Your intestine harbors trillions of bacteria, which collectively form your gut flora. Some of the bacteria are friendly, while some can result in infections when they multiply out of control. Maintaining the right balance of these bacteria is vital for overall health and immunity. These bacteria help your body digest food and fight harmful microbes. The food that we eat significantly affects the bacteria that live inside us. Certain foods feed good bacteria and increase the number of helpful bacteria in the gut. And unhealthful foods damage the gut bacteria, resulting in digestive problems like constipation, gas, and diarrhea.
Some foods rich in fibers or those containing live bacteria (probiotics or prebiotic foods) act as a catalyst for our digestive system. The following foods can improve the gut flora and keep your gut healthy and away from ailments:
Broccoli is a powerhouse of iron, fiber, and other essential minerals and nutrients, which helps in proper digestion. It is also rich in antioxidants, thus reducing inflammation in the colon and relieving symptoms of digestive problems. Broccoli and other similar vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, asparagus, etc., also contain prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates that stimulate the growth and activity of bacteria in the gut. Make it a point to include this fiber and antioxidant-rich green vegetable in your diet to maintain your gut health.
Yogurt and other fermented food items contain live bacteria (probiotic bacteria). These bacteria convert the sugars in food into alcohol or organic acids. By consuming fermented foods like yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, you add good bacteria and enzymes to the gut flora, enhancing the immune system and digestion. Include these probiotic foods in your diet to keep your stomach happy and healthy. Some products containing yogurt can also reduce the number of disease-causing bacteria in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. But remember to consume plain and natural yogurt and not flavored and sweetened yogurts.
Berries are great to snack on, as they are low in calories and rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Eating berries slows down the food movement in the digestive tract, making you feel full for a long time and provides necessary nutrients. Its fat-soluble fiber content is great for your gut. Incorporate these tiny fruits in a balanced diet for a healthy body and digestive tract.
4) Whole Grains
Brown rice, millet, barley, oatmeal, etc., are best for your digestive tract. Consuming these whole grains when you are suffering from stomach disorders can boost the system and provide the necessary energy. Dietary fibers in whole grains are extremely easy to digest and help lower blood sugar levels.
This herb is enriched with natural probiotics, which are best for digestion and gut health. Garlic also has an insoluble dietary fiber called inulin that feeds good bacteria present in the gut. They help the good bacteria to perform their job better, improving the overall functioning of your stomach.
Due to its high dietary fiber content, flaxseeds are considered prebiotic food. As mentioned before, fibers aid in digestion and keep gut disorders away. Just adding a handful of these seeds in your smoothie or cereal will boost your metabolism, provide energy, and keep your gut happy.