The best plant-based foods for optimal gut health Health

Gut health is an important determinant of our overall health where a healthy gut is created by the presence of a diverse microbiome and a balanced diet based on plants including whole grains, fruits, nuts, leafy vegetables, fruits, fiber rich foods, fermented probiotics etc. to support our healthy bacteria and for a healthy gut. Helps lay the foundation. Vegetarian meals containing these ingredients are also nutritious and work to prevent inflammation or treat such intestinal inflammation as the gut microbiome plays an important role in our overall health and immunity.

The Best Plant-Based Foods for Optimal Gut Health (Photo by Sweet Life on Unsplash)
The Best Plant-Based Foods for Optimal Gut Health (Photo by Sweet Life on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Manoj Kotteri, Medical Director and CEO of Atmantan Kalyan Kendra, suggested, “When you are focusing on a pure vegetarian plant-based diet, you should know that all those diet preparations are not equal. Freshly prepared food is very beneficial for us. However, a vegan diet made up of sugar-laden and processed foods, refined grains and carbohydrates may not be beneficial for our gut and body. A balanced diet should also focus on a variety of vegan options such as nutritious multi-grains, colorful fruits and more.”

Emphasizing that one of the main arguments for being a non-vegetarian is the protein content of animal foods, he said, ‚ÄúThere are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein that you can plan your meals around. If you are not careful with these proportions of vegetarian food, it can adversely affect your stomach. Apart from the nutritional content of the food, it is important to look at the quality and freshness of the ingredients. Organically grown or locally farmed produce ensures high quality food. It also goes easy on the stomach and helps feed the friendly microbiome into it. A healthy microbiome, consisting of different types of bacterial colonies and their density, helps support a person’s digestion, immunity, emotional health, mood and behavior. Antioxidants, polyphenols, and phytonutrients found in vegetarian diets provide the micronutrients our bodies need to heal and repair.”

According to him, some of the foods in the vegetarian meal plan are as follows:

1. Whole grains – Whole grain alternatives such as brown rice, millet and oats are high in various minerals and vitamins. When they are consumed with fiber, they also provide essential prebiotics for our body in which our bacteria can live. If you suffer from any autoimmune conditions, it is best to reduce them for a while and then have the digestive capacity to digest them properly.

2. Beans and fruits – Beans, pulses, chickpeas and rajma are high in fiber. In fact, rajma has more fiber than some vegetables. These soluble fibers are great as prebiotics for our gut. These fibers also help improve the peristaltic movement of our intestines.

3. Nuts and oil seeds – Nuts and seeds are an extremely important aspect of a vegetarian diet because they provide the most essential macronutrient which is protein. Flax seeds and chia seeds are also high in omega 3 fats while the rest are good in omega 9 fats. Nuts and seeds are best soaked for a few hours so that we can reduce the amount of phytic acid in them.

4. fruits – Fruits like berries and papaya are very beneficial for our stomach. Berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries are high in various antioxidants. They are also very low on the glycemic index and are therefore excellent for blood sugar and weight management. Fiber again helps feed a healthy microbiome in our gut.

5. Cruciferous vegetables – Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain chemicals called glucosinolates that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut that promote gut health.

6. Green leafy vegetables -Spinach, amaranth, lettuce, mustard greens, coriander, fenugreek leaves, etc. are rich in essential nutrients and fiber. These foods can add richness to the diet and help promote the colonization and diversity of healthy bacteria.

7. Probiotics – Naturally fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir are excellent probiotics that contain bacteria. Consuming these foods can help replace and replenish gut bacteria.

Adding to the list of best plant-based foods for optimal gut health, Tanisha Bawa, certified nutrition coach and founder of TAN|365, recommends:

  • Avocado is a nutrient-dense food that can provide many health benefits. They are rich in healthy fats and fiber, as well as B vitamins, potassium, vitamin E, and folate. Avocados can help protect your arteries by fighting inflammation and improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The healthy fats found in avocados also help balance blood sugar levels and reduce the need for a pre-meal snack.
  • Chia seeds A nutritional powerhouse full of omega-3s, iron, calcium and antioxidants. They can improve bone and heart health, aid digestion and bowel movements, and help regulate insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
  • Sakharkhanda Starch is an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, and essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, K, and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants and can help maintain blood sugar levels, reduce carbohydrate absorption and prevent glucose spikes. Potatoes are also good for eye and stomach health.
  • Almond butter A healthy source of monounsaturated fat, fiber, folate and vitamin E, which can slow the aging of brain cells and improve cognitive function. It can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

In summary, a plant-based vegetarian diet carefully incorporated into our daily diet can help support our digestive function, metabolism and overall health and well-being.

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