Best and Worst Foods for Gut Health

  • There is no concrete definition of “gut health,” but it often refers to the health of the 300–500 different species of microorganisms—such as bacteria—that live in the large intestine and make up the gut microbiome, or gut microbiota.1

The gut microbiome bacteria help break down food for the body to use efficiently. Gut health is also linked to overall health. Approximately 70% of the body’s immune system is in the gut. Gut health has also been associated with autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, mental health, cardiovascular disease, and more.2

Some foods we eat—such as yogurt and whole grains—can help promote a healthy gut microbiome.

This article will discuss types and examples of foods to eat for gut health, some foods to limit or avoid, and the importance of probiotics versus prebiotics.

bowls of legumes and grains
Alberto Gagliardi / Getty Images

Five Gut Health Foods to Try…


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