Graphic of a healthy gut with cartoons|Picture of a healthy gut in cartoon form|Preserving. Pickles jars. Jars with pickles, pumpkin dip, white cabbage, roasted red yellow pepper. Pickled Vegetables. Vegetable being prepared for preserving. Toned image.


A healthy gut has been linked to the prevention of diseases, weight loss, proper digestion and even a happier mindset. So it's fairly safe to say that your gut health is crucial to your overall wellbeing.

When you have complete control of your gut, you are essentially:

  • Supporting your immune system
  • Aiding digestion of your food
  • Supporting mental clarity
  • Promoting nutrient absorption
  • Balancing your hormones
  • Normalising glucose levels
  • Regulating inflammation
  • Warding off pathogens and disease-causing microbes
  • Maintaining regulation of immunity which helps avoid coughs, colds and infections
We all know what it's like to only feel 'half there' because we've got a bloated stomach or a jabbing pain. What some people overlook is the fact that you don't need to be keeling over to one side. You CAN control how you feel (to an extent) when it comes to digestive problems and achy stomachs. What you choose to put in your mouth can truly dictate how you feel mentally and physically. Certain foods or things you do can trigger you gut and wreak havoc in your stomach. The same goes for gut-approved foods and supplements, these can balance your gut flora and improve your immunity.

Before getting into the preventative foods and best way to battle a poorly gut, here are a few things to be mindful of:

  • Sugar, along with highly processed food and refined carbohydrates are a breeding ground for bad bacteria. These foods promote build up of bad bacteria and can cause gassiness, bloating and pain. Bad bacteria thrives in a sugary environment, so be wary of how much you're consuming. It is recommended that you stick below the 90gram mark per Australian guidelines.
  • You've heard 'watch what you eat', but have you heard 'what how you chew'? Many people believe that your body begins to digest food once it hits the stomach. In fact, digestion actually begins before the food has even touched your lips! Simply smelling food will initiate saliva and the whole breakdown process. Chew with intent and chew at a 'leisurely' pace. This gives your body time to send vital signals down below and prepare your stomach lining for digestion.
  • When taking prescribed medication or antibiotics, remember that your body is even more susceptible to a loss of good bacteria. While it's killing off the bad, antibiotics are also killing off the good bacteria since it cannot differentiate between the two. So while on the mend and taking the meds, make an effort to consume gut-healthy foods and suitable supplements.
  • Nobody likes feeling stressed. Well neither does your gut - acute or chronic stress directly impacts the healthy bacteria in your gut and can create a lasting negative effect on your immune system.
So how do you eat your way to a healthy, happy gut?


1. Fermented food.

Fermenting food causes the sugars (like glucose and sucrose) in the food to convert into lactic acid. This acid is what makes food easier to digest and therefore wards off unhappy gut. It also promotes healthy flora in your intestine.Fermented food ranges anywhere from yoghurt with live cultures to sauerkraut to miso paste.
Other fermented foods that will provide your gut some lovin' too include; kafir, sauerkraut, tempeh, tamari, kimchi and kombucha.
Preserving. Pickles jars. Jars with pickles, pumpkin dip, white cabbage, roasted red yellow pepper. Pickled Vegetables. Vegetable being prepared for preserving. Toned image.

Preserving. Pickles jars. Jars with pickles, pumpkin dip, white cabbage, roasted red yellow pepper. Pickled Vegetables. Vegetable being prepared for preserving. Toned image.

2. Fibrous food. 

Plant-based foods legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are all foods densely rich in fibre. Fibre is crucial to maintaining balanced gut flora.
Keeping these ingredients high up on the shopping list will ward off imbalances in your gut. Without them, your stomach is a breeding ground for bad bacteria.

3. Anti-inflammatory food.

A common side effect of an unhealthy good is an inflamed stomach lining. This can happen when not enough anti-inflammatory foods are being consumed.
Down the track, this can leave your stomach with little to no lactic acid, enzymes or mucus to work with.
An inflamed stomach can lead to gastritis, stomach bleeding and ulcers. You can counteract the onset of these symptoms with foods high in fibre, flavonoids, antioxidants and B minerals. High fibre foods include fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Flavonoid-full foods include apples, cranberries, celery, onion and garlic, For antioxidant-rich foods, go for foods like cherries, berries, tomatoes and capsicum,


4. Prebiotics.

Prebiotic foods are rich in soluble fiber aka fibre undigestible by the body. These foods feed good bacteria in your gut like fertiliser.
Sweet potato, raw onions, garlic, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and avocado are some of the best ones to add to your diet. You can also get your dose of prebiotics in the form of supplements like psyllium, pectin, guar gum and slippery elm.


5. Probiotics.

Foods that contain probiotics include yoghurt, miso, sauerkraut, kefir, natto, tempeh and kimchi.
You can also take a probiotic supplement in the form of capsules or powder which come incredibly handy before and during travelling overseas.
To maintain gut health, small amounts of probiotic foods or supplements should be consumed weekly.

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