Foods That Help Gut Flora

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So What’s The Big Deal About Gut Bacteria?


foods that help gut flora

Bacteria may sound like a dangerous thing to have in your body. But they’re a normal part of life. In fact, there are around 40 trillion different microorganisms in your body, and the majority of them are in your gut.


The gut microbiota is extremely important for your health, each of the hundreds of species of bacteria in your intestines plays a key role in it and requires different nutrients to develop.


And as each bacteria species contributes to your overall health in a different way, a healthy microbiota is actually a diverse one.


Your gut health impacts how your body extracts nutrients from your diet and stores fat, so developing a diverse microbiota from foods that help gut flora is important.









Each individual’s microbiota is unique. The mix of bacteria in each person’s body is different and is determined by the environment you live in, your mother’s microbiota as well as your lifestyle and diet.


Good gut health is being increasingly understood as extremely important in helping with many health conditions including:

  • Obesity and type 2 Diabetes.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Autism.
  • Anxiety and Depression.
  • Arthritis.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • Endocrine disorders.

To learn more about the importance of good gut health to overall health, read here.

What Causes Gut Flora Imbalance?

When your gut flora contains too many harmful bacteria and not enough good bacteria it causes an imbalance in your gut known as dysbiosis.

foods for good gut flora balance

A reduction in the overall diversity of gut flora as well as dysbiosis are linked to common conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance and bowel disease

Some reasons for an imbalance include:

Using Antibiotics

One of the drawbacks to antibiotic use is they wipe out the friendly bacteria in your gut while eliminating the bad bacteria. Even a single course of antibiotics can lead to negative changes in the diversity of your gut flora.

If you’ve had to take a few courses of antibiotics to clear a bad infection of some sort, your gut health could be seriously compromised and friendly bacteria in short supply.


Eating A Standard Western Diet

A standard western diet high in sugary, processed and fried foods does not provide the variety of whole foods that feed a diverse gut microbiota. This type of diet can also be lacking in prebiotic fiber which the bacteria feed on like pulses and a diverse variety of fruit and vegetables.

Lacking the food your friendly bacteria need to grow, their numbers will reduce throwing your gut flora out of balance.


Being Stressed Out

High stress levels can alter your gut bacteria. A study showed stress can reduce levels of the friendly bacteria Lactobacilli. Using some natural methods to reduce your stress levels will help your gut health as well as your overall health too.


Getting Insufficient And Poor Quality Sleep

Sleeping well is important to your overall wellness. Comparing the effects of two nights where the participants had approximately 4 hours sleep, with two nights of normal sleep consisting of about 8 hours sleep this study showed changes in the gut flora.

This change increased the quantity of bacteria known to be connected to obesity. Getting sufficient good quality sleep is more important than most people realize for overall health and wellbeing, not only gut health.


Signs Your Gut Flora Is Out Of Balance

If you have a fever you can take your temperature but trying to find out if your gut flora is out of balance isn’t as easy. There’s no thermometer to test your gut balance.

food that help gut flora symptoms


However, there are signs you can watch out for that generally mean something’s not quite right with your gut.

Recent Antibiotic Use – If you recently had to take a course of antibiotics, there’s a good chance it has wiped out many of your good bacteria. It can be a good idea to take a good quality probiotic after you finish the antibiotics. Research has shown that beneficial bacteria destroyed by antibiotic use is not replaced without intervention.

Digestive Problems – Uncomfortable symptoms  such as bloating, gas, constipation, heartburn and diarrhea can indicate an imbalance in your gut flora or insufficient good bacteria levels.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies – When your gut flora is unbalanced you will have a difficult time getting enough of important vitamins like Magnesium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K and Vitamin D. A healthy gut is involved in helping your body synthesize vitamins and minerals.

Mental Disorders – It is now recognized that the gut and brain are intimately connected. The health of your gut has an effect on your mental health. Poor gut health can lead to brain fog, anxiety and depression and is also linked to autism and OCD behaviour.


How To Restore Healthy Gut Flora

By now you are probably convinced of the importance of good gut health and are probably asking ‘How can I increase the good bacteria in my gut’?

Well, keep reading to find out how to choose foods that will increase the number of good bacteria, ensuring you have good gut flora and reduced intestinal inflammation.

As well as taking note of some of the points mentioned above, your diet is critical in restoring your gut health and supporting the gut microbiota’s good bacteria level.


Fermented Foods Are Your Best Friend

That’s right! Fermented foods are foods altered by bacteria and microbes, the process usually involves yeasts or bacteria converting the sugars in food to organic acids or alcohol.

Including fermented foods in your diet doesn’t mean you should stock up on beer or alcohol but rather, go for cultured and fermented foods such as:

Choose a couple of items from the list and gradually start including them daily. Use small quantities of each at first to see how your body reacts to them.

foods that help gut flora

Many of these are packed with lactobacilli, a type of bacteria that offers immense benefits to your gut health. A larger number of lactobacilli is associated with a lower number of Enterobacteriaceae, a type of bacteria that is associated with gut inflammation and chronic diseases.

Yogurt is one of the main sources of lactobacilli; however, steer clear of flavored yogurts as they’re normally high in processed sugars which can cause bowel inflammation. The best kind of yoghurt is plain unsweetened yoghurt made purely of milk and bacteria cultures.

Look for labels which state that the yoghurt contains ‘live cultures’ and can be made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk. For those who cannot tolerate dairy, there is also coconut yoghurt available too.

With an electric yoghurt maker it’s also very easy to make your own yoghurt as live starter cultures are also readily available. By making your own yoghurt you can be sure of the ingredients and check the cultures are indeed live so you get the most benefit.

Introduce foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and miso in your diet to improve the health of your gut. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, miso and fermented foods can crowd out the unhealthy bacteria, improve the health of intestinal cells and increase the absorption of minerals.

Fermented vegetables and sauerkraut are both easy to make at home. I use this super simple to use fermentation kit to make my fermented veggies and sauerkraut.

Making fermented vegetables is so easy and by using organic vegetables you’ll make them even healthier. What’s more, you’ll always have a supply of crunchy tangy ferments ready in the fridge.


Stock Up On Foods Rich In Prebiotic Fiber

Prebiotic fiber is the non-digestible part of foods like asparagus, leeks, onion, bananas and chicory root. Because of its structure, it goes through the small intestine undigested and is then fermented as it reaches the large colon.

foods that help gut flora

On its journey to your intestines, prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in several ways. They’re normally broken down by certain species of bacteria that use them as fuel, such as Bifidobacteria.

Studies have shown that a diet high in Bifidobacteria may ease the symptoms of digestive health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by reducing the number of harmful bacteria in your intestines. Studies have also shown that Bifidobacteria can help reduce the concentration of certain carcinogenic enzymes in your gut.

As a rule of thumb, try to consume at least 5-8 grams of plant-based prebiotics a day to improve your gut health. The easiest way to do it? Grab two cups of leafy greens or a half-cup serving of beans.

Use onions in salads and stews – they have a 17% concentration of prebiotic fiber – or chicory root (about 65% of its content is pure prebiotic fiber). Asparagus, leeks, jerusalem artichokes and oatmeal are also fantastic sources of prebiotics.

Having oatmeal for breakfast makes a healthy start to each day, but don’t smother it with sugar or syrup. Try it topped with some organic blueberries and natural unsweetened yoghurt. You’ll get prebiotics from the oatmeal, probiotics from the yoghurt and superfood blueberries all in one dish.


Choose Friendly Fats

The fat you consume can have a tremendous impact on your gut flora. If you’re at risk or suffer from type 2 diabetes, it’s best to limit your refined fat intake and instead opt for healthier alternatives like a handful of nuts or a quarter of an avocado. Healthy fats include:

  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil and coconut products.
  • Nuts and Seeds like walnuts, cashews, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds. 








Refined vegetable oils like soybean oils, corn, and canola are high in pro-inflammatory omega 6-fatty acids, so it’s best to steer clear of them. Additionally, they are often processed from genetically modified crops. Instead, choose friendlier fats like avocado, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.

Coconut oil, in particular, has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties that can restore stomach acidity levels by killing off harmful intestinal yeasts. While extra virgin olive oil’s polyphenol content feeds the good bacteria in your gut.


Feast On Oily Fish

Fish like salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the inflammation in your gut and improve your digestive health. However, make sure to purchase wild caught salmon rather than farmed alternatives – they contain less omega-3 fatty acids.

foods that help gut flora

A recent study, conducted in collaboration with researchers from King’s College London found that a higher omega-3 intake was strongly associated with both the diversity and the number of species of bacteria in the gut, and as we covered already, the diversity of your gut microbiome is one of the important keys to your overall good health.

Omega 3 levels are associated with producing a compound known as N- carbamylglutamate (NCG) in the gut. NCG is thought to reduce oxidative stress in the intestines. Other healthy and delicious types of oily fish to include in your diet with high health giving Omega 3 levels are mackerel and sardines.


Include Anti-Inflammatory Herbs And Spices

Turmeric is not only a fantastic spice to add flavor and color to your meal but one of the best ways to improve your digestive health, too.

The curcumin in the spice stimulates the production and release of bile which in turn facilitates more efficient fat digestion and improves absorption rates.

foods that help gut flora

Even if you’re eating the right foods, you may still be deficient in certain nutrients if your gut is not absorbing them – fix the problem by adding turmeric to your diet. Remember to add black pepper when using turmeric to ensure proper absorption.

In addition to improving the release of bile, the curcumin also relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and gently pushes the digested food through the intestines. This in turn decreases gas and bloating and can help soothe chronic cramps and IBS symptoms.

Ginger contains a potent antioxidant, 6-gingerol which inhibits the production of a free radical called peroxynitrite. This free radical can cause pain and inflammation as well as the overgrowth of gut bacteria linked to peroxynitrite.


Worst Foods For Gut Health

While you are busy including all the great foods mentioned here to improve your gut flora, you should also be aware of the worst foods for gut health so you can be sure to avoid them.

foods that help gut flora processed food

After all, there’s little point introducing foods to improve your gut flora if you ignore the negative effect some food types can have on overall gut health.

  • Artificial SweetenersStudies link the use of artificial sweeteners to a shift in the bacterial population of the gut.
  • High Levels Of Saturated Fats – A diet high in saturated fats may increase the bad bacteria population and cause a decrease in the good bacteria levels according to this study.
  • Food Additives – Evidence shows that additives used in processed foods increase gut inflammation and add to the risk of developing irritable bowel disease.
  • Alcohol – Regular alcohol consumption is associated with negative changes in the microbiome.

Putting It All Together

People say you are what you eat and this is 100% correct when it comes to having a healthy gut. Stay away from foods that contribute to bad bacteria like too much alcohol consumption, artificial sweeteners, high saturated fat levels and processed food.

Steering clear of certain foods like refined oils and pasteurized dairy, and opting for healthier alternatives like foods rich in prebiotic fiber and omega-3 fatty acids can improve the diversity of your gut microbiome and help you lead a healthier and happier life.

The good news is that making changes to a more balanced gut flora needn’t take long. By making a bit of effort in changing your eating habits, you can start experiencing benefits in as little as a few days. If leaky gut is also part of your poor gut health, start healing it with this supplement to kick start gut healing.

Please Feel Free To Leave A Comment Below.







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  1. All of your pictures on here made me hungry! This is a very good post though. I had no idea that 80% of you immune systems was in you gut. It only makes sense that we should be watching what we eat and eating healthy to keep our immune system boosted! I am all about eating avocados so I am all about that! Thank you for sharing this useful information!

    • Hi Stevi

      Thanks for commenting and yes I agree when I was told by my naturopath about 80% of the immune system being located in the gut it completely changed the way I started thinking about gut health. I mean before that, I knew the gut was important to overall health but I didn’t realize just how important. I’m glad you like the photos I included, being a bit of a foodie as well as a health nut, I’m always drawn to great food photos.

  2. Really informative piece on the gut and the importance to over all health. I run a health and wellness site.  Recently I wrote a blog about Turmeric and really liked what you had to say about it in the post. You definitely have giving me some ideas to help me with my next blog. I think it is one of the best blog post in regards to how to keep your gut healthy and why it is important keep up the good work.

    • Hi Joseph thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you found my information helpful. Great to hear you have a health and wellness site and hopefully can spread the word about the health benefits of turmeric. 

  3. Hello Ann,

    Excellent article where you show a series of foods that help our intestinal flora. 

    I thought that bacteria are something dangerous for our organism, that was wrong. 

    We fear that try to increase the amount of good bacteria and reduce intestinal inflammation. 

    I am a big consumer of yogurt, I will now try to consume those that are made with milk and bacteria cultores.

    Many thanks for sharing!


    • Hi Claudio thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you can find ore ways to include gut friendly foods into your regular diet 

  4. Hi Ann, I enjoy your blog and this is an excellent post!  Even with all the information on the internet about gut bacteria, so many still have no idea how it correlates to our overall health.  Gut bacteria issues may not be the direct and only cause of  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but incorporating foods that help Gut Flora is most definitely a good place to start.  

    What we eat is directly related to how we feel.  More people need to understand that you simply cannot pour garbage into your body each and every day and expect to remain healthy.   I am so passionate about this and appreciate when others share their personal experiences and actually dedicate themselves to getting the message out there.  I  look forward to following you, Ann.

    • Hi Kellie I appreciate your kind words about my blog and couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on people taking responsibility for their health by firstly stopping eating garbage. I hope you find my posts informative and useful. 

  5. As a diabetic I am always reading articles like this to try and get a better hold on my health.  This was a very interesting article.  Something very interesting to me which I never knew is that we can make our own yogurt.  If possible could you pass on to me some of the benefits of this for diabetics.  Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Dale thanks for leaving a comment. My article mentions the importance of building a diverse microbiota from various foods (including yogurt as you say) to help with health issues including diabetes. You can get more information on this here 

  6. I don’t have the best history with my gut (adult life), unfortunately suffer from IBS from time to time, so this article was very interesting to me. 

    I’m more than surprised to find out that 80 percent of our body’s immune system functions are actually located in the gut – never heard of anything close to this before, and very shocked to read it today!

    What are your thoughts on foods that relieve IBS?

    • Chris thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Yes my reaction when I learned bout the immune system being located in the gut was probably similar to yours. It made me realize how important gut health is to your overall good health. IBS is a general catch all name given by doctors for  variety of gut issues. I think you need to work with your health care provider to find out the cause of your IBS. For example you should probably carry out testing for food sensitivities to work out what would be the best diet for your particular case.

  7. Hi

    To be honest with you, there are words that I don’t even know the meaning of or how to pronounce it, but what I do know and understand is that we have to eat health foods, especially for our gut.

    I really like your suggestions on what to eat and what not to eat for a healthy gut. I like fish very much and I also lke turmeric, which now turn out to be very good for my health.

    Thanks for this great post!

    • Hi Nicolaas thanks for your comments. I’m glad you found the information in my post helpful. It sounds like you already started eating gut healthy foods, so you are on the right track. 

  8. Hi Ann, I get pleasure from your article and this can be a superb post!  Even with all the knowledge on the web regarding gut microorganism, such a large amount of still don’t have any plan however it correlates to our overall health.  

    .I’m over stunned to seek out that eighty % of our body’s system functions are literally situated within the gut – ne’er detected of something about to this before, and extremely dismayed to browse it today!

    Gut microorganism problems might not be the direct and solely explanation for  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome however incorporating foods that facilitate Gut Flora is most positively an honest place to begin.

  9. Hello Ann. Thank you for sharing these foods that help gut flora. I thought bacteria are dangerous to our health. Perhaps there some bacteria that are very useful to our health as I have read in this article.

    Amongst the fermented foods you listed, I’m only familiar with Yoghurt. I love onions alot. I guess I have been promoting the growth of beneficial bbacteria unknowingly.

    This article is health strengthening. Thank you.

  10. Hi Ann, Thank you for this great article on Gut Flora and giving examples of what we can do to improve out gut health. Was so pleased to see Avos and also Olive oil on the list. These are two foods which I really enjoy in my meals. Looking at the foods on the list they make up a very balanced diet, it appears to be more of a Greek style diet. 

    It is so important to keep our gut bacteria active and find that the pre-biotics and pro-biotics help so much to keep us in balance.

    • Hi Jill Thanks for stopping by. I guess the diet could be said to be similar to the Mediterranean diet. Lots of fresh and healthy foods and healthy oils.

  11. Very informative post Ann. Learning all about bacteria in pre-med school, I totally get what you’re saying that not all bacteria are bad. There are good bacteria that thrive on certain parts of our body (called normal flora) and they play a major role in maintaining our overall health.

    One particular bacteria that is important, especially for the gut is Lactobacilli. I remember the first time the yogurt drink called Yakult first came out. On its label was written “Lactobacilli drink” which did not immediately click among consumers. At least, not until the people behind it came up with great advertising. The fact is that, not many people are aware of the importance of having a healthy gut so it’s up to those who know about this to sound the alarm. 

    By the way, I am glad to find out in your post that other than yogurt, there are other foods that benefit the gut. Well, I like kimchi, thanks to the Koreans who introduced this to us. I enjoy pickles too and I always make sure to add garlic and onions to every dish I prepare. But what about over consumption of these foods? How much is too much? And are there side effects?

    • Hi Alice thanks for stopping by. I think you could probably over consume some of these foods, but your gut will tell you if you are by showing some signs of distress. Everyone reacts differently.

  12. Sometimes we feel, we are eating right but our health does not reflect it. That is where the food digestion and absorption come in. Without proper digestion and intestinal absorption healthy food will fail improving your health.

    This article wonderfully presents the role of gut bacteria, the foods helping establish a good bacteria colony educating the people and highlighting different health problems associated with it if you lack them.

    I like the curvumin in turmeric’s effectiveness is enhanced adding back paper. I use the combination because it is known to enhances the curcumin absorption and it is one of the ways turmeric is formulated.

    There are supplements one can buy to help the gut flora as well but having food helping gut flora is better than supplements per my analysis.

    It is an important article about helping the core strength of your entire health by choice of food.

  13. Wow! 40 trillion? That’s a whole lot.

    I’m getting to learn about the gut microbiota these days, i seem to learn new things on a fairly constant basis.

    To increase the health of my gut, i guess i’ll need to be more intentional about incorporating yoghurt into my diet

    I’d like to know how i can differentiate between pure unsweetended yoghurt and flavored ones ?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Festus, most yoghurt packs say whether they are plain unsweetened or if they are flavoured, read the back of the package carefully too. You should also be looking for the words ‘live cultures’. 

  14. Nice article there on gut bacteria. I found it so informative and educational in many ways 

    Until now I never knew  we had such a huge amount of bacteria in our body, 40 trillion different microorganisms and the majority of them are in our gut.  I am afraid that my habits have probably caused gut flora Imbalance. I need to try my best to restore healthy gut flora

    • Thanks for stopping by and glad you found the information useful. Hopefully it gave you a few ideas for ways to improve your gut flora. 

  15. Hi there, thanks for sharing this useful health tips for everyone with gut Flora, just like u have rightly said we have 4 trillions organism In our body system, even though we can’t see them but majority of them are in our gut. And this will need us to eating diet that are helpful to the gut. Some of this diet are what we can even get easily like AvocadoOlive, coconut Oil and coconut products, so I think taking them for our health to be safe is important to 

  16. The body needs an active level of microbial load within the body to stabilise the system, and bacteria has a crucial part to play in that aspect as well, most of which are present in the gut just like you described. I’ve always avoid taking antibiotics because the effect is severe shortly after taking it. Thanks for shedding some lights on this, really helpful. 

    • Thanks for your comment, for sure if you can possible avoid taking antibiotics and try some natural herbal antibiotics instead it will help your gut flora. 

  17. I am diabetic but I take vitamin suppliments. I know that this is not enough but I do not like any of the fermented foods on that list. What can I do? I do eat a lot of onion, garlic and veggies. I also use coconut oil, olive oil and eat a lot of cashews and sunflower seeds. I am always looking for ways to better my health. Because well when I was diagnosed 33 years ago Doc told me that being diabetic I age twice as fast. Scared me into a healthier lifestyle. Thank you

    • Hi Kari, perhaps you could take a probiotic supplement if you don’t like eating probiotic foods. However, if you are not experiencing any gut issues, your gut flora is probably in good shape. It sounds like you are eating plenty prebiotic foods to feed your gut bacteria in any case. 

  18. Thanks for your informative article.  This is an interesting topic that I’d never considered before.  But now that I’m getting older, and that I notice a few things that used to be different, it’s time to start paying attention.  I appreciate the fact that you present your information in a clear and concise way, and the fact that it is relevant and easy to follow.  I specifically liked the signs to watch for, in order to determine your gut flora being out of balance.

    • Hi Hugo thanks for leaving a comment. I’m happy to hear you found the article written in a clear and concise way, I try to avoid waffling on if possible. 

  19. Dear Ann,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and insightful post. I learned a lot of helpful information which I am not aware of before reading your post. 

    You have not only addressed the problem but you have provided with the solution as well. I was shocked to know that the stress level will affect the gut bacteria. Stress and proper sleep are the things I need to work on. To be honest, I felt really bad when I read the list of fermented foods because many of them I haven’t ate so far.

    I am bookmarking your post for future reference and also I shared your post with my wife so I expect going forward I will get some of these foods.

    Much Success!


    • Hi Paul thanks for leaving a comment and I’m glad you found the information useful. Yes stress takes a toll on our bodies in many ways. Good luck adding some probiotic rich foods into your diet. 

  20. Thanks for this article, I never for once thought bacteria can be that useful in the body system especially the gut. I’m surprised it can even help in some health conditions such as Autism, anxiety and Depression, arthritis and others. Keep up the good work. I found this article really helpful and educative. 

    • Hi Stella thanks for stopping by. The link between the gut and brain (the gut brain axis) is becoming more widely recognized and talked about. I’m happy you found the article informative.

  21. These are definitely some Super foods that help gut flora and they are really nice tasting, versatile foods. My daughter was so sick one time and was placed on prolonged doses of antibiotics. At the time, I didn’t know that the good bacteria in her system would be greatly affected by this antibiotic. But luckily, when we noticed that she was always weak and restless, the doctor recommended some pro biotic supplements and then advised we get her lots and lots of yogurt, oatmeal, avocados and wild salmon. She rejuvenated and since then, we try to incorporate them into her meal. We are now trying tofu. 

    • Hi Vapz, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad to hear you worked out what was causing your daughter’s issues. Antibiotics are greatly overused unfortunately. 

  22. Thank you for writing this information. I had no idea that antibiotic can kill the good bacteria in our gut too. Is this why sometimes I don’t feel good after finishing taking antibiotic? I’m glad fermented foods is the best food to restore healthy gut bacteria. They are easy to get in my country. I should add more in my daily lunch. 

    • Allblue, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Unfortunately many people are unaware of the gut issues antibiotics can cause. I always feel fatigued during antibiotic use and then there is the issue of disruption to the good gut flora after you stop taking them. Sounds like you will have no problem adding some fermented foods to your daily diet. 

  23. I’ve learnt a lot here. 

    I didn’t realize that the gut helps in extraction of fat. You really do learn something new everyday.

    I hadn’t realized that there was a big issue about our guts, guess it’s not in my area or is it that no one is speaking about it…Hmm… something to think about there.

    the list of food here don’t only work good for your gut, but they’re also generally health so that’s  a great list compilation.

    • Angella thanks for stopping by and I’m so glad you learned something from my article. It’s now becoming more widely recognized just how important gut health is to overall health. 

  24. Wow , it’s like I have never heard it before that majority of the bacteria in our body is in our gut. I think I ts s must for me to start following this site because I really love to know much about things pertaining to my health. Reading this article has informed me and educated me. Thanks for sharing this information .

  25. Thank you for sharing this great information very well explain it.

    very good information on how to maintain our level of gut in healthy state and what foods to consume to maintain healthy gut flora, after reading your article I realized that I am doing some things well like consuming avocado, nuts, salmon, asparagus but some of the things I do wrong is the consumption of flavored yogurts instead of plain and in my oatmeal with sugar but thanks to this information I am going to change this habit.

    Thank you again for this info very helpful to me.

    • Hi there and thanks for stopping by my site. I’m glad to hear you will continue to improve your gut flora by making a couple of simple changes. 

  26. Wow Ann,

    This is a very informative article. Even though I am a pharmacist, I always try to encourage to heal themselves with food first and that medications should only be once in a while and as a last resort (no including emergencies). The only problem I have is that a lot of the foods suggested are things that I am not familiar with (now live in the US but did not grow up in the US) but I have been slowly and carefully incorporating new things into my diet. 

    Thanks for the post

    • Thanks for your comments and I agree – try to heal naturally first particularly using adjustments to a healthier way of eating. I’m sure if you ask at your local health food store they can point you in the direction of where you can find the foods you are unfamiliar with. 

  27. Wow, you have put together another blockbuster article that is chock full of useful information, with the subject of this one being gut bacteria. One reason I love stopping by your website is that you educate me on something new, every time! This article’s focus on gut flora is an entirely new area of study for me when it comes to body health, but I see how it all fits into the bigger picture.

    First of all, I had no idea that we had so many bacteria in various parts of our bodies (40 trillion of them), with most being in our gut areas! That our health is linked to the gastro flora array where most of these organisms live makes so much sense and the foods, herbs, and spices that are conducive to having healthy gut flora conditions are the same ones that help in so many other areas of your health and well-being.

    My take is that some of the symptoms we may be having for one thing or another may very well be due to the gut flora in need of some attention, I will from now on take this into consideration for my food selection, and in particular, add more fermented items into my diet. 

    Thanks for the intensive and thorough drill down you have presented in this article on foods we can eat for a healthy gut bacteria condition. You have raised my level of awareness to a new level!

    • Hi and thanks for stopping by again and I’m so pleased that you find my articles useful. Good gut health is so important and indeed has a huge influence on your overall health. Good to hear you will start introducing some fermented foods into your diet, just go slowly at first so that your system gets used to the changes. 

  28. Hello Ann, 

    It is interesting to know that fermented food are our best friend. I knew yoghurt is good for the body but fermented vegetables? Koreans must have healthy gut since kimchi is listed here. I believe good gut health is important for our general well-being. Turmeric is one of my favourite spice and I will check out the fermented vegetables in a bit.

    Thanks for sharing,


    • Hi Sharon thanks for stopping by. Yes most people know yoghurt but are not familiar with the many fermented foods available from cultures around the world. It makes it easy to try small quantities of different types of fermented foods until you find the ones you can include in your regular diet. 

  29. I’d say it was around 3 years ago I’ve really become aware of how important good gut health is. I changed up the way I eat and I feel a ton better for doing so, and I believe my overall gut health has improved by a lot.

    I have so much more energy now and my mindset improved by a lot too. It’s amazing how gut health is linked to overall health. 

    • Hi there, I couldn’t agree more, gut health is so important to your overall good health. Great to hear you are reaping the benefits of the changes you made to your diet. 

  30. Gut health is totally underestimated as most people just put up with the problems.
    The Western diet is not generally a good source of food groups so introducing 
    recommended foods is a great way to help stabilize the body.
    My wife recently had a Knee replacement and suffered from digestive problems.
    Large doses of antibiotics creating constipation and a lack of desire to eat added to the issue.
    For a quick fix, we used local commercial bacteria in yogurt to stabilize the issue.
    We are now much more aware of long term support from food.

    Peter h

    • Thanks for leaving a comment. Unfortunately, your wife found out how antibiotics wipe out the good flora in your gut. Honestly, I avoid taking them where possible, but if unavoidable, following the course with a good probiotic supplement provides some insurance and of course making sure your diet supports good gut flora on an ongoing basis is super important for good gut health too.

  31. Hello, thank you for providing such useful information. I’m a fan of natural healing and the state of our gut pretty much dictates our health because it influences so much of our body. A newborn conceived through C-section is predisposed to bacterial imbalance because it was never exposed to bacteria from the birth canal. 

    Autism is also known to be caused by imbalances in the gut according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride’s book “Gaps Diet” where she tells the story of how she healed her son of Autism through diet and focusing on the gut.

    Thanks again for this wonderful article


    • Hi and thanks for leaving a comment. Yes I’ve actually done a partial GAPS diet when recovering from CFS and healing my gut, it is very powerful. 

  32. I always wondered whether some of the symptoms that I would experience, like moodiness, anxiety, bloating, and gas, is due to what I ate. After reading your article, i noticed that I had many of the suggested symptoms that you had listed. Wow. It’s time for me to seek a gastrologist because I have been battling with these symptoms for YEAAARRRSSS and had no idea how to fix it.

    Thank you for your article!

  33. You have given me a lot of ideas for what I could get to eat to replenish my gut flora and how to make it more healthy. The best of these food items is kimchi in my opinion… I love kimchi!!! especially the spicy kind. Do you think that fermented foods have any downsides to all their benefits?

    • Thanks for your comment. I think there are situations when probiotics should not be taken e.g., if you have a yeast overgrowth in the gut or you have food sensitivities to this type of food. From my experience it is often best to get a yeast overgrowth under control before adding fermented foods. Also I think it is important not to overdo taking fermented foods. In most cultures they seem to be used traditionally as a condiment. An example of which as you mention is Kimchi. 

  34. Hi Ann, I enjoy your blog and this is an excellent post. I had no idea that 80% of our immune systems were in our gut. It only makes sense that we should be watching what we eat and eating healthy to keep our immune system boosted! Amongst the fermented foods you listed, I’m only familiar with Yoghurt. And I did not know that Turmeric works as Anti-Inflammatory Herbs in our bodies. Thank you so much for sharing with us such a useful article about “foods that help gut flora”.Good Luck.

    • Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments. Yes I agree I was also surprised when I heard about 80% of the immune system being located in the gut. Good to hear I have given you a few other food sources of probiotics you can try out.


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