home News The 50 Best Foods (and Recipes) for Gut Health – Reader's Digest

The 50 Best Foods (and Recipes) for Gut Health – Reader's Digest

Experience less bloating, stomach distress, and constipation with these 50 foods and recipes that will boost your gut health.


Asparagus textureAlberto Zornetta/Shutterstock

Asparagus contains prebiotic fibers “that serve as fuel for the good bacteria in your digestive tract,” says Mike Roussell, PhD, cofounder of Neuro Coffee. Prebiotics, which are found in other high-fiber foods, are “distinctly different from probiotics, which are the bacteria themselves,” Roussell says. Prebiotics act as the food source for probiotics. In short, probiotics need healthy things benefitsto eat when they’re in your stomach—and prebiotics act as that trusted food source. Getting a healthy dose of prebiotics in your daily diet can help make your probiotics  healthier and happier and boost your gut health. Check out these 13 probiotic foods to work into your diet.


Close-up of delicious fresh blueberries filling the frameJ. Helgason/Shutterstock

Any richly colored fruits or vegetables, like blueberries, pomegranates, and beets, are rich sources of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant. “Anthocyanins contain several health benefits—especially around the health of your blood vessels—but they are also poorly absorbed in your digestive tract, meaning that you don’t take up all the anthocyanins that you eat,” Roussell says. “That is actually fine because the bacteria in your gut love anthocyanins. The good bacteria in your gut consume the leftovers, which helps them grow and flourish, making your digestive tract a healthier place.”


Fresh organic avocado at farmer's marketSEE D JAN/Shutterstock

Gut expert Inna Lukyanovsky, PharmD, a functional medicine practitioner, says that this delicious and popular fruit is a boon for bacteria in your gut. She says that in addition to having healing properties, avocado promotes butyrate—a healthy fatty acid—in the digestive system, and that helps calm inflammation. Research suggests that butyrate is particularly beneficial to gut health. Another study indicates that it might ease gut-related health conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Read about the only Crohn’s disease diet these experts recommend.

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