Staying healthy is about more than just exercise. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet—the food you eat matters! Your health greatly centers around what you nourish your body with, especially your gut health, which ultimately controls the majority of your overall health. Luckily, there are a few amazing foods for gut health that will make a huge difference!
Let’s talk through why gut health matters, the five best foods for gut health you should start eating, and what foods you should avoid in focusing on your gut health!
Why Does Gut Health Matter?
When the lining of your small intestine experiences damage, your gut doesn’t completely digest or absorb nutrients. Even worse, those undigested nutrients, toxins, bacteria, and other gut waste starts to leak out of your intestines and enter your bloodstream. Yuck! These foreign substances entering the blood trigger an autoimmune response, which can show up as inflammatory or allergic reactions like respiratory issues, digestive issues, joint pain, headaches, brain fog, or even skin conditions.
Damage to your gut health also impacts your liver. It has to work harder than ever to filter all of that gunk out of your bloodstream! This extra work for your liver can cause fatty liver tissue to accumulate, which can lead to liver dysfunction—creating more problems for you down the line.
Besides a just overall feeling great, your gut health has 3 huge benefits on your overall health :
- Helps with weight loss
- Improves heart health
- Boosts your immune system
Best 5 Foods for Gut Health
No matter how healthy or compromised your gut currently is, it can always be improved! So let’s discuss how you can improve your gut health? These 5 foods for gut health make a huge difference in removing inflammation and promoting healing! Add these to your routine to improve your overall health and gut health.
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth might sound a little out of your comfort zone, but trust me: it has amazing health benefits, and with the right herbs, it’s actually delicious! Buying bone broth at the store is quick and easy in a pinch, but it’s so much better if you make it yourself. If you didn’t love your store-bought bone broth experience, try out my favorite bone broth recipe—you’ll love it!
Bone broth is chock-full of nutrients and amino acids to help your gut break down and digest food. It also has collagen, which helps to build a protective layer around your intestines to prevent that “leaky gut.” Beyond gut health itself, bone broth also soothes and benefits your stomach lining, relieves inflammation, and helps promote new healthy intestinal cells. Amazing, right?
If you’re curious, bone broth also protects and heals your joint tissue, has anti-aging benefits, and boosts your sleep! It’s an amazing food with so many nourishing health benefits.
2. Raw Cultured Dairy
Raw cultured dairy is full of nutrients that overpower the bad bacteria in your gut like candida. You can get raw dairy from probiotic-rich foods like kefir, yogurt, and amasai. But what even is raw dairy?
The dairy products you see on store shelves aren’t raw, and regular dairy is very inflammatory to the gut; it is pasteurized, which is a safety process for commercially-produced dairy. However, pasteurization kills so many of the valuable probiotics and vitamins found in raw dairy! Instead of animals injected with antibiotics and kept in inhumane commercial farming conditions, raw milk is sourced from grass-fed cows who are given ample room to roam—raw milk is bursting with probiotics and healthy cultures for your gut.  You can also get raw cheese (score!) as a much healthier alternative to regular cheese. Raw cheeses are probiotic powerhouses, much more digestible, and actually have better flavor, too.
It’s important to note that for your gut health, raw dairy is what’s beneficial—regular dairy should be eliminated when you’re doing a gut-healing diet!
3. Fermented Vegetables
Do you know what fermentation is? It’s a process where bacteria and yeast break down sugars in food.  It helps enhance the preservation of foods, but beyond that, fermentation increases the number of probiotics (good bacteria!) found in your food, as well as reduces the sugars. This helps boost your overall gut health!
Some fermented vegetables to try adding to your diet include coconut kefir, kvass, sauerkraut, and kimchi. These probiotic-rich fermented veggies will help repair a leaky gut, balance the pH in your digestive system, and boost the good bacteria found in your gut’s microbiome.
4. Steamed Vegetables
One major benefit of eating steamed vegetables is how they’re easy on your digestive system. Steamed veggies help improve your gut health because steaming them breaks down hard-to-digest fibers, saving your gut extra work! This helps prevent digestive issues and tears in your gut, so steamed veggies are essential in a leaky gut or gut-healing diet. Plus, they’re yummy and easy to make!
5. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are actually so important to your gut health! You might not expect to see the word “fats” on a list of the best foods for gut health, but healthy fats are essential to so many processes in your body, including balancing your hormones. Healthy fats can be found in foods like egg yolks, salmon, avocados, ghee, and coconut oil. These are all easy on your gut and digestive system, plus they promote gut healing!
Worst Foods for Gut Health: What to Avoid!
Now that we’ve talked about the best foods for gut health let’s talk about what you absolutely shouldn’t be eating in the period where you’re trying to heal your gut and improve your gut health.
The following foods can cause a “leaky gut” by triggering inflammation:
- Pasteurized Dairy
- Sugar (which also ages you!)
- Unsprouted Grains
- Genetically Modified Organism foods (GMO)
- Drugs (especially unnecessary antibiotics)
Avoiding these will help you boost your gut health and improve your health overall!
Are you ready to take on the challenge of improving your gut health? I’ve got an amazing resource for you! I’ve created such a valuable gut health recipe eBook, and guess what? I’m giving the top staple recipes to you for FREE. This eBook includes my favorite recipes to support your gut health, and it highlights many of the best foods for gut health found in this post!
Taking care of your gut health is so important to support your overall wellness. Have you tried any of the probiotic-rich foods on this list? You’ll love the way they make you feel, and how easy they are to add to your diet!
 Herr, L.S. 3 Surprising reasons your gut health matters. (2020). EatingWell. Retrieved August 4, 2020, from http://www.eatingwell.com/article/288067/3-surprising-reasons-your-gut-health-matters/
 Wilson, E. Why raw and fermented dairy is best. (4 December 2014). Wise Choice Market. Retrieved August 4, 2020, from https://www.wisechoicemarket.com/blog/why-raw-and-fermented-dairy-is-best/
 Link, R. 8 Fermented foods to boost digestion and health. (18 October 2017). Healthline. Retrieved August 4, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-fermented-foods