What you put in your mouth plays a part in the internal environment of your gut, thus the foods you choose to eat are a crucial component in maintaining your gut health. Sugar-rich and heavily processed foods can leave your gut inflamed and prone to diseases, while whole foods can support your digestive health.
Superfoods offer essential nutrients and vitamins that can promote good health, and go a long way toward repairing any damage and healing your gut. They are also synergistic and work together to benefit your whole body.
Try incorporating the following superfoods into your meals and diet:
Unlike previously reported, having moderate consumption of eggs will not give your high cholesterol. They are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, choline, iron and phosphorus. They also contain two potent antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin known to support eye health and protect vision.
There are many ways to prepare and consume eggs, such as omelettes, poached and baked goods. You can also hard-boil a batch of eggs for a quick on-the-go snack.
High in fiber, berries are also rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. They also have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce sustained inflammation in the body caused by inadequate physical activity, unhealthy food choices and stress. Berries can be included in different types of diets and they are also low in calories.
Examples are strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and blueberries. You can add them to cereals, smoothies, yoghurts or eat them plain for a snack.
A popular culinary ingredient, garlic has also been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits. It is a good source of vitamin B5, manganese, fiber, vitamin C and selenium. Garlic also increases your body’s immune function by promoting the growth of white cells, which helps combat sickness and lowers harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high blood pressure. In general, with its antioxidant, antibacterial and antivirus properties, garlic is good for keeping your body healthy.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, kale and collard greens are an excellent source of nutrients including iron, fiber, zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. They also contain high levels of carotenoids, an anti-inflammatory compound that may protect against certain types of cancer. They have the potential to lower the risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
You can throw them in salads, or stir fry them with a little olive oil and herbs and seasonings for flavour. They can also be added to stews and soups.
Fermented foods such as kefir are rich in probiotics and enzymes to promote a healthy bacterial balance for proper gut health. Probiotics are known to relieve symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and restore bacterial balance in the gut. Kefir also have several associated health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects, lowered blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and improved digestion, as they contain B vitamins, protein, potassium and more.
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed in various plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect against oxidative stress. They are also rich in fiber and heart-healthy fats that may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Some common nuts and seeds include chia seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts and pistachios. You can add a handful to your yoghurt, cereal or oatmeal, or have it on its own as a snack. They make a great accompaniment to cooked vegetables and salads as well.
The list of superfoods is exhaustive thus good health is best supported by consuming a variety of nutritious foods daily. Try incorporating some of the foods mentioned as part of a balanced diet that is key towards overall health and disease prevention.
Certain foods such as carbonated drinks, dairy products, dried fruits and high-fiber foods can also trigger symptoms like rectal pain, abdominal pain and weight loss if you are suffering from digestive illnesses like ulcerative colitis. This disease causes inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract and will require colonoscopy treatment to reduce its signs and symptoms.
If you have dietary concerns or wish to learn more about the suitability of certain foods for your health condition, you can consult with a dietitian or gastroenterology doctor in Singapore.