alongside meats, salads, or even eggs. It's so beloved in Korea that it holds a similar place at the table as saying "cheese" for a photo in Western cultures.

  • Yogurt

  • Yogurt is a fantastic source of "friendly bacteria," also called probiotics, which can benefit your gut health. Opt for sugar-free, full-fat varieties and personalize your breakfast with fresh fruit for a nutritious start to your day.

    Raw Milk Yogurt

    Yogurt drinks can be packed with even higher levels of gut-friendly bacteria compared to regular yogurt. However, be mindful of their sugar content, as they can sometimes be quite sweet.

  • Miso

  • Miso is a staple in Japanese cuisine. It consists of fermented soybean paste often combined with barley or rice. This flavorful paste offers a range of gut-friendly benefits, potentially containing helpful bacteria and enzymes.

    This savory paste shines in dips, dressings, and soups. It even works wonders as a marinade for salmon or tofu, making it a versatile addition to your meals. Additionally, miso is a great option for those following a dairy-free diet.

    Miso Soup

    While research on the exact impact of miso's bacteria reaching the gut is still ongoing. Interestingly, populations in regions where miso is a dietary staple demonstrate better overall gut health and lower rates of bowel disease.

  • Sourdough

  • Sourdough bread boasts the presence of gut-friendly lactobacillus bacteria during its fermentation process. However, the high heat used in baking unfortunately destroys these probiotics. So, while sourdough won't directly add beneficial bacteria to your gut like yogurt, it does offer some digestive advantages.

    Homemade Sourdough Bread, Step by Step

    The fermentation process allows bacteria and yeast to predigest some of the starches in the flour. This results in easier digestion for you, and compared to store-bought bread sourdough can have a more stable effect on your blood sugar levels.

  • Bananas

  • A banana is more than just a convenient and delicious snack. It's a natural source of prebiotic fiber, which serves as a food source for the helpful bacteria in your gut. Additionally, bananas offer a good source of essential minerals further contributing to overall health.

    The History Of Bananas - Blog

  • Garlic 

  • Garlic's like a superhero for your gut! It has properties that fight off bad bacteria and keep things balanced inside. Plus, it acts like a fuel source for the good bacteria, helping them work even better. 


    This all adds up to a healthier, happier gut that can even heal itself over time. Just add some garlic to your savory dishes for a flavor boost and a gut boost!

  • Kombucha

  • Sure, water is important for your gut, but what about adding some fizz and flavor?

    Kombucha SCOBY: What Is It And How To Make Your Own | Healthnews

    Kombucha, a fizzy fermented tea, might be your new tasty friend. Originally from Manchuria, it's packed with good bacteria for your gut health. It has a tangy taste, kind of like vinegar, and you can drink it plain, add fruit and spices, or even use it to make fun cocktails!  

  • Sauerkraut

  • Sauerkraut is finely chopped cabbage that has undergone fermentation. Its a process that creates beneficial probiotics, fiber, and vitamins. While most commonly associated with German cuisine, variations of this dish exist throughout Eastern and Central Europe.

    How to make sauerkraut

    Look for sauerkraut that has been naturally fermented rather than pickled in vinegar for full probiotic benefits. It pairs wonderfully with sausages and can be a cost-effective and easy addition to your diet. And the best part is, it can even be homemade!

  • Ginger

  • Fresh ginger acts as a double agent for gut health. It can stimulate the production of stomach acid, aiding in digestion, and it helps keep food moving through the gut by promoting motility.  Incorporate fresh ginger into your diet by adding grated ginger to soups, stews, smoothies, or stir-fries. You can also create a soothing ginger tea by pouring boiling water over grated ginger and letting it steep.

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  • Brussels sprouts

  • Brussels sprouts are more than just a colorful holiday side dish. They're a valuable source of prebiotics. And contains a type of fiber that nourishes beneficial gut bacteria. Additionally, these little green wonders boast sulfur compounds that can help combat unhealthy bacteria like Helicobacter pylori. 

    How to cook brussels sprouts

    Enjoy them stir-fried with garlic and bacon for a flavorful and functional addition to your meals!

  • Olive oil

  • The friendly bacteria and microbes in your gut thrive on a diet rich in fatty acids and polyphenols. Both of which are abundant in olive oil. Research suggests that olive oil can help reduce inflammation within the gut.

    6 Proven Olive Oil Benefits - Natural Remedies Using Olive Oil

    Incorporate olive oil into your meals by using it as a salad dressing or drizzling it over cooked vegetables.  Some studies have even shown it to be beneficial in easing indigestion and potentially reducing the workload on your pancreas by requiring it to produce fewer digestive enzymes.

  • Tempeh

  • Tempeh is a fermented food made from soybeans. Which offers a unique and nutritious option for vegetarians and vegans alike. Unlike tofu, which is simply curdled soy milk, tempeh undergoes a fermentation process that introduces beneficial probiotics into the final product. This fermentation also enhances its nutritional profile, making it a good source of protein, vitamin B, calcium, manganese, zinc, and copper.

    How to Make Tempeh - Easy Method

    Tempeh's versatility shines in its preparation methods. As it can be grilled, sautéed, or baked. To add a flavorful twist, try marinating tempeh before grilling and incorporating it into a refreshing salad.

  • Kefir

  • Kefir is a delicious yogurt drink made by fermenting milk. This process creates a rich source of probiotics, the "good bacteria" that contribute to a healthy gut. Probiotics from it may even help reduce symptoms of leaky gut.

    9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kefir

    Kefir's origins trace back to the mountainous regions between Asia and Europe, as well as Russia and Central Asia.

    Beyond its health benefits, kefir has impressive versatility. Enjoy it on its own, add it to smoothies or soups for a probiotic boost, or even use it as a base for salad dressings by mixing it with lemon juice and your favorite seasonings.

  • Peas

  • Just like a garden needs healthy soil to thrive, gut bacteria require fiber to flourish. The more fruits and vegetables you incorporate into your diet, the better! Peas, in particular, are a wonderful source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps maintain a balanced gut environment.

    Peas Are the New Power Food

    Incorporate peas into your meals in various ways. They can add a delightful pop of color and a boost of nutrients to stir-fries, soups, or refreshing salads.

    Eat a colorful variety of fruits, veggies, and fiber-rich foods for a healthy gut. Aim for 3 regular meals daily with proper portion control

    Understanding Probiotics and Prebiotics

    Your gut's a complex world! Let's look at what probiotics & prebiotics are for a happy belly

  • Probiotics:

  • Have you noticed yogurts or yogurt drinks labeled as containing probiotics on your grocery shelves? These products boast live cultures and yeasts, often described as "good" or "healthy" gut bacteria. Essentially, probiotics are believed to increase the quantity and diversity of beneficial bacteria within the colon, potentially promoting digestive and overall health.

    Fermented vegetables like kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) and sauerkraut, along with miso and kefir (a fermented milk drink), are naturally rich sources of probiotics and have become popular gut-healthy foods in recent years.

  • Prebiotics:

  • Prebiotics offer a different approach. These non-digestible foods act as a food source, stimulating the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. In simpler terms, they provide the fuel that probiotics need to thrive.

    Examples of prebiotics include artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, legumes, honey, oats, and lentils. Additionally, prebiotics can be manufactured and used as supplements to enhance gut health.

    Foods That May Disrupt Your Gut Health

    While a balanced diet is key for overall health, certain foods may negatively impact the trillions of bacteria residing in your gut, known as the gut microbiome. Here, we explore some potential disruptors:

    • Artificial Sweeteners: Though calorie-free, these sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose) may alter gut bacterial composition, according to research. While the health effects are unclear, it's best to limit processed foods containing them.  Consider replacing diet sodas with gut-friendly kombucha for a refreshing alternative.
    • Red Meat: Studies suggest L-carnitine, found in red meat, interacts with gut bacteria to produce TMAO, a compound linked to artery plaque buildup.  Moderate red meat consumption is recommended, with emphasis on fatty/white fish, chicken, or plant-based proteins.
    • Processed and Refined Foods: While complete restriction isn't necessary, limiting highly processed foods loaded with additives and salt benefits both you and your gut microbiome. Processed foods often lack diversity and fiber, key for a thriving gut environment. Opt for a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for optimal gut health.
    • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption is known to disrupt the gut microbiome. Research on moderate intake is inconclusive, but suggests it may have a positive influence on both gut bacteria and cardiovascular health. Moderation is key, with one drink per day for females and two for males recommended.



    To sum it all up, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds to nourish your gut bacteria. Also, consider fermented foods like yogurt and kombucha, which contain probiotics.

    If these foods are new to your diet, introduce them gradually to avoid bloating and gas. Start with small amounts and slowly increase them over a week, based on how you feel. Remember, moderation is key. Limit processed foods, added sugars, salt, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol to promote a healthy gut environment and reduce the risk of chronic diseases and common gastric problems.

    So, take charge of your gut health, one delicious bite at a time!


    What Foods Heal Your Gut?

    Feed your gut foods like Garlic, onions, beans, and bananas. They are like tasty fertilizer that helps good gut bacteria to grow strong. Plus, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha have live bacteria that give your gut an extra boost to its health!

    How Can I Fix My Gut Naturally?

    Your gut thrives on a healthy routine! Eat fiber-rich foods, exercise regularly, limit alcohol, manage stress, and consider probiotics with your doctor. Simple steps for a happy gut!

    What Drink Is Best For Gut Health?

    For a healthy gut, stay hydrated! Warm water might even boost gut bacteria. Sip on herbal teas like peppermint, turmeric, ginger, or fennel for their anti-inflammatory and digestive-soothing properties.

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