It’s little secret these days that gut health is SUPER important for our immunity, digestion and general wellbeing.
So if you’re looking to give your guts a little more lovin’ but you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick guide to the best foods to boost your gut health.
1. Feeling sluggish? Ferment, ferment, ferment.
We weren’t kidding when we said fermented foods were going to be bigger than the Kardashians. They’re brimming with live bacteria that aid nutrient absorption, immune function and help maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
“Lacto-fermentation has been around for eons as a health trick – all cultures have a history of fermenting veggies, dairy, nuts, grains etc for medicinal and digestion purposes,” says IQS founder and director Sarah Wilson (who’s been writing about the best gut-boosting remedies forever). “I’ve been fermenting my veggies for a while now. And my guts love me for it.”
Try your hand at fermenting with our recipe for Homemade Sauerkraut.
2. Heal and seal with the gut-goodness of gelatin.
Gelatin is basically cooked collagen and comes from the bones, hides and connective tissues of animals. It makes up almost one-third of all the protein in the human body and not having enough of it affects our joints, our skin and our guts.
Research suggests that gelatin may help heal the gut lining by enhancing the secretion of gastric acid and replenishing the gut mucosa (in less science-y words, a healthy, sealed colon could help you absorb more nutrients and reduce inflammation).
As well as eating it for breakfast, gelatin can be transformed into all sorts of good-for-your-guts treats. In fact, we’ve just launched a SECOND cookbook dedicated to it!
3. Try bone broth… it’s not as hipster as it sounds.
It really isn’t (your grandma has been cooking bone broth since before you were born… it’s also called stock). Besides being grounding and delicious, This mineral and gelatin-rich concoction is a great salve for inflamed, sensitive guts. Plus, it’s so cheap to make and really makes use of your scraps!
“If there’s one thing anyone serious about their health should learn to do, it’s to make chicken or beef stock,” says Sarah. “Stock is beyond nutritious and great for anyone with digestion issues. As an aside, these days it’s also known as “bone broth”… but is essentially the same thing.”
Dip your toes in the brothy waters with our Easy Chicken Stock.
We originally published this post in April 2016. We updated it in March 2017.