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Spring Cleaning – Food That’s Good for Your Gut

Spring is often a time to reset, out with the old in with the new, and your body should be included in this. People often overlook the importance of gut health. A balanced gut microbiome is essential for optimal digestion, absorption of nutrients, and elimination. It also helps inflammatory responses and promotes a strong immune system. Our bodies need energy and the ability to repair and build cells. A healthy gut is what allows this to happen.

Three Keys to Gut Health-

  1. Fiber- helps to regulate the speed at which food moves through your gut, making it a crucial factor when it comes to staying regular.
  2. Probiotics- are beneficial microorganisms that are created through fermentation. Think of them as “good” bacteria that combat infection-causing microbes.
  3. Prebiotics- are plant fibers that you can't digest but that serve as food for healthy bacteria in the gut.

How to Achieve A Healthy Gut-

You need to incorporate foods into your diet that can repair and strengthen your gut lining. Loading up on sources of fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics will help increase your amounts of good bacteria.

Foods that help digestion will not only promote good gut health, but also provide necessary nutrients and vitamins that contribute to your overall well-being. Here are some foods to incorporate into your healthy gut diet:

Leafy Greens- Leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, and kale provide a high source of fiber in addition to adding important nutrients like Vitamins A, C, and K, and folate to your system. The sugars contained in leafy greens also contain a microbiome that stimulates healthy gut bacteria.

Whole Grains- Fiber is vital to maintain good gut health and whole grains are a great source of fiber. When gut bacteria ferment fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids. These molecules encourage proper function in the cells lining the colon, where 70 percent of our immune cells live!

Fruits- A diet high in low-fructose fruits such as berries, grapefruit, and oranges, you’ll reduce the chances of getting gas. Bananas are another low-fructose fruit that are fiber-rich and contain inulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut!

Lean Proteins- Lean proteins such as turkey, chicken and fish are a lower-risk food choice than red meats and can promote colon bacteria.

Fermented Foods- Incorporating fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi are helpful to your gut, because they produce a good bacteria that stimulates digestion.

Yogurt and Kefir- Fermented dairy foods contain beneficial bacteria, which help to break down sugars, making them easier to digest.

Obtaining optimal gut health takes a balanced approach. Split your plate into three sections: fill half of your plate with vegetables, (or a mixture of fruit and veg), a quarter of protein, and a quarter of whole grains. This increases the chances of getting everything you need for a healthy gut! Fine tune as needed.

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