It may not feel like it, but spring is just around the corner (rejoice!) and for many this is a time when we give our diets a spring clean and introduce new foods into the mix. I often get asked what foods are good for gut health and seeing as we are entering a new season, I thought I would share which foods to eat this spring to help support gut health.
For some, this can also be a time when allergies and hay fever flare up. Thankfully there are some foods, which you can include in your diet to help with symptom relief, and I am sharing which foods below.
Humble asparagus is a fantastic prebiotic, a type of fibre, which resists digestion and provides fuel to our gut microbes. It is also in season in spring, making spring the perfect time to include it into your diet. Try it grilled with olive oil, used as ‘soldiers’ with boiled eggs or added to frittatas.
Apple may seem like a really boring pick but they sure pack a punch when it comes to gut health. A study has shown, organic applies have roughly 100 million bacteria which are more diverse and distinct to conventionally grown apples. Diversity is key when it comes to gut health so this makes apples a top pick. Additionally, apples are well known for their polyphenol content, which help to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Apples also contain pectin, a source of soluble fibre, which can also help to support digestive health. Apples make a convenient snack, are delicious grated on yoghurt or oats and can add zing to salads!
I shared my appreciation for black beans recently HERE so it only makes sense that they also make the cut. Black beans are a great tool to support gut health, because approx. 63% of the fibre content is from resistant starch, a type of fibre, that cannot be digested and goes straight to the colon to feed bacteria – essentially it provides fuel to our bacteria which is crucial for supporting gut and colon health. Black beans work well in salads, curries/stews, salsa and mashed into patties.
Traditional rye sourdough is an incredibly healthy bread option, especially when it comes to gut health. Specifically, it contains bacteria naturally occurring bacteria and fibre which not only benefit gut health but it also is has a positive impact on blood sugar levels and contains a range of phytochemicals which act as antioxidants in the body. Rye is lovely with avocado or eggs, used as a sandwich or even make into some sneaky croutons.
Top 5 foods for springtime allergies and hay fever relief:
- Omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats: fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds exert anti-inflammatory actions in the body.
- Vitamin E: supports cell membrane stability especially in the nose, foods include almonds, beef, eggs, sunflower seeds and wheat germ
- Papaya: Papain found in papaya, helps to breakdown mucus, useful for those suffering allergies
- Pineapple: contains bromelain, an enzyme that anti-inflammatory activities in the body and may assist to break down mucus associated with allergies and hay fever.
- Quercetin: found in red grapes, apples and onions also helps breakdown mucus