kale

Gut health is a hot topic, and for good reason!

Studies show a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce disease risk. Unfortunately, many of us eat foods that harm our digestive systems, leading to gas, bloating, and constipation. The key to a healthy gut and our golden glow is incorporating whole foods, especially high-fiber fruits and vegetables.

Fiber 101: Your Gut’s Best Friend

Fiber, a plant-based carbohydrate, isn’t broken down by your body but helps digestion by:

  • Slowing things down: This aids in nutrient absorption and softer stools.
  • There are two types:
    • Soluble Fiber (nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, veggies): Forms a gel during digestion, lowering cholesterol and promoting weight loss by keeping you fuller longer.
    • Insoluble Fiber (nuts, seeds, veggie/fruit skins): Doesn’t absorb water, aiding digestion and preventing constipation.

Fueling Your Gut with Fiber-Rich Veggies:

Here are my top 5 gut-loving vegetables, all packed with fiber and additional health benefits:

  1. Celery (2g fiber per cup): A powerful anti-inflammatory, it contains beneficial flavonoid antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation throughout the body [2]. You can enjoy it whole, juiced, or in smoothies for a refreshing and hydrating snack.

  2. Asparagus (2.9g fiber per cup): This healing veggie is loaded with vitamins (A, C, K), minerals (folate, zinc), and antioxidants. It also acts as a diuretic, helping flush out excess fluids, which can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure or heart-related diseases [3]. Plus, the fiber in asparagus nourishes your gut bacteria, promoting a healthy digestive system.

asparagus

Spotlight on Asparagus

  • Jerusalem Artichoke (10g fiber per medium artichoke): Often called a “superfood” for its gut health benefits, Jerusalem artichokes are a great source of prebiotics, the food that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. This prebiotic effect can help improve gut health, reduce inflammation, and potentially boost the immune system since a large portion of our immune system resides in the gut [4]. Enjoy them roasted, mashed, or in soups for a delicious and gut-friendly side dish.

  • Leafy Greens (varies in fiber content): Packed with a powerhouse of nutrients, leafy greens are essential for a healthy gut. They are rich in vitamins (A, C, K), minerals (calcium, magnesium), antioxidants, and prebiotics. These nutrients all contribute to a healthy gut by strengthening the gut lining, promoting good bacteria growth, and reducing inflammation [5]. Add them to smoothies, stir-fries, or use them as wraps for a fun and nutritious way to increase your veggie intake. Here’s a quick fiber content breakdown for some popular leafy greens
    • Kale (2.6g fiber per cup)
    • Collard Greens (7 grams per cup)
    • Spinach (1.4g fiber per cup)

NL Chicken Caesar Salad

  1. Zucchini (2g fiber per cup): Don’t underestimate this versatile veggie! Zucchini is surprisingly low in calories and high in water content, making it a great choice for weight management. It also protects your heart with vitamins (C) and minerals (manganese) that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke [6]. Plus, the fiber content in zucchini aids digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Ditch the processed foods and embrace these gut-healing vegetables!

Remember, a healthy gut is key to overall well-being. Focus on these fiber-rich options, listen to your body, and discover your own Gut-Loving diet to unleash your inner Golden Goddess!

Published On: November 12, 2018|By |
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