Here at Sunwink, we take gut health pretty seriously.
When your microbiome is healthy, it can help break down foods, absorb vitamins and minerals, and even eliminate toxins. On the other hand, when your gut is “off,” serious problems can ensue. This includes digestive issues (like constipation), low energy, skin problems, and even a bad mood.
So, how can you make sure your gut is in top shape? Optimize your diet!
This guide from Sunwink breaks down 15 superfoods to support gut health and explains how they work.
Your microbiome is home to billions of healthy gut bacteria that live peacefully with your body and do all kinds of good things for it. To make sure they’re well-supported in their (many) tasks, it’s important to give them the right nourishment.
Asparagus contains plenty of prebiotic fiber, which is food for your gut’s healthy bacteria. Plus, it’s chock-full of antioxidants, which are molecules that may also play a role in boosting gut health.
For a happy, healthy gut, try to eat some asparagus — roasted, steamed, or sauteed — about two or three times per week.
Like asparagus, onions are a superb source of prebiotics. You can get your fix from yellow onions, red onions, shallots, or leeks. Just try to avoid eating too many white onions as they’re a little high in sugar.
3. Wild Salmon
Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can significantly reduce inflammation. They’re especially important for those with inflammatory digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
But keep in mind: Wild salmon boasts an impressive amount of these molecules, while the farm-raised varieties may be lacking in them.
Including more healthy fats in your diet is always a good idea. Well, avocado contains a special kind of fat — butyrate. This fatty acid can help to calm inflammation, which is great for almost everyone, but especially for those with gut-related conditions, such as ulcerative colitis.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil may support liver detoxification, which means that all kinds of waste products will get cleared faster — instead of lingering around the gut.
In addition, olive oil is chock-full of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. The result? Quicker breakdown of food and easier nutrient absorption.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which provide the body with sustained energy. Plus, this popular oil has tons of antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, helping to support a balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Thanks to the fermentation process, yogurt has tons of beneficial probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that you can introduce to your very own gut. The probiotics found in yogurt are especially helpful for removing harmful bacteria from the microbiome. Plus, yogurt contains some beneficial enzymes that can help to improve digestion.
Whatever you do, make sure that your yogurt is free of added sugar — refined sugar can throw off your microbiome’s delicate balance. It’s also better to go for a full-fat option as it tends to be lower in lactose, a naturally-occurring sugar that can cause an upset stomach in some people.
Kefir is incredibly popular in Eastern Europe and is just starting to catch up in other countries.
Like yogurt, kefir is a type of fermented dairy — except it’s more tart and liquid-y.
What makes kefir better than yogurt is that it contains many more strains of probiotics, which means you’ll be introducing more healthy bacteria to your gut. Plus, it’s drinkable, which makes it much easier to consume.
Richly-colored berries are full of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant.
Anthocyanins are great for protecting your body from free radicals, which are harmful molecules that cause DNA damage. But they don’t get completely absorbed by the body — which is actually a good thing because gut bacteria consume leftover anthocyanins and flourish because of it.
For a full fix of anthocyanins, try our Immunity Berry Sparkling Superfood Tonic.
10. Ginger Root
Ginger root is a classic remedy for an upset stomach. This is thanks to gingerols, which increase gastrointestinal motility — or how quickly food gets through the digestive tract.
Add fresh ginger to your food or try our Detox Ginger Sparkling Superfood Tonic to give your digestive system a helping hand.
11. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root belongs to a class of plants known as “bitters,” which stimulate appetite, increase bile production, and reduce bloating after a meal.
You can take dandelion root before or after meals. If you’re not crazy about its earthy taste, we got you covered with our yummy Detox Greens Superfood Powder.
12. Chia Seeds
Regarding prebiotics, chia seeds are a great addition because they absorb tons of water, which can help maintain hydration. That’s not all: chia seeds are full of soluble fiber, which absorbs water in the stomach and forms a gel-like mixture that slows digestion. This can feed your gut bacteria while keeping you full for longer.
For a quick and easy snack, look no further than almonds. They’re chock-full of fiber, which can nourish your healthy gut bacteria. Plus, their high fat content can help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
If you can, try to go for plain almonds. Those roasted in some oils, like canola, may disrupt the microbiome. Any almonds with refined sugar added can have a similar effect.
14. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is a unique type of honey that’s native to New Zealand. Compared to other honey, it has superior antibacterial properties, which can help to fight off bad bacteria in the gut. Studies have even shown it to stop the growth of Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that can lead to inflammation in the bowels.
15. Dark Chocolate
For gut health, we recommend avoiding sweet treats — unless it’s dark chocolate.
Cacao (the stuff dark chocolate’s made of) may act as a prebiotic for good bacteria while helping to ward off bad bacteria. And its high magnesium content makes it good for your mood.
To get the full benefits, look for dark chocolate that’s at least 85% and as close to zero sugar as possible. Or just enjoy a scoop of our Cacao Clarity Superfood Powder.
Superfoods for the Happiest Gut
For a happy and healthy gut, superfoods can be your best friend.
By introducing healthy bacteria to your gut, nourishing your microbiome, and improving all aspects of digestion, you can turn to the plant world for your healthiest gut yet. And to make it super delicious, Sunwink’s got your back with our sparkling superfood tonics and superfood powders.