Our gut bacteria have been linked to numerous conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety and even autism. Research has exploded in this field and has shown our gut microbiomes can both influence and be influenced by our mental and physical health. Having a diet with foods that can promote healthy bacteria is important for our wellbeing and these are some foods that can do that. Some of these originate in other countries like Germany, Japan and Korea so its also the perfect reason to indulge in foods loaded with good bacteria when sampling the local cuisine, whilst on holiday!
An excellent and popular source of probiotics, this is a go-to for many. Its versatility allows it to be eaten with granola, fruit, or with your rice and lentils/curry combo. You can never go wrong with mug bhath topped with dahi 😉
This probiotic yoghurt drink is made by fermenting milk, which can also be used in smoothies and soups and can boost your overall immune system. Originating in Caucasus and popularized in Russia, many tried to keep this mysterious elixir a secret and tried studying its numerous benefits, but now the world knows about it, so go on and slurp some tangy creamy kefir yourself.
This Japanese staple is made from fermented soya beans, plus barley or rice and is versatile in its uses. It can be used as a marinade, soup or as a dip. Japanese people have some of the longest life spans so you bet they know what they’re doing with their diets.
The German famed fermented chopped cabbage is delicious, and is a good source of vitamins and fibre as well as probiotics. This can gloriously go with some other delicious but perhaps not as healthy German foods like bratwurst and spätzle. A balanced diet, in the tastiest way possible!
This Korean specialty of fermented cabbage is a tasty side dish to accompany any meal, which also provides vitamins, fibre and probiotics. Koreans tend to have radiant skin and hair and a regular intake of kimchi may be why, as the selenium in the dish keeps your skin and hair healthy. Couple this with a Korean face mask, this is seriously a great way to boost your gut glow up as well as your outer glow up!
This bread is made by fermenting the dough so it releases energy more slowly than other bread. Now, I don’t know about you, but hearing sourdough is often accompanied by pizza in my ears…and who doesn’t love pizza? Like, really, need I say more? Just hit up your local Franca Manca for a pizza that has lower levels of gluten, is a prebiotic and improves digestion.
This snack is also high in fibre, good fatty acids and polyphenols as well as probiotics. Any Indian can relate to our mothers telling us to load up on these during our exams, as they will magically transform us into having Sheldon Cooper’s eidetic memory. They actually were more right than we thought, as the vitamin’s almonds contain does boost memory function and reduce cognitive decline, both of which help lower the risk of dementia.
Studies have shown this is good for gut inflammation so add a drizzle to your salad. The health-promoting components like polyphenols, tocopherols, and carotenoids, inhibit of foodborne pathogens, stimulation of the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gut, and it is an antioxidant.
Improve your probiotic intake whilst using this liquid as a base for some lovely cocktails. Kombucha is become on trend recently and for good reason as the healthy bacteria can improve immune function, aid digestion, inflammation and weightless. There’s also the enticing option of having it in a mojito or a tea, depending on your mood.
Peas are packed full of fibres and can be added to give your meals a punch of nutrients and boost overall veggie intake. With all these trendy new foods coming in, peas just don’t seem very exciting, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. Packed with fibre and easy to throw into a stir fry, rice dish or curry (mutter paneer or mutter bateta just wouldn’t be the same without it), peas are a lovely, easy way to promote your gut bacteria.
For more foods that are good for your gut health, visit benenden.co.uk.