By now, most people know that yoghurt and fermented foods, such as kimchi, are good for their health. However, while these options make the headlines, there are so many others out there, it will make your head spin. What’s more, they all have specific effects. They’re not all the same.
Let’s take a look at them now.
Why are onions so great for your gut health, for example? Well, even though not everyone is a fan, it turns out that onions are wonderful food for the creatures living in your stomach. They are a source of prebiotics – digestible fiber that the gut can use to multiple and bulk out your stools. In short, onions are a great way to help you go to the bathroom more often, plus they add depth and nuance to your dishes.
Flax is another superfood that tends to get overlooked. Many people credit flax with being the fountain of youth, thanks to its ultra-high lignan content and ALA fatty acids.
Flax, though, is quite unique among seeds. It contains a mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber, believed to protect against colon cancer. When these fibers reach the colon, they encourage the growth of good bacteria which then create beneficial compounds that protect the gut lining.
Don’t know how to get flax into your diet? Just sprinkle it on your porridge.
Honey was once believed to be just sugar. But now researchers are changing their minds. It turns out that honey’s properties are more nuanced than many believe. As
Local Hive Honey, a honey distributor, points out, it’s a natural food. It also contains powerful antibacterial agents that prevent it from breaking down. When we consume these, they selectively target the harmful bacteria in our guts while leaving the ones that we want alone.
Oat bran is another food with famous gut health-promoting benefits. What’s more, it’s the sort of thing that you can combine in multiple recipes. Practically all healthy oat desserts, for instance, call for this ingredient.
Oat bran isn’t a full food by itself. However, it can be a wonderful addition to fruit and yoghurt, or cereal. As with all healthy eating strategies, just find what works best for you.
Chicory is well known as a coffee substitute. It’s ultra-high in a compound called inulin, which is a type of fiber. This substance bulks up in your gut and provides food for the critters down there to eat. It’s also high in beneficial polyphenols – plant compounds that protect your body. Overall, it improves gut health considerably. However, you mustn’t eat too much of it. You could cause intestinal obstruction.
Asparagus is a wonderful stem vegetable – one of the only examples of its kind besides celery and rhubarb. But not only is it high in nutrients, it is also packed with a prebiotic fibre that you commonly find in lean people. In other words, it helps you colonise your gut with a microbiome that will keep you at a healthy weight.