The 10 best fruit and vegetables to supercharge your gut health
From leafy greens to juicy berries, fruit and vegetables are key to good gut health. Our experts reveal the best ones to keep on the menu to flourish from within.
In the intricate ecosystem of our bodies, the gut reigns supreme as the epicentre of wellbeing.
Clinical nutritionist and researcher Dr Vincent Candrawinata says gut health is the foundation of overall health and wellness.
“About 70 per cent of our immunity stems from our gut,” Dr Candrawinata says.
“It affects the hormonal balance of our entire system, determines our mood and emotional state, and it is the key to skin health and many other biological functions.”
According to dietitian Nicole Dynan from The Gut Health Dietitian, fruits and vegetables are the nutritional powerhouse that support healthy gut function.
“We know having at least five serves of vegetables a day brings about significant health benefits, including lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke,” Nicole says.
“However, currently, less than 10 per cent of Aussies get enough fruit and veg in their day.”
10 best fruits and vegetables for gut health
“There is a reason that an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” Dr Candrawinata says.
“They are low GI and high in fibre content and are great to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and promote a healthy gut microflora balance.”
High in fibre and prebiotic and probiotic content, artichokes are a fantastic anti-inflammatory and digestive aid.
Packed with powerful prebiotics, bananas are an easy, portable way to improve gut health on the go.
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are brimming with antioxidants to help combat stress and inflammation.
Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.
“Celery is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre,” Dr Candrawinata says.
“It helps with hydration and also possesses properties to protect the digestive lining, which suggests it may help guard against gastric ulcer.”
Garlic, onions and leeks
Nicole says fruits and vegetables containing prebiotics such as garlic, onions and leeks support good bacteria, which can reduce inflammation, improve nutrient absorption, boost immunity, regulate mood and protect against bowel cancer.
“Pineapples help prevent constipation and promote healthy digestion because they are high in fibre and water content,” Dr Candrawinata says.
“They also contain a digestive enzyme called bromelain, which helps our body to digest protein-rich food.”
Spinach and kale
These leafy greens are a rich source of fibre, iron and magnesium.
“They are also excellent sources of essential nutrients like folate, vitamin A, C and K,” Dr Candrawinata says.
“And studies show that these leafy greens also contain a specific type of sugar that helps the growth of healthy gut bacteria.”
Not only a great source of complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes also contain heaps of vitamin A and fibre.
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