Your gut is home to 70-80% of your immune system, so maintaining its health should be an integral part of any eating plan. Eating for gut health has many benefits, such as reducing inflammation, fighting off infection, and keeping blood pressure under control.
Eating a diverse diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes is key for supporting your microbiome's health. It is also important to make sure you're getting plenty of prebiotics, and polyphenol-rich foods will help ensure this occurs.
Freezing fruits and veggies helps you save money while still getting a nutritious boost. Plus, these affordable options don't contain added salt, sugar, or preservatives. They are also perfect for soups and smoothies.
If you are looking for the best foods to improve your gut health on a budget, continue reading.
What Is Gut Health?
Your gut health is determined by many factors, such as your body composition, family and genetic history, stress management strategies, and food choices. Researchers are still learning how these elements interact to affect the balance of bacteria in your microbiome.
People with healthy gut microbiomes have a lower risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases and digestive conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. However, everyone's microbiome is unique, meaning certain foods may cause issues for some individuals.
Eating the right foods for your gut is essential, but taking probiotics can also help promote a more balanced microbiome. Yogurt, fermented drinks like kombucha and sauerkraut, and yogurt are all excellent sources of probiotics. In addition to probiotics, fiber supplements also helps to maintain a healthy gut.
The Best Foods for Gut Health on a Budget
Your gut plays a significant role in digestion, weight regulation, and more - so it's no wonder why having a healthy gut is so beneficial to overall well-being. Good news! Keeping your gut healthy with simple dietary adjustments is cheaper than you might think. Here are the best foods for gut health on a budget.
Sauerkraut is replete with essential vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Plus, it contains enzymes that aid in the absorption of these vital nutrients by the body. Furthermore, this fruit is replete with fiber and is low in calories. Sauerkraut offers numerous advantages, but the most significant is that it aids digestion. Packed full of enzymes and lactic acid, it supports healthy intestinal flora. The best thing is that it is affordable. You can easily prepare it at home or buy it from the store.
Kefir is a dairy-based drink with millions of probiotic bacteria. It offers benefits like supporting digestion, encouraging bone health, and controlling blood sugar levels. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc that support digestion. Homemade kefir can be made using whole or skimmed milk and kefir grains that can be found at health food stores.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage containing probiotic bacteria and may have health benefits. Additionally, it's replete with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease. Kombucha can strengthen immunity and decrease the likelihood of infection. But it may not be suitable for everyone, so make sure you speak to your doctor first to confirm whether it's safe for you.
Yogurt is an easy and delicious way to incorporate probiotics into your diet. These beneficial bacteria support immunity by decreasing inflammatory markers and combatting infections. Fermented dairy products like yogurt are created by adding beneficial bacteria to cow, goat, or sheep milk and allowing it to be culture. This results in a thick and tangy snack that's also known to be good for your gut.
Leeks make for a nutritious and low-calorie food choice, packed with soluble fiber. Plus, they contain beneficial fructans for gut health as well as Vitamins C and K. They can be used in soups, stews, stir-fries, casseroles, and savory pies. When cooked down to a sweet and oniony flavor that pairs well with many other ingredients, shallots become an indispensable ingredient.
Watermelon is an incredibly versatile, delicious, and nutritious fruit that you can eat raw or add to recipes. Not only is it a budget-friendly alternative for ice cream and other sweet treats, but it also has several health benefits for your gut health that you should not overlook. Furthermore, watermelon helps to promote regular bowel movements. It contains essential nutrients like water, fiber, and potassium that support a healthy digestive system.
Beans and Legumes
Legumes, peas, and lentils are an excellent way to get your daily servings of protein. Plus, they have heart-healthy properties as well as the potential to improve gut health, according to past research. Beans and legumes are an excellent addition to any diet, versatile enough for use in many recipes. Not only that, but they're also affordable to purchase at your local grocery store.
If you're searching for an easy way to improve your gut health, nuts are an ideal choice. They are replete with protein, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients. At the supermarket, you'll likely encounter a wide variety of nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts. However, you should only consume small amounts of nuts that are unsalted.
If you're searching for a nutritious yet budget-conscious meal option, rolled oats are a perfect choice. These grains come from whole oat groats that have been steamed, flattened, and then dried in a kiln. Oats are an excellent source of resistant starch, which is not digested by the stomach and travels directly to the large intestine, where it feeds beneficial bacteria for gut health.
By adding onions to your meals, you can help improve the health of your gut. They provide essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin B6, folate, and iron. Plus, they contain allium and allyl disulfide, which may reduce cancer risks, regulate blood sugar levels, soothe inflammation, and treat infections.
Gut health is essential for warding off chronic diseases, reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, and maintaining a healthy weight. Furthermore, it has an impact on moods and memories. The good news is that you don't need to spend a fortune on supplements or exotic root extracts to improve your gut health. Instead, new research indicates it's possible for you to eat smartly and maintain a healthy microbiome through proper nutrition. Add more fermented foods to your diet, like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir. Not only will these tasty snacks aid digestion, but they also nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut that support it as well.