With only weeks away until the launch of my latest book, The Easy 5-Ingredient Acid Reflux Cookbook, I continue to strive to share valuable content within the book’s sphere of influence.
In that spirit, I want to use today’s article as an opportunity to discuss some dietary considerations in the world of gut health.
I know that readers tend to enjoy list-based articles like the top 5 of this or the top 10 of that and so that’s the theme I’ve one with.
Gut Health, GERD & IBS
Looking more closely into the data, I found that GERD and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) commonly overlap and living with one of these conditions may mean you are up to 4x more likely than the average person to also be dealing with the other.
And so when I offer you my “Top 10 Foods To Improve Gut Health” – I’m looking for nutrient dense foods that specifically fit these characteristics:
- High Soluble Fibre – Soluble fibre intake is often associated with improved outcomes in the world of digestive health as it relates to both GERD and IBS.
- Low FODMAP – Managing FODMAP intake is a common strategy in IBS management and there is also some interest around FODMAP intake and acid reflux symptoms.
- Nutrient Dense – Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants play a significant role in digestive and overall health.
Obviously gut health considerations are complex and vary widely from person to person but using this criteria I was able to come up with a solid list of commonly available foods that I feel could play a meaningful role for most people.
My list includes:
1. Flaxseed – An easy choice, easy to use food that can be thrown into anything from salads to smoothies. Bonus points for also being rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in very few other foods. Chia & hemp seeds are great alternatives.
2.Tofu– A wonderful source of plant-based protein and soluble fiber, you guys already know how I feel about soy.
3. Canned Lentils – Legumes are heavily underrated foods but also not always well tolerated, small amounts ( 1/2 cup or less) of canned lentils are a good starting point.
4. Okra – Some of you may be unfamiliar with okra, it’s time to change that. Don’t feel like trying something new? Zucchini & eggplant work here too.
5. Green beans – Fresh or frozen, green beans are economical, underrated and a classic family food. Carrots work too!
6. Collard Greens- Although I feel like I’m betraying kale a bit with this leafy green selection, if you’ve never used collard greens before now is your chance to start.
7. Strawberries/Raspberries/Blueberries – Among the fruits with the highest anti-oxidant content, berries either fresh or frozen are a no-brainer.
8. Kiwi – Exceptionally high in vitamin C, kiwi is an extra suitable suit choice for vegans & vegetarians. Oranges work too!
9. Pumpkin/Sunflower Seeds – The perfect snack or compliment to several different types of dishes.
10. Quinoa – Quinoa, oatmeal and potatoes are among the starchy foods with notable soluble fiber content.
Honourable Mention – Yogurt: Although yogurt does not naturally contain fibre, it does contain probiotics and makes for a great facilitator – bringing together some of the other important foods on this list.
Unexpected Mention – Seaweed: I personally love seaweed snacks and they happen to a topic of emerging interest in the world of gut health.
If you’ve been struggling with GERD or acid reflux you should take a look at my blog on the top 5 ways to fight back, and if you like what you see there the next most logical step is to pre-order my latest book, which contains not only easy and epic recipes, but tons more science behind diet, lifestyle and GERD/reflux risk.
Andy De Santis RD MPH