8 Best Vegetables for a Healthy Gut
So you’ve started your journey to a healthier gut but are not exactly sure how to optimize your diet for a more balanced gut microbiome.
You probably already know that you should include more veggies in your diet for improved gut health and truthfully, any vegetable that you can consume will be beneficial to your gut flora.
But, which are the best vegetables for a healthy gut?
Here are the 8 best vegetables for a healthy gut:
However, if you’re trying to find the ones that pack the biggest punch, try shopping for the eight vegetables above next time you visit the grocery store.
Spinach is an excellent source of fibre, which is essential for gut health. Fibre modulates the gut microbiome, as it needs fibre to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). If you’re new to your gut health journey, there is ample evidence showing that SCFAs have a positive impact on our overall health and can help stave off disease.
Increasing your spinach intake can help you feed your gut microbes the fibre they need to produce SCFAs. Additionally, leafy greens like spinach contain sulfoquinovose, which is a specific type of sugar that has been found to benefit gut bacteria. This sugar helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome in different ways than fibre can, so leafy greens should be considered essential to a healthy gut diet.
Although Spinach is the leafy green on this list because of its plethora of health benefits–such as high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K–all leafy greens are excellent for your gut. Try incorporating more kale, arugula, and chard into your diet for a balanced gut microbiome.
Perhaps surprisingly, artichoke is one of the vegetables with the highest amounts of fibre out there. With over 10 grams of fibre, a medium-sized artichoke is able to deliver close to half of an adult’s recommended daily fibre intake.
Interestingly, there is evidence showing that artichokes can help fight IBS, which is a digestive issue that is often associated with gut dysbiosis. In fact, 1 out of 10 adults in Singapore suffers from IBS, making this one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders nationwide.
Although technically a fruit, many people consider avocados to be one of the tastiest veggies. In any case, avocado’s health benefits cannot be understated. This healthy fat packs a ton of fibre, potassium, and other nutrients that will aid your digestion and keep your gut microbiome happy.
Just keep portions in mind, as avocados do contain a high amount of fat. Stick to a quarter of an avocado per serving, and don’t overeat this green gooey goodness!
Ginger root has been consumed for its flavour as well as its medicinal benefits for thousands of years. Not only can ginger help you avoid the flu, but it can also help you prevent digestive issues like nausea and even vomiting. Add some grated ginger to your next soup, stir-fry, or smoothie, and see if you notice benefits in your digestive health.
In addition to being packed with fibre, beets are excellent sources of betalain, which is the nitrogen-based compound that gives beets their distinctive red colour. This compound has been found to have a significant effect on reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are detrimental to digestion and gut health.
You know what they say: first, fry some onion and garlic and then decide what you’re having for dinner. While garlic is extremely popular in foods all over the world for all the flavour it can pack, it’s also known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial benefits.
But wait, isn’t gut health all about getting more bacteria? The short answer is yes, although there are some “bad bacteria” that we should try to avoid, as they can make us sick. Garlic is excellent at helping us get rid of this bacteria and prevent GI infections and disease.
7. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are another vegetable that is super high in fibre, making them great for digestive health. They also contain plenty of glycosinolate glucobrassicin, which is a sulfur-based compound that is known to help regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, and cardiovascular issues. Your digestive system will thank you for helping it keep these three things under control.
Carrots deserve a spot on this list as they are often overlooked when it comes to health. Few would think of carrots as the superfood knight in shining armour, yet one cup of cooked carrots contains around 5 grams of fibre. Their fibre content, along with their high water content, makes carrots an excellent choice for digestive health.
Tips for Adding More Vegetables To Your Diet
If you’re unsure how you’re going to get so many veggies in your diet, we’ve got some great tips for you. Keep in mind that food diversity is the number one indicator of gut health, so don’t limit your weekly diet to the veggies in this list! Aim to include the largest amount of vegetables in your diet to maximize your gut health.
Making a veggie soup is an extremely easy and healthy way to consume a wide range of veggies. Just throw one or two of as many veggies as you can into your pot and enjoy a warm and cosy bowl of your favorite soup!
You can also maximize your soup’s gut health properties by adding some miso paste to the broth after it's cooked. The fermented miso paste will help introduce some new bacteria to your gut, which will surely find a happy home with all the veggies in your diet.
Blend Them Up!
Making smoothies is another great way to introduce veggies into your diet, particularly if you’re not used to eating many vegetables or aren’t a fan of the taste. You can easily sneak some broccoli, spinach, ginger, and even carrots into your smoothie without affecting the taste too much. Play with the recipe and find what tastes best for you!
Find Your Optimal Diet
Finding out what your optimal diet looks like is much easier than you may think. With the OSbiome Gut Health Test Kit, you can find out exactly what your gut microbiome looks like in as little as 4-6 weeks. Just order your test online, send a stool sample to our lab, and let us do the rest!
You’ll receive a completely customized diet plan with personalized recommendations on what veggies to eat to transform your gut health. Ready to kickstart your gut health journey? Order your kit today!