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The best foods for Gut Health

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Forest fruit berries overhead assorted mix in studio on dark background with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, red currant.

Certain foods, called prebiotic foods, feed your healthy gut bacteria so they grow quickly and divide more readily; this results in larger numbers of healthy bacteria, producing greater levels of anti-inflammatory compounds and a stronger immune response.

Here are four of the best food groups or ‘Prebiotic’ foods.

1. Foods high in Pectin:

Pectin boosts the growth and division of important commensal bacteria such as strains of the species Lactobacillus

  1. Almost all fruits have a minimum of 10% pectin. Peaches, apples, oranges, grapefruit and apricots come top – a small peach contains 0.91 gm of pectin, while 1 cup of sliced apple contains 0.65 gm.
  2. Legumes (pulses) are also high in pectin. Legumes can be 15 to 20 percent pectin, according to the USDA.  For example, peas contain 0.96 gm pectin in an average cup full.
  3. Vegetables have lower levels of pectin but are still good The top vegetables are carrots – one large carrot contains 0.576 gm of pectin. Tomatoes and potatoes are also high. An average tomato contains 0.37 gm of pectin;  an average white potato contains 0.64 gm.

2. Foods high in inulin

Inulin boosts the growth and division of important commensal bacteria such as strains of the species Bifidobacterium.

  1. Artichoke
  2. Chicory (Endive) root
  3. Garlic, onions, spring onions
  4. Asparagus
  5. Whole grain Rye
  6. Whole grain Barley
  7. Bananas
  8. Burdock root
3. Foods high in Ellagic Acid
Acid can boost commensal bacteria to almost twice the levels of pectin. It can also attack viruses and even cancer cells.
Top foods for Ellagic acid are:
  1. Berries – wild strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
  2. Pomegranates
  3. Walnuts
  4. Pecans
  5. Cranberries
  6. The Ox tongue (or Beefsteak) mushroom
4. Other significant anti-inflammatory gut-bacteria boosting foods
  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Fish Oil
  3. Soluble fibre foods – whole oats, psyllium, nuts (walnuts, almonds), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), vegetables, pulses.

Not surprisingly, these foods are all in the Rainbow Diet!

Go to: The Rainbow Diet