Honey can help with gut health. Pexels

Eating the right foods is vital as this helps stimulate, the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut and boost digestive health. 

If you’re one of the people who are curious about gut- healthy foods and is still wondering what to eat, we have asked a nutritional expert, Vanessa Ascencao about the kinds of food to eat for a healthy digestive system.

Ascencao says before adding gut healing or gut-friendly food to your diet, it is important to first remove foods that contribute to an unhealthy gut.

Sugar

  • Any form of sugar in excess including refined carbohydrates can pose a risk to gut health. These include healthy sweeteners such as agave, honey and maple syrup.

Corn

  • Most corn contains GMO and can be a gut irritant.
Dairy products. Picture: Pexels

Dairy

  • Most people cannot tolerate lactose especially, from commercial dairy.

Gluten

  • A major gut irritant even if people are not sensitive to it- long-term gluten intake may increase inflammation in the body.

Soy

  • Most soy contains GMO so it may be best to avoid.
Chilli. Picture:Pexels

Lectins and phytates

  • Lectins are found in grains, beans, and nightshade vegetables like aubergine, peppers, chillis, potatoes and tomatoes and can disrupt the gut flora. It may also cause leaky gut which could cause inflammation, sugar cravings, mood swings and insulin resistance. 
  • Phytates can inhibit the absorption of important minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium. 
  • This is why it is important to soak nuts, seeds, rice and beans first before cooking or consuming.

She added that once the foundation is in place, we need to feed the good gut bacteria in the body to optimise overall gut health.

“The foundation of what you consume daily should include: At least 70% organic vegetables including leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts, sweet potato, butternut and squash, good fats such as nuts, seeds, coconut oil, avocado’s and good quality butter” says Ascencao.

For more info you can visit www.coynehealthcare.co.za