To enhance the health of your stomach, all you need is a well-balanced diet for gut health and enough amount of water to keep yourself hydrated. The gut, which includes the digestive system and its microbial inhabitants, plays a major role in keeping you healthy, so you cannot risk upsetting your stomach.
A balanced diet will promote a diverse and thriving gut microbiome, which, in turn, provides a positive impact on digestion, immunity, and even mental well-being. More than that, gut health is really important for your brain’s cognitive function as any disruption in the stomach can hinder your thinking abilities.
A balanced diet for gut health includes a variety of essential elements like high-fiber foods, probiotic-rich foods, healthy fats, and lean proteins. You have to minimize the consumption of foods containing added sugars and certain processed foods as they might do the exact opposite of keeping your gut healthy.
A Comprehensive Balanced Diet for Gut Health
- Begin with nourishing overnight oats: Rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, topped with probiotic-rich Greek yogurt, and berries.
- Enjoy a handful of nuts like almonds or walnuts, a wholesome source of healthy fats.
- Savor a grilled chicken or tofu salad, featuring a vibrant array of colorful vegetables (leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli), drizzled with light olive oil vinaigrette.
- Complement this with a serving of probiotics from fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi.
- Grab a piece of whole fruit, such as an apple or banana, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
- Nibble on a small handful of mixed seeds like chia and flaxseed, offering extra fiber for gut health.
Evening snack (optional):
- Indulge in a small bowl of Greek yogurt, delicately drizzled with honey and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds for a probiotic boost.
- Delight in baked salmon or opt for plant-based protein (lentils, chickpeas) alongside a side of quinoa or brown rice, a balanced combination rich in nutrients.
- Complete the meal with steamed or roasted vegetables (asparagus, Brussels sprouts, zucchini), lightly drizzled with olive oil.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water, supporting digestion and nutrient transport.
- Consider soothing herbal teas like peppermint or ginger, providing comfort to the gut.
Foods to Avoid for a Better Gut Health
While we have talked about the foods that can be incorporated in the diet for gut health, there are some foods you should stay away from if you want to keep your stomach clean.
Added sugars: As they are harmful to gut balance, limit the intake of candies, sugary snacks, drinks, and cereals.
Artificial sweeteners: Some artificial sweeteners may negatively affect gut bacteria. It’s a good idea to consume them in moderation or opt for natural sweeteners like stevia or honey.
Highly processed foods: Foods that are heavily processed, low in nutrients, and high in unhealthy fats may contribute to gut inflammation. You should reduce the intake of fast food, processed meats, and packaged snacks.
Trans fats: Found in harmful oils, induce inflammation, avoid fried foods, trans fats in ingredients.
Excessive red meat: While lean meats can be part of a healthy diet, too much red meat consumption, especially processed red meats, has been associated with an increased risk of certain gut issues.
Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria and may harm the gut lining.
Artificial additives: Some additives like emulsifiers and preservatives pose gut health concerns so choose whole and natural foods and always read labels.
Additional Things to Keep In Mind
Incorporate high-fiber foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables to support a healthy gut microbiome. Do not forget to include probiotic-rich foods like fermented items like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi to introduce beneficial bacteria to your gut.
As mentioned before, limit the consumption of added sugars and highly processed foods for better gut health and stay mindful of portion sizes and eat slowly to aid digestion. Additionally, manage stress through relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, as stress can impact gut health.