6 Foods that are especially good for gut health

The human intestine is a complex and intelligent system that independently regulates its work. We only need to eat enough fresh and healthy foods that will nourish the microflora, maintaining the balance of bacteria. We will tell you what foods are important to include in the diet on a regular basis so that your intestines feel great and your diet is balanced. Elena Aleksandrovna Poluektova, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Vice-President of the Interregional Public Organization “Scientific Community for the Promotion of Clinical Study of the Human Microbiome” (NSOIM) helped to understand the issue of “Aboutmans”.


Cell tissue (dietary fiber) is the main component of the diet, which ensures the health of the intestine. Fiber is what helps to normalize digestion. A diet with a high content of fiber reduces the risk of constipation, hemorrhoids. In the course of research, scientists have found that fiber can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (tumors in the large intestine).

Eating fibers help control blood sugar levels and body weight. Thanks to foods rich in fiber, you can feel satiated more quickly. The more fiber you consume, the less you will want to eat unhealthy food.

Experts from the World Health Organization believe that many people do not get enough fiber. Women are advised to eat up to 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should eat up to 38 grams. Fiber is rich in almost all vegetable products. The leader among vegetables is fresh green peas: 11 grams of fiber – in one cup for 250 ml. In a cup of Brussels cabbage or broccoli – 4-5 grams of fiber. From baked with peeled potatoes you get 4 grams, and from a cup of boiled corn – 3.5 grams of fiber.

Elena Alexandrovna Poluektova

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Propaedeutics of Internal Diseases, Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Sechenov Moscow State Medical University.

– The intestinal microbiota is a set of microorganisms that inhabits the human intestine and consists of approximately 10 to 14 degree microbial cells. In a healthy adult, more than 90% of gastrointestinal bacteria are of the Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria types. Other types are represented in small quantities.

The intestinal microbiota is an independent “organ” that is as important as any other vital organ. Microbiota is involved in metabolism, synthesis of vitamins, regulation of immune response, ensuring the integrity of muco-epithelial barrier of the gastrointestinal tract. Microbiota also prevents infestation of gastrointestinal tract by pathogenic bacteria.


Scientists have found that soluble and insoluble dietary fibers play a key role in the formation of healthy microbiota (microflora) of the intestine. Lentils, chickpeas, peas, beans and other legumes contain substances that prevent inflammation in the intestine and cancer. Leaders among legumes in terms of fiber content – lentils, black beans and peas. In the portion – up to 15 grams of fiber, which is more than half the daily norm.

Fermented milk products

Some fermented milk products, such as yogurts, contain probiotics. These are microorganisms that are good for health. Probiotics displace potentially dangerous bacteria from microflora, affect the body’s immune response by helping it fight infections, and participate in digesting fiber. If the yogurt you eat for breakfast contains the probiotic bifidobacteria ActiRegularis (usually indicated by the manufacturers on the packaging), it is highly likely that you will have lower symptoms of digestive discomfort: better digestion and less bloating.

Even if a person is hypersensitive to milk due to lactase deficiency, there are studies that suggest that a person may be eating sour milk, particularly yogurt, and not have characteristic symptoms. It is important to take into account the state of your body and watch how you feel after eating certain foods.

Elena Alexandrovna Poluektova

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Propaedeutics of Internal Diseases, Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Sechenov Moscow State Medical University.

– Fermented milk products can have a beneficial effect on human health. Dairy proteins contribute to the diversity and normalization of the intestinal microbiota, as they increase the number of bifido and lactobacillus. The Streptococcus thermophilus culture used in the digestion of dairy products, according to individual studies, has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Fermented products

Kombucha, sauerkraut, tempe, kimchi and other fermented products are also useful because they contain natural bacteria. They are formed by fermentation of fresh products. Regular consumption of fermented foods helps reduce the risk of constipation, improves lactose absorption and fights harmful bacteria.

Whole-grain products

Specialists from Harvard Medical School advise to include quinoa, whole wheat, millet, rye, brown and black rice in the diet to keep the intestines healthy. Besides fiber, grains are rich in vitamins and minerals. Often, bread or wholemeal paste is given away as normal flour with the addition of small amounts of wholemeal. Such products are no more useful than the most common white batons or cheap pasta. So if you have set yourself the goal to eat only wholemeal bread and the most useful pasta, take a closer look at the composition.

Elena Alexandrovna Poluektova

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Propaedeutics of Internal Diseases, Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Sechenov Moscow State Medical University.

– Western type of diet (diet with a lot of flour, sugar, saturated fats, low fiber. – Ed.) leads to a change in the composition of intestinal microbiota, obesity and increases the risk of malignant tumors, functional and inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as diseases of the cardiovascular system. Inclusion in the diet of a sufficient number of vegetables, fruits, fish, on the contrary, contributes to health and longevity.

It is assumed that the optimal composition of intestinal microbiota is associated with sufficient physical activity. People aged 18 to 64 years are recommended to exercise aerobic physical activity of medium intensity for 150 minutes per week or high intensity for 75 minutes per week. Besides intestinal problems, 21-25% of breast and colorectal cancers, 27% of diabetes mellitus cases, 30% of coronary heart disease and 35-53% of arterial hypertension cases are associated with insufficient physical activity.


If you drink too little water per day, your diet is not balanced. Water stimulates the removal of digested food from the body, helps maintain a balance of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and the work of all organs. Drinking should be based on a sense of thirst; eight glasses are just a rough guide. Not only pure water is counted, but also liquid from all products, including fruits, vegetables, and various drinks.