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According to Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, the foods you eat can impact the health of your digestive tract.

Your body contains approximately 40 trillion bacteria, most of which are in your gut.

“They are collectively known as “gut microbiome” and are extremely important for overall health. The more bacteria species you have, the more health benefits they may be able to provide,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

With so much online information about healthy eating, knowing which foods are best for a healthy gut takes time and effort.


So, here is Affinity Health’s list of 15 research-backed foods that help your gut maintain the right balance of these microorganisms vital for physical and mental health, immunity, and more.

1. Almonds

These have probiotic properties, which means they benefit your gut bacteria; they are high in fibre, fatty acids, and polyphenols.


2. Brussels sprouts

They contain the types of fibre that good bacteria prefer and sulphur compounds that aid in the fight against harmful bacteria like H pylori.


3. Bananas

Bananas, one of nature’s most convenient and healthy snacks, are high in fibre that good bacteria love. They also contain beneficial minerals.


4. Greek yoghurt

Live yoghurt is a good source of friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. Yoghurt drinks can contain far more bacteria beneficial to the gut than regular yoghurt. However, keep in mind that they can be high in sugar.


5. Garlic

Garlic’s antibacterial and antifungal properties can help control “bad” gut bacteria and balance yeast in the gut. Garlic’s properties act as a fuel source for bacteria, allowing them to do their jobs more effectively, which improves gut function and can help heal your gut.


6. Ginger

Fresh ginger stimulates the digestive system to keep food moving through the gut and aids stomach acid production.


7. Kefir

This probiotic yoghurt beverage is made by fermenting milk and is high in beneficial bacteria (which can help to reduce a leaky gut).


8. Kimchi

This fermented vegetable Korean speciality contains probiotic bacteria, vitamins, and fibre.


9. Kombucha

We all know drinking water is essential for gut health, but what else can you drink? Kombucha is a fermented tea drink full of good probiotic bacteria that is thought to have originated in Manchuria. It has a sharp, vinegary flavour.


10. Miso

Miso is made from fermented soya beans, barley, or rice and contains a variety of beneficial bacteria and enzymes, a staple of Japanese cuisine and suitable if you’re lactose intolerant.


11. Olive oil

Gut bacteria and microbes prefer a diet high in fatty acids and polyphenols. Olive oil contains these essential acids and polyphenols and has been shown in studies to help reduce gut inflammation. Some studies have also found that olive oil can help with indigestion and benefit your pancreas by lowering its need to produce digestive enzymes.


12. Peas

Gut bacteria require fibre to thrive, so the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better. Peas are high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps keep your system balanced.


13. Roquefort cheese

Live, runny, stinky French cheese will help your gut bacteria, but experts warn only to eat this cheese in moderation.


14. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a high-probiotic, high-fibre, high-vitamin dish. Studies show probiotics benefit everything from allergies to preventing dental caries to weight loss.


15. Sourdough bread

Whole grain sourdough contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, and zinc and vitamins like folate. Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) that are abundant during the fermentation process reduce the phytic acid content of wheat significantly, making sourdough a great choice for gut health.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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