The 8 Best Foods for Your Gut

By Leah Zerbe  |  Rodale

Your immune system will sing when you work these digestive wonder foods onto the menu.

Your gut is like a forest, full of diverse life that—if kept in check—helps your whole natural system flourish. The problem is, food isn’t as simple as it used to be, and modern cuisine, even modern medicine like antibiotics, can do a real number on the biodiversity in your digestive tract—your beneficial bacteria. In fact, too many meds and eating too much sugar and processed foods can actually suppress this protective gastrointestinal army, so it’s important to bring balance and stability back to your gut for optimal health to avoid diarrhea and diseases. In fact, many of these probiotic-rich foods will actually help you glow on the outside, too. Studies have found probiotics help combat skin problems.

For better gut health, these 8 foods will help!

#1: Kefir
The Benefit: Kind of like a drinkable yogurt, kefir is a fermented dairy product that contains oligosaccharides, complex carbs, that feed beneficial bacteria. And keeping those tiny microorganisms content will help supercharge your immune system.

Healthy Tip: Keep your kefir cold—the live and active cultures are sensitive to heat—and be sure to avoid kefir with sky-high sugar content. Too much sugar damages your healthy intestinal flora.

Try This: Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir or Make Your Own

#2: Greek Yogurt
The Benefit: Like kefir, Greek yogurt also serves as a potent dairy-based probiotic, and also boasts 15 to 20 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving and amino acids that will jump-start your metabolism.

Healthy Tip: Some companies market “Greek style” yogurt products that are nothing more than regular yogurt containing additives like gelatin and milk solids to thicken the consistency. For true Greek yogurt, check the ingredients list. It should only read: Milk and cultures.

Try This: Stonyfield Organic Greek

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