Jenna's Top 10 Essentials for Maintaining Good Gut Health

Jenna's Top 10 Essentials for Maintaining Good Gut Health

'The term gut health is thrown around a lot but what does it really mean? When we are talking about gut health, we're often referring to the collection of bacteria that are housed within the large intestine.

These bacteria are associated with numerous health outcomes from dietary choices, brain function, weight function, sleep, stress and more! Ultimately, having a healthy gut is about housing more of the beneficial bacteria and less of the bad bacteria. In the list below I've shared 10 foods that can help you to increase the good bacteria in the gut.'

mybest-UK resident specialist Jenna Hope has kindly curated a list of essentials for maintaining good gut health. Make sure you read on to learn more about what your body should be seeing more of and start the change today!

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Jenna Hope
Nutritionist
  • Yeo Valley
    Greek Style Natural Yoghurt


    Jenna Hope

    Natural yoghurt contains live cultures which are particularly beneficial for the gut. The live cultures are the good bacteria that the gut needs to support your overall wellbeing. Natural yoghurt is also a low sugar option as many yoghurts contain lots of added sugars which may have a negative impact on gut health. 


    Consumption of high sugar foods causes an increase in proteobacteria, which is bacteria associated with inflammation. Yoghurt is a great snack or even makes for a delicious breakfast with fruit and mixed seeds or low sugar granola!

  • Biona
    Organic Sauerkraut


    Jenna Hope

    Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage in which during the fermentation process, beneficial live bacteria are produced. These beneficial bacteria reach the gut and house themselves there to support gut function and overall wellbeing


    The enzymes present in sauerkraut help to break down food into smaller molecules which means it can be easier to digest nutrients from other foods. All round win to me! Sauerkraut is delicious served on a salad or as a toast topper with hummus too!

  • Biotiful
    Kefir Original


    Jenna Hope

    Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink that can help to support digestion. The live cultures found in the drink help to restore the balance of the gut as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. Kefir is also a source of micronutrients such as iodine and calcium. 


    Iodine is really important for cognitive function and supporting thyroid function whilst calcium plays a crucial role in heart health, muscle function and bone health. You can add kefir to smoothies, drink it alone or stir it into porridge in the morning!

  • Bio&Me
    Super Seedy and Nutty Gut Loving Granola


    Jenna Hope

    This is one of my favourite granolas on the market in the UK! This granola is high in fibre and contains no added sugars. Dietary fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate that is fermented by bacteria in the gut to allow nutrient absorption and metabolism. 


    It also helps to promote satiety as it helps to keep you fuller for longer and slows down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. I love that this granola contains so many different plant ingredients, including chickpeas!!

    I love having it for breakfast coupled with natural yoghurt, fruit and cinnamon. There are so many delicious flavours to choose from!

  • Napolina
    Five Bean Salad


    Jenna Hope

    Beans are such a great source of dietary fibre as well as being a good source of plant protein. Consuming a high fibre diet also helps to reduce feelings of constipation and help aid digestion. 


    Additionally, for those of us who are trying to reduce the impact of our diet on the environment beans are a much more environmentally friendly protein source than animal products. Needless to say, they're cheaper than animal products too! You can add these to any dish from chillis, to stews, soups and salads too!

  • Clearspring
    Organic Miso Johsen Brown Rice Unpasteurised


    Jenna Hope

    Miso is a fermented soybean paste that contains protein as well as numerous vitamins and minerals. What's more, the fermentation of these beans enhances the number of beneficial bacteria for the gut. These good bacteria help aid digestion and the absorption of nutrients. 


    I use miso to marinade aubergine before roasting in the oven and serving with some couscous and veggies. Sometimes, I even mix it with boiling water and serve it as a soup with tofu. It's not only is beneficial for gut health, but it is also a good source of B vitamins as well as vitamins E and K.

  • Weetabix
    Wholegrain Biscuits


    Jenna Hope

    Whole grains are a rich source of fibre alongside being a good source of some of the B vitamins and antioxidants. Fibre helps to give bulk to stools as well as there being evidence to suggest that whole grains may help to reduce inflammation in the gut. 


    Weetabix is a lower sugar breakfast cereal which is really important as high sugar breakfast cereals can easily increase your total sugar intake for the day. This is a great breakfast option to couple with some milk and berries, or alternatively to have as a snack throughout the day which can help you to hit the UK's fibre recommendations of 30g per day.

  • Montezuma's
    73% Cocoa Dark Drinking Chocolate Disks


    Jenna Hope

    Dark chocolate contains flavanols (a type of chemical compound found naturally in plants) which have been associated with supporting the increase of the beneficial bacteria in the gut


    This dark drinking chocolate is the ideal evening comfort. I love drinking with warm oat milk or over ice with cold almond milk! Dark chocolate is lower in sugar than milk chocolate and this one has a perfect balance. Also, it's important to note that dark chocolate often contains more flavanols than milk varieties too! You won't go back after trying this one!

  • Teapigs
    Mao Feng Green Tea Bags Made with Whole Leaves


    Jenna Hope

    This green tea is my all time favourite green tea, it's super light in taste and really refreshing either hot or cold. Tea contains polyphenols which are a type of chemical compound found naturally in plants. 


    Polyphenols are associated with the increase in the good bacteria in the gut! You can't beat starting the day with a green tea in bed on the weekends. I find some green teas quite bitter although this one is really light and sweet in flavour.

  • Happy Belly
    Goji Berries


    Jenna Hope

    These are also another great source of fibre and they're packed with beneficial plant compounds to support a healthy gut. Goji berries are the most versatile of the dried fruits as they're lower in sugars than many others and can therefore be more diverse.


    I personally love snacking on them in the afternoon with a cup of tea and dark chocolate or using them to top my porridge or yoghurt in the morning. They also make for the perfect answer to jazz up your salad and have I mentioned the stunning colour?!

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