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Five Foods That Naturally Boost Healthy Gut Flora

Remember the old adage “You are what you eat”? Well it turns out there is some truth to it. Your diet significantly impacts your digestive and overall health.

The beneficial bacteria that live in our digestive tracts thrive on a wide variety of plant based foods such as broccoli, blueberries and beans. And there is good news; it only takes 24 hours to start to cultivate a new microbiota! These little guys can help to combat obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, and even bad breath over time. Here are five foods to start eating today.

1. Beans help release short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that strengthen your intestine cells, improve absorption of micronutrients, and help with weight loss.

2. Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, broccoli and cabbage contain glucosinolates, sulfur-containing metabolites, which help to reduce inflammation and may reduce the risk of bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach cancer.

3. Yogurt contains lactobacillus, bifidus and acidophilus and is easy to fit into your daily routine, but be careful as it often has added sugar which feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. Opt for low-sugar options when reaching for your daily yogurt.

4. Pickles and other fermented food such as sauerkraut have been found to improve the health of the intestinal cells, improve immune function, decrease allergies, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and treat diarrhea.

5. Asparagus contains a natural prebiotic fiber known as inulin. This insoluble fiber, travels through our bodies from the small to large intestine where it ferments into healthy micro flora.

Food Reactions can also play a role in digestive health. Food sensitivities can lead to inflammation and decreased probiotic levels. If you’re experiencing digestive issues, testing is a good way to help identify the root cause of your symptoms.