Bloating, constipation and IBS are just some of the symptoms of an unhealthy gut, but did you know that it can also affect your mental health?

 

In fact, the gut is often called the second brain, thanks to its crucial influence over our mood and overall well-being. 

 

Most of us are aware that processed food can be detrimental for our gut health, but certain foods can actually help us feel better. 

 

1. Cranberries

 

 

According to a study released this week by University of Massachusetts at Amherstmay, cranberries may aid the gut microbiome, thanks to the kind of carbohydrates it contains.

 

"What we eat not only nourishes us but also feeds the beneficial bacteria, the microbiome, in our intestines," says nutritional microbiologist David Sela at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

 

Prebiotic foods, such as cranberries, have certain fibrous carbohydrates that are not digested in our intestine but nourish the good bacteria to help it to grow.

 

"This process helps build a healthy microbiome, which is our defense system against toxins we encounter from animal products, the environment, poor quality tap-water, and common yeast and viruses or other types of fungi," Sela adds. 

 

2. Raw garlic

 

 

Garlic offers many health benefits such as cancer prevention, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, but it is also a food high in prebiotics.

 

Try and use it in salad dressings, salsa or humus to enjoy all of its goodness.

 

3. Onions

 

 

One of the most widely used food in the world (it is basically the base of pretty much all savoury dishes), onions are also great provider of prebiotics.

 

Cooked or raw, they contain a natural source of inulin, one type of good bacteria that fights indigestion. 

 

4. Yoghurt

 

Greek yoghurt, kefir, natural yoghurt: these different types of fermented milk all have in common to be good sources of probiotic.

 

Working together with prebiotics, probiotics are good bacteria that support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. 

 

5. Sauerkraut

 

Easy to make, tasty and full of good bacteria, sauerkraut (alongside it's Asian cousin the kimchi) is a fermented food that helps promote a healthy gut thanks to its high content of fibres and probiotics.  

 

6. Apple cider vinegar

 

Apple cider vinegar stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid, which helps digest fats, carbohydrates, and protein.

 

A rich source of probiotics and amino acids, this magic ingredients can help relieve acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

7. Kombucha

 

Made with black or green tea, kombucha is a fermented, lightly effervescent drink that is packed with healthy probiotics.

 

8. Beans

 

 

Alongside pulses and most vegetables and fruits, beans are a great source of fibre, which is our number one ally to fight gut issues.

 

Dietary fibre are responsible for helping make food move efficiently through the body; think black beans, cannelli beans, chickpeas, green peas or lentils to get your daily dose of fibre.

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