From occasional heartburn to Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, gut-healing foods are used far and wide to improve your digestive health. You can choose from a plethora of appetizing foods that captivate your taste buds and improve your health. Some foods like bone broth are renowned for healing the gut and the intestinal lining. Check out these 5 keto-friendly foods to heal your digestive system:
1) Bone Broth
Bone broth is a nutritious stock derived from simmering animal bones and connective tissue. An acid like lemon juice or vinegar breaks down the connective tissue and collagen, leaving a tasty nutrient-dense liquid commonly used in sauces, soups, and baked dishes. The buzz about bone broth among the health-conscious is justified. This rich broth yields nutrients and minerals like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, zinc, selenium, and manganese .
Some of the amino acids present in bone broth might be helpful for digestion, such as glutamine. Glutamine shows promise for leaky gut syndrome and healing the intestinal lining. Leaky gut can interfere with your body’s ability to digest food. Drinking bone broth gives you anti-inflammatory amino acids and more .
Sauerkraut is a fermented food with probiotics and powerful health benefits. Many health experts recommend probiotics to improve certain digestive issues. Sauerkraut (sour white cabbage) refers to fermented cabbage containing lots of probiotics (healthy bacteria).
The high fiber content also helps with bloating, indigestion, constipation, and other digestive issues. Sauerkraut is low in carbs but gives you plenty of nutrients like manganese, iron, folate, and vitamin B6 [3,4,5].
Asparagus provides prebiotics and high levels of indigestible fiber (inulin), which feeds healthy bacteria like lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Prebiotics are fuel to help healthy bacteria flourish.
The bacterial diversity and ecosystem of the gut can have a drastic impact on general and digestive health. Consuming prebiotics can improve the diversity and number of healthy bacteria in your gut. Asparagus also contains nutrients like vitamin K and folate [6,7,8].
Raw garlic is another prebiotic food containing high levels of inulin fiber to fuel healthy bacteria in your gut. Garlic also has manganese, vitamin C, and B-6, selenium, and active compounds like allicin. Allicin is created after you crush or chop garlic, and it’s believed to have powerful disease-fighting properties [9,10,11].
5) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is renowned for improving digestive health. Apple cider vinegar stimulates digestive juices and increases stomach acid production, helping you break down and digest food. Apple cider vinegar also has antiviral and antimicrobial properties and reduces the growth of unhealthy and opportunistic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Many people use apple cider vinegar to treat excess yeast in the gut .
When making apple cider vinegar, the manufacturer exposes crushed apples to yeast that ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol. During the next step, the manufacturer adds bacteria to ferment the alcohol further and turn it into acetic acid — the primary active compound in vinegar responsible for its strong sour flavor and smell. Acetic acid might be behind apple cider vinegar’s health benefits [13,14].
What’s Your Favorite Keto-Friendly Digestive Health Healing Food?
How do you take care of your digestive health on the ketogenic diet? What are your favorite foods for healing the gut?
- 1) Self Nutrition Data. Bone Broth Nutrition Facts & Calories. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/2768812/2
- 2) Achamrah, N., Dechelotte, P., & Coeffier, M. (2017). Glutamine and the regulation of intestinal permeability: From bench to bedside. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 20(1), 86-91. DOI: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000339
- 3) United States Department of Agriculture. Sauerkraut, Canned, Solids and Liquids. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169279/nutrients
- 4) Swain, M. R., Anandharaj, M., Ray, R. C., & Rani, R., P. (2014). Fermented fruits and vegetables of Asia: A potential source of probiotics. Biotechnology Research International, DOI: 10.1155/2014/250424
- 5) Gupta, V., & Garg, R. (2009). Probiotics. Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology, 27(3), 202-209. DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.53201
- 6) Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: Mechanisms and health. Nutrients, 5(4), 1417-1435. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu5041417
- 7) Quigley, E. M. M. (2019). Prebiotics and probiotics in digestive health. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 17(2), 333-344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2018.09.028
- 8) Self Nutrition Data. Asparagus, Raw, Nutrition Facts & Calories. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2311/2
- 9) Rahman, M. S. (2007). Allicin and other functional active components in garlic: Health benefits and bioavailability. International Journal of Food Properties, 10(2), 245-268. https://doi.org/10.1080/10942910601113327
- 10) Chung, L. Y. (2006). The antioxidant properties of garlic compounds: Allyl cysteine, alliin, allicin, and allyl disulfide. Journal of Medicinal Food, 9(2), https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2006.9.205
- 11) Self Nutrition Data. Garlic, Raw, Nutrition Facts & Calories. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2446/2
- 12) Budak, N. H., Aykin, E., Seydim, A. C., Greene, A. K., & Guzel-Seydim, Z. B. (2014). Functional properties of vinegar. Journal of Food Science, https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.12434
- 13) Yagnik, D., Serafin, V., & Shah, A. J. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans: Downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports, 8, 1732. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18618-x
- 14) Self Nutrition Data. Vinegar, Cider, Nutrition Facts & Calories. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/217/2