The Gut-Healthy Ingredients You Should Be Adding To Your Plate Every Day For Better Digestion

bowl of berries beside glasses of kefir
bowl of berries beside glasses of kefir

You may already know by now that your gut health plays a vital role in your overall wellness–which means helping your digestive system thrive is an essential part of maintaining practically every other area of your health. And, as you may also know, one of the most important factors of gut health is your diet, which can make or break your gut microbiome. While there are several types of foods you should avoid for healthy digestion, like processed, sugary snacks, there are also several ingredients you can incorporate into your daily diet to stay regular and keep everything running smoothly.

To discover some of the best foods you can eat every day for better digestion, we spoke to health experts Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition advisor to siggi’s and co-author of Sugar Shock; Trista Best, RD for Balance One; and Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet. They told us that yogurt, kimchi, and berries are three foods you should start adding to your plate to keep your gut balanced. Find all of their expert insight below!


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1. Yogurt/kefir

Yogurt is one probiotic-rich food that’s fantastic for your gut–and kefir is a type of fermented yogurt that you should definitely consider incorporating into your diet if better digestion is your goal. Fermented foods like this one are some of the best things you can eat to improve your gut health. “One study found that eating six servings of fermented foods, like yogurt, per day led to better microbiome diversity and reduced markers of inflammation,” Cassetty says. “These factors can lower your risk of numerous conditions, including autoimmune conditions, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and mood disorders like depression and anxiety.” Incredible!

2. Kimchi

If kefir isn’t your thing but you still want to reap the benefits of fermented foods, kimchi is another delicious cabbage dish that works wonderfully in a range of dishes and can do wonders for your gut health. This spicy fermented food is common in Korean dishes. “The process of fermentation requires many good bacteria and they are retained in the food once the process has ended,” Best explains. For this reason, consuming foods like kimchi will help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut.

You can mix kimchi into stews, rice, eggs, or anything else your taste buds desire–or you can even eat it on its own. Just remember that buying raw and unpasteurized kimchi is your best bet for the gut-healthy benefits, as heat kills the probiotics.

3. Berries

In addition to probiotics, another important factor to consider when it comes to gut-healthy foods is fiber. Richards says that berries like blueberries contain great amounts of fiber and phytonutrients that act as antioxidants in your body. "Antioxidants work to reduce free radical damage from toxins which lead to inflammation and chronic disease along with outward impacts like those associated with aging," she says. As far as blueberries go, they provide antioxidants known as flavonoids, which are plant compounds that “give these berries protection and when consumed give us similar protection on a cellular level,” all of which contributes to lower inflammation and, in turn, a healthier gut. Luckily, blueberries taste great mixed into yogurt or oatmeal–and are also a delicious snack on their own.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, a healthy digestive system requires several different factors, from ample fiber to enough water and even to regular exercise–and if your gut health is off track for a reason you can’t pin down, talking to your doctor is always your best option. However, when in doubt, incorporating more gut-healthy foods like these into your diet is never a bad idea!