The Role of Gut Health in Overall Wellness: Foods That Help and Harm

The Role of Gut Health in Overall Wellness: Foods That Help and Harm

There are tons of microorganisms found in our gut, known as the microbiome. The foods that we eat can impact how the microbiome works.

The role of gut health can impact your overall wellness, and certain foods can be broken down for the body to use more efficiently. Gut health has been linked to other health problems, which include digestive issues, autoimmune diseases, mental health, and the immune system.

Some foods can help promote a healthy gut microbiome, but some foods could harm it. To understand how food affects your gut health, you should understand how digestion works. Your gut is where food gets absorbed and used. The gut acts like a barrier in your body, creating a boundary between what you eat and whether it gets circulated throughout. 

This article highlights foods that are beneficial and detrimental to gut health, with a special focus on how our products from Bhu foods can support a healthy gut microbiome.

Foods To Help Your Gut Health

Your nutrition is essential to help keep your digestion working properly. Your gut requires good bacteria to regulate and help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria. 

Often, it can help if you perform a gut wellness cleanse to kickstart a healthy gut and get your digestion in a better place. Here are some great foods that help promote and support your gut. 


Dietary fiber is vital to gut health. High-fiber diets can help with the absorption of nutrients, keep you from being constipated, and aid in digestion. Another great reason to eat more fiber is that it helps prevent other health problems related to heart disease.  Bhu Foods offers a range of products that are high in fiber, such as their organic granola bars and snacks, making it easier to incorporate healthy fiber into your daily diet.

While having fiber in your diet is necessary, you don’t want to take in too much. It’s common for most adults to get somewhere around 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Many foods that are high in fiber include the following:

  • Oats
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and lentils
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Artichokes
  • Bananas
  • Wheat bran
  • Asparagus
  • Leafy greens

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are great for microbial gut diversity. They have many health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health. 

However, just like with fiber, while you want to include this type of food in your diet, it’s advisable not to eat too much. The National Institute of Health suggests only about 1.1 to 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily.  Our selection of plant-based snacks, rich in flaxseeds and chia seeds, provides a convenient source of omega-3 fatty acids to help you meet your daily intake goals.

You can find omega-3 fatty acids in foods that include:

  • Fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
  • Nuts and seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts)
  • Plant oils (soybean oil, canola oil)
  • Eggs, yogurts, and juices that are fortified

Fermented Foods

Probiotics are good bacteria that help promote a healthy gut microbiome. So, live active culture fermented foods are great for improving your overall wellness. Since no specific amount of fermented foods is suggested in a healthy diet, you should consult a dietitian or other healthcare professional about how much to take each day. 

Good sources of fermented foods include:

  • Yogurt
  • Saerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Miso

Vitamin D Rich Foods

Food containing a lot of Vitamin D is helpful in supporting the immune system and improving your bone health. In addition, Vitamin D helps to increase the growth of healthy gut bacteria, and most people (about 42%) in the United States don’t receive enough of this necessary vitamin in their diets. 

It’s helpful to get about 15 to 20 mgs of Vitamin C daily. You can find it in many foods, including the following:

  •  Eggs (the yolk in particular)
  • Milk, juice, or cereal that are fortified or have extra Vitamin D added
  • Mushrooms
  • Tuna

One other type of compound that helps with a healthy gut is known as polyphenols. Beverages are often rich with them, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. They help combat the harmful bacteria and reduce symptoms of inflammation. Our fortified snacks can be a part of your strategy to increase your vitamin D intake, alongside direct sources like egg yolks, and mushrooms.

Foods That Harm Your Gut Health

Now that you’re clear on what foods help promote a healthy gut, here are some foods that you should take note of to avoid. 

Refined Grains

Simple and processed carbs are also called “refined grains” because they’ve been stripped of their fiber, and many minerals and vitamins are also removed. Their primary purpose in the body is just to elevate blood sugar and don’t leave very much for the microbiome to use. 

Some common refined grains include:

  • White flour
  • White rice
  • Pastries
  • Pasta
  • White bread

Refined Sugar

Like refined grains, sugar doesn’t allow for good bacteria in the microbiome and serves mainly to spike blood sugar. In fact, too much sugar in the body eliminates healthy gut bacteria and causes problems like inflammation or more severe health problems. 

Refined sugars are found most commonly in the following foods:

  • Soda
  • Candy
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Pies
  • doughnuts

Fried Foods

Foods that are fried also fall on the list of harming your gut health. They often contribute to far less diverse gut bacteria and contribute to higher inflammation levels in the body. 

Many foods can be fried, but some of the most popular ones to eat include:

  • French fries
  • Corn dogs
  • Fried meats (fried chicken or chicken fried steak)
  • Fried desserts

Saturated Fats

Keto is a popular fad diet that involves eating a lot of meat and dairy products. However, overeating meat and high-fat dairy changes the microbes in your gut and can be harmful to your gut health.

You should start checking the foods you eat often to see if they have a lot of saturated fats and work on making a change for the better to promote a healthy gut. Many foods containing high saturated fat include:

  • Fatty meats (bacon, ribs, salami)
  • Cheese
  • Biscuits
  • Butter

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and saccharin, are found in sugar-substituted foods and drinks with zero calories and zero sugar. However, they pass through the body without being digested and can negatively affect the microbiome. 

Feed Your Gut With Healthy Bacteria

Food can most definitely affect how healthy your gut is, and you must take care of yourself by protecting your digestive system. It can be helpful to speak with your doctor or work with a food specialist to identify matters concerning your gut health and what steps you can take to fix it.

Author:  Melissa Waltz