Foods Good for Gut Health

Dairy Alternatives That Are Good for Your Gut

Diet has a dominant influence on the composition and metabolic capacity of the 38 trillion microbes that form our gut microflora.  Scientists have proven a diet that consist of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts encourages a diverse gut microflora.

 

Prebiotics from soybeans, wheat, onions, garlic, leeks , asparagus, provide fibre from undigested plant cell walls that will reach the microbiome in the lower digestive tract.  Consuming more probiotics from fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, tempeh, kefir will increase the abundance of healthy gut bacteria, thereby improving gut health.  Whilst antibiotic use can drastically alter the composition and diversity of the gut microflora, leading to a short-term decline in beneficial bacteria.

Importantly, avoiding sugary foods, fried foods, saturated fats and alcohol (except for moderate consumption of red wine) will help prevent serious problems not only to our body, but prevent issues caused by imbalances to the gut microflora.

Diet also has a profound influence on immune development and immune responses.  Research has shown that eating or drinking too much sugar curbs the ability of immune cells to attack pathogens. This effect can last at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.  Whereas the protective effects of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, that are packed with vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc, will reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.  Going for a wide variety of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, raw red capsicum, cooked sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots, and dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, will influence immune function. Fresh garlic is good for the immune system and is the same for some mushroom varieties such as shiitake.

 

While no single food can upgrade the immune system, what matters is having a balanced diet  will nourish the immune cells and keep the immune system well-functioning.