Consuming superfoods can miraculously improve your overall health and fitness. In particular, they can also help with gut health and particularly the leaky gut syndrome.
Superfoods, as the name suggests are foods that contain immense nutritional value, particularly nourishing to the body. When consumed, they not only provide the body with much-needed nutrition, but also have healing properties, that can help heal and protect the gut and ease the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
These foods are often plant-based, but a few types of fish and dairy are also included in this category including:
- almonds (& other nuts)
- hemp hearts
- flax seeds
- whole real butter
- probiotic yogurts
improving Gut health with superfoods
The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms, including good bacteria that maintain a symbiotic relationship with your digestive system and are essential for your digestion and overall health.
It is these bacteria that break down foods into simpler form for efficient absorption by the body.
As much as 95% of serotonin, which is widely known as the “happiness hormone,” is produced in the gut, according to the American Psychological Association.
“Gut bacteria also produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood. For example, gut bacteria manufacture about 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin, which influences both mood and GI activity.”
The efficiency of your body’s creation and use of hormones, brain function, immune system, and all other systems in your body are largely influenced by what exists in your gut- which is why it is so important to proactively care for it.
List of Superfoods for gut health
These superfoods come to the rescue if you wish to improve the nourish your gut. (You can also use supplements such as this one if you experience challenges getting enough of these foods included in your diet.) This list in particular, includes foods that are full of antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, complex carbs, probiotics, prebiotics, and much-needed fiber.
This flavorful bulb plant contains plenty of fiber and antispasmodic agent that relaxes the GI tract and bowel muscles, relieving constipation.
This dairy product is loaded with probiotics that contribute to the gut microflora. It also helps with inflammation along the GI tract, prevents gas, bloating and cramping.
This fermented tea has a number of health benefits. It’s full of probiotics that specifically help with digestion. It has also been shown to heal stomach ulcers and other digestive system health issues.
This delicious tropical fruit contains an enzyme known as Papain, which efficiently digests proteins. It has been shown to improve symptoms of IBS, constipation and bloating. It is also a quick-fix solution for heartburn and is far healthier than antacids (which ultimately make heartburn worse.) You can find papaya tablets on Amazon, here.
A great source of fiber, beets are a surprisingly diverse superfood. They can be added to salads, baked goods and smoothies.
Fermented soybeans with salt and a fungus known as koji, Miso is known to balance the digestive system’s microbiome, tipping the scale slightly towards the healthier bacteria.
This is a superfood amongst superfoods. Ginger offers countless health benefits. It has a large impact on inflammation, particularly for leaky gut. It also improves digestion. It is also used to treat nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness. Ginger accelerates the emptying of the gastric system, also helping to relieve symptoms of reflux disease.
Green leafy vegetables are all the hype these days. They provide very few calories but 2 grams
of protein per chopped cup. They are also loaded with Vitamin A, of which they provide 200% of
the daily value, plus they supply us 700% of daily Vitamin K. They are good sources of calcium,
manganese, and iron as well.
These small black seeds are an excellent source of fiber. Their fiber content plays a huge role in
improving bowel movements and lowers the risk of constipation.
They also are considered necessary for vegetarians who are struggling to hit their daily protein
A great source of probiotics, tempeh is actually fermented soybean. When it comes to
specifically gut health, it is the perfect superfood for that. And like chia seeds, this food is also a
significant addition to the diet of vegans as it helps them incorporate a substantial amount of
protein into their diet.
Oats are very filling, versatile in use, and a source of beta-glucan, the prebiotic dietary fiber that
is fermented by the bacteria in your gut. Being a form of soluble fiber, they dissolve in water and
form a thick gel-like consistency that passes quite slowly through your body, keeping you
satiated for longer periods of time.
Kefir & Yogurt
Yogurt is a fermented superfood that is rich in probiotics or live culture that promotes the friendly bacteria that live inside your digestive tract. They are high in protein, calcium, and vitamins thus simultaneously offering you protection and strength for bones and teeth. Greek yogurt is a trend among fitness influencers as they are low fat and a great addition to a weight loss diet.
These superfoods are indeed beneficial for your gut health, while also providing various micronutrients that are essential for a healthy diet.
References and Sources:
- The American Psychological Association (APA.org.) Article: That Gut Feeling.
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Article: Food Components and Dietary Habits: Keys for a Healthy Gut Microbiota Composition here.
- Pubmed.gov: Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber.
- HealthCanal.com: Analyzing gut bacteria more accurately here.