There is a LOT happening in our bodies all the time. For right now, we're going to focus on the gut.
Your gut is a microbiome of many different types of bacteria. Good bacteria! The different species of bacteria that make up your gut are all important in their own way. Your gut is carrying out hundreds of tasks at any given moment; producing energy, balancing hormones, eliminating waste, etc. This is why, generally speaking, your gut needs a diverse range of bacteria to keep everything working right. This brings us to diet.
Diverse diet = diverse microbiome. It's great to mix things up when you're planning your meals. It's estimated that 75% of the world's food comes from only 12 plants and 5 animals. We should do better than that in our diets.
As a general rule for a healthy gut, we all need more - probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, polyphenols and fermented foods.
And we need less - artificial sweeteners, red meat, processed foods and alcohol.
I know that good list had a lot of words that you don't typically see on your grocery list, so here are some of my recommendations translated into my favorite language... food! :)
For probiotics try fermented foods like:
For prebiotics (which are like the probiotics' best friends) try:
Fruits - Bananas, raspberries, pears, & watermelon
Garlic & Onions (I group these together because I cook these together lol)
Beans & Legumes
Other honorable mentions are apples, artichokes, dark chocolate, aaaaall kinds of fruits and vegetables... Are you seeing a pattern at all here?
A lot of these foods are what you already know and love. If it makes you feel great when you eat it, it's probably good for your gut! Trust your gut. ;) Just try to avoid artificial sweeteners and many heavily processed foods when you can.