Having a healthy gut microbiome is becoming an integral aspect of good health. Article and guru alike, tout the benefits of probiotics, and every health food shop has a variety to choose from- from the store brand to $50 refrigerated options.
Given the research that is coming out on gut health, the fervor is justified. A healthy gut microbiome has been linked to digestion, mood, and hormone regulation, just to name a few. If you’re feeling bummed, however, that you can’t afford the high quality probiotics, don’t worry. There are other, less expensive ways to improve your gut health.
Diversify Your Diet
This is the easiest and most fun way to improve your gut health.The logic behind this is that having a diet rich in diversity leads to a diverse microbiota. That, in turn, will lead to a myriad of health benefits.
When looking to diversify your diet, make sure to add new, whole foods. Try new recipes and incorporate more fruits and veggies.
Eat Fermented Foods
While you’re at the grocery store picking up that that dragon fruit, make sure to pick up some kimchi. Fermented foods are full of good bacteria. Kimchi is a great source of good bacteria, but if spicy isn’t your thing, you can also go for the sauerkraut. Putting it on a hot dog, though, won’t make that a healthy meal.
Kombucha, which is a fermented tea, is another great option. They come in a variety of fruity flavors, but make sure to read the label. Some brands can fill them up with added sugar. Similarly, kefir is a fermented yogurt drink that provides a wider abundance of good bacteria than your average yogurt. However, I would provide the same warning here as with the kombucha- check the label for sugar content.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar substitutes can seem like they were heaven-sent. They’re typically lower in calories and allow you to eat and drink some of your favorite foods without the “guilt”. However, studies have shown that the consumption of aspartame, specifically, has been linked to obesity and metabolic disease because of its altering effects on the gut microbiome.
Stick more natural foods and drinks, and make sure to read the ingredients before buying a food item.
Personally, I’m a kimchi lover, so it’s a staple in my fridge . What’s your favorite way to take care of your gut health?