15 foods that are good for your gut as experts share important healthy lifestyle tips

Our gut has been described by experts as being the body’s second brain – and an unhealthy one can cause problems for the rest of our bodies.

There have been links made between our gut health and problems with our mental health, skin and immune system.

There are a number of food items that we can eat to ensure that our gut is in tip-top shape.

Healthcare company Benenden Health has listed 15 foods that are crucial in keeping our guts at the healthiest they can be.

This includes a number of items that many of us consume every day, such as bananas, peas and olive oil.

Here is everything you need to know.


Experts say that yogurts are an excellent source of the friendly bacteria known as probiotics.

Scots should seek out the sugar-free, full-fat versions and add some of their own fruit for a delicious breakfast.

Yoghurt drinks are said to contain high numbers of bacteria that are good for the gut – much higher than you would find if your run of the mill yoghurt.

Benenden Health has urged people to be mindful as they often have a high sugar content.


Kefir is made by fermenting milk and is full of probiotics which are good for the gut.

The yoghurt drink, which originated in the mountainous region between Asia and Europe, as well as Russia and Central Asia, makes a great addition to smoothies or soups.

You can also use Kefir as a base for salad dressing (adding lemon juice and seasoning)

Kefir is full of probiotics


Miso is made up using fermented soya beans, barley and rice – while containing a range of helpful bacteria and enzymes.

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It is a savory paste which is used in dips, dressings and soup. It can also be used as a marinade for salmon or tofu.

The ingredient is a staple of Japanese cooking and is suitable for those keen to avoid dairy.

This is some uncertainty within the research the bacteria effectively reaches the gut, but in regions where miso is a staple food source, the population have better gut health and less bowel disease.


Sauerkraut, which is a fermented cabbage dish, is a great source of probiotics, fiber and vitamins.

Scots have been urged to pick a product that has not been pickled in vinegar as it does not have the same health benefits.

The German dish, with versions that exist in central and eastern Europe, is delicious with sausages and be easy and cheap to make at home.


This fermented vegetable dish from Korea brings the benefits of probiotic bacteria along with vitamins and fiber.

Benenden Health recommends using it as a side dish with meat, salad or eggs.

The dish is so popular in Korea that the local population say “kimchi” in the same way that we say “cheese” when they have their photos taken.


A very fashionable food item at the moment, and there is a good reason for that.

It is made by fermenting dough and is more digestible than regular bread while releasing energy slowly.

Sourdough is delicious when toasted.

Sourdough is good for the gut

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Almonds have plenty of good probiotic properties, which mean that they are a treat for your gut – while being high in fiber and fully of fatty acids and polyphenols.

A handful of almonds makes for a nice snack when you’re feeling pecky.

olive oil

Gut bacteria and microbes, like a diet of fatty acids polyphenols, are found in olive oil.

Studies have shown that olive oil helps to reduce gut inflammation and it can be used as a salad dressing or drizzled over cooked vegetables.

Studies have also shown that olive oil is beneficial in easing indigestion problems and can benefit your pancreas through lowering its requirement to produce digestive enzymes.


Another fermented food item, Kombucha is full of probiotic good bacteria.

The fermented tea drink has a sharp, vinegary taste and can be used a refreshing drink on its own or mixed with fruit and spice.

It can also make the base for great cocktails.


Gut bacteria requires fiber to flourish, so the more fruit and vegetables you consume the better.

Peas are fully of soluble and insoluble fiber to keep your system in balance.

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The veg can be added to stir-fries, soups or salads.

brussels sprouts

While they are a staple for Christmas dinner, Brussels sprouts contain they kinds of fiber that good bacteria like and sulfur compounds which help combat unhealthy bacteria such as H pylori.

Stir-fry with garlic and bacon for a delicious side dish.


Benenden Health described bananas as “one of nature’s handiest and healthiest snacks” as they are full of the kind of fiber that good bacteria enjoys.

They also contain healthy minerals.

roquefort cheese

While the smell can put many off this runny French cheese, it can give your gut bacteria a boost – but people should eat it in moderation.

While it cannot be ensured that all of the bacteria survive digestion to be beneficial, it is believed that other properties help reserve some bacteria during digestion.

You should consider adding it to salads or spread on sourdough.

Garlic can keep bad gut bacteria under control


Garlic’s antibacterial and anti fungal properties can help keep bad gut bacteria under control and help balance yeast in the gut.

The properties within garlic allow bacteria to do their job better, which will improve gut function overall.

It can be used as a flavoring for savory dishes.


Fresh ginger can help in the production of stomach acid and stimulates the digestive system to keep food moving through the gut.

Ginger can be added to soups, stews, smoothies or stir fries.

Boiling water can also be added to grated ginger to make a refreshing ginger tea.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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