More and more research has come out over the past decade or so about how important it is to have good gut health. Not only does 70% of our immune system live in our gut but it's also connected to our mental health, sleep, skin issues, autoimmune diseases and even cancer.

If you're pregnant like me, gut health is especially important because the mother passes her microbiome on to the baby during labor.

Here's 4 simple ways to improve your gut health.

Eat a Variety of Plants

By eating a wide range of different fruits, vegetables and other plant foods we are getting a wide range of good bacterias and other key nutrients that help promote good gut health. If you've heard the saying “eat the rainbow” that's because each color of food holds different phytonutrients and antioxidants we need for good health. This study shows a healthy gut is dependent on dietary diversity.

Eat More Prebiotic Food

Prebiotic foods actually help feed the good bacteria that lives in our gut, so we definitely should eat more of these foods. This consists of foods like:

  • garlic
  • onions
  • bananas
  • apples
  • lentils/beans
  • oats

Stay Away From Refined Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Staying away or limiting refined sugars and especially artificial sweeteners is important for good gut health. This study shows that artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering our gut bacteria.

Using things like fruit as your sweetener is a much better choice. I like to use date sugars or even just dates to sweeten desserts. Bananas are also a great choice as you can mash those up and stir them in things like oatmeal.

Eat More Probiotic Foods

Probiotic foods are also very beneficial for the good bacteria. They also help to prevent bad bacteria from spreading in our guts. Fermented foods are examples of probiotic foods, so things like:

  • tempeh
  • sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso