Unhealthy food processing, preparation and ingredients can wreak havoc to your gut. Having a healthy digestive system is important because it’s the one that processes everything you eat to nourish your mind and body.

If you want to keep your gut in tip-top shape, it’s of utmost importance for you to keep a close eye on everything that you put in your mouth. Naturally, you have to restrict or even eliminate anything that’s not supposed to be flushed down the GI tract — junk served at fast food joints, processed foods, etc. The following are some of the things you should regularly include in your diet if you want to have a winning gut:

Whole Grains

Experts say that you need 20 to 30 grams of fiber everyday. However, today’s diet typically supplies just a little over 10 grams of fiber. Luckily, this can be solved simply by adding more whole grains like oats, wild rice, corn, quinoa, triticale, bulgur and whole-wheat bread to your diet. All of them are packed with fiber that cleans the gut, wards off constipation, lowers cholesterol and helps keeps at bay colon cancer. Whole grains are also perfect for weight-watchers.

Yogurt

There are trillions of bacteria residing in your gut that lend a helping hand in digesting the food you eat. It’s a good idea to keep the number of these friendly microbes optimal, and a great way to do that is by eating yogurt. When shopping, opt for something plain to dodge excessive amounts of sugar. You should also check that the label says “live and active cultures” because not all yogurts at your favorite supermarket contain loads of good bacteria.

Kimchi

A highly popular fermented Korean dish, kimchi is another wonderful source of bacteria that are good for the gut. Cabbage, the main ingredient used, is a cruciferous vegetable. It contains sulfur that helps detoxify the GI tract. Kimchi is also a wonderful source of fiber, something that promotes normal movement of the bowels and keeps constipation at bay.

Bananas

Cheap and available all year-round at your favorite grocery store and farmers’ market, bananas are some of the most accessible foods that are good for the gut. Aside from being loaded with fiber that aids digestion, these yellow tropical fruits also supply your body with potassium and electrolytes. Bananas help provide instant relief from acid reflux too. Especially if you have diarrhea, it’s a good idea to go bananas over bananas.

Artichokes

Because they are classified as cruciferous vegetables, artichokes help detoxify your gut due to their sulfur content. These deep-green beauties are also loaded fiber that sweeps out impurities along the gut and prevents constipation. Here’s another reason why artichokes are good for you: they contain prebiotics that feed and nourish good bacteria in your gut.

Lean Meat

Protein is necessary for a lot of things — muscle building and repair, healthy skin and hair, normal balance of hormones, etc. The best sources of this very important nutrient are meat products. However, high-fat red meats are associated with increased risk of colon cancer. Your best bet is to opt for lean meat cuts that contain fewer amounts of saturated fats.

Miso Soup

Because it’s out of fermented soybeans, the consumption of miso soup helps replenish friendly microbes in your gut. It also contains cancer-fighting isoflavones, helping to considerably reduce your risk of colon, lung, prostate and breast cancer. Miso soup is also packed with protein, making it great for people who like to steer clear of animal sources of protein.

Bone Broth

Another gut-friendly food around is bone broth because it contains gelatin that soothes and heals the gut, thus improving digestion. Experts say that bone broth also helps deal with infection and reduces inflammation which is associated with a lot of health problems such as fatigue, obesity, diabetes, cancer and even heart disease. Regular intake of bone broth helps supply your body with minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium.

Dark Chocolate

If you have a sweet tooth, rejoice! That’s because experts say that eating dark chocolate in moderation is actually good for the gut. It turns out that this luxurious treat feeds all those good bacteria in your gut. Some of these bacteria, upon feasting on dark chocolate, even produce compounds that help reduce inflammation as well as heart disease risk.

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