Believe it or not, your gut health is important to the proper functioning of your entire body. Your gut contains millions of types of bacteria, which are essential to the overall health of not only your gut, but the rest of your body as well. But did you know that eating certain foods can help improve the good bacteria in your gut?

At Shine Health and Wellness, our team is committed to keeping your gut as healthy as possible. Dr. Kimberley Shine is our family and functional medicine specialist. She helps you get treatment for gut problems and gives you tips on how you can stay healthy.

Why gut health is important

Your gut health isn’t just important to your gastrointestinal system — in fact, it plays a role in many of your body functions as well. This is because of the microbiome of bacteria and fungi that live in your gut.

The good bacteria in this part of your body is essential for not only a healthy gut, but also healthy skin and a good immune system. Without enough of the good bugs and bacteria in your gut, many of your systems become unhealthy and lead to GI conditions like:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

Gut health is also imperative in keeping your blood sugar in check, which can help you prevent diseases like diabetes. It may also improve your brain health as well and decrease symptoms of certain mental health disorders.

Signs of a bad gut

When your gut isn’t working at it’s best, it can lead to a number of different symptoms. These symptoms are often uncomfortable and may cause you to feel self-conscious or embarrassed. Tell-tale signs that your gut health is suffering include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Sugar cravings
  • Diarrhea

When your gut isn’t healthy, you may also notice that you have dry or irritated skin and trouble sleeping. This is because the good bacteria in your gut have an effect on many different parts of your body.

Foods that keep your belly healthy

Foods are just one of the ways that you can help out your gut. Though some foods aren’t good for the bacteria in your stomach, other foods actually are beneficial to the overall health in your gut. Whole foods that aren’t overly processed and contain probiotics and prebiotics are the best for you. Some of these foods include:

Fermented foods

Foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut are high in probiotics, which are the good bacteria in your gut. Two of the common types of probiotics are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. These foods are extremely helpful in maintaining a balanced gut and can also help your immune system, too.


Bananas are good for a healthy gut, because they have loads of fiber in them, along with resistant starch. This is good for you, because it creates more good bacteria when the microbes in your stomach feed on that starch.


Yogurt is a great way to get probiotics in your system. Yogurts that are specially labeled with live and active cultures are the best ones for your gut health.

Beans and legumes

Believe it or not, the gas you may get after eating beans is a sign of a healthy gut. Beans, such as chickpeas and black beans, are actually whole until they reach your colon. They’re then consumed by the bacteria in that area, and the result is gas. This basically means your good bacteria are hard at work.

Whole grains

Barley, quinoa, and brown rice are good examples of high-fiber whole grains. These foods contain fiber, which helps you have regular bowel movements and can even help prevent you from gaining weight.


Berries such as blueberries and strawberries contain a good amount of fiber as well. They’re also low in fructose, which can sometimes lead to gas and bloating in some people.

The first step to changing your gut health is by modifying your diet. Dr. Shine and her team help you understand what’s affecting your gut, so you can be on your way to a much happier and healthier you.

If you’re tired of dealing with an unhealthy belly, don’t hesitate to book an appointment online or over the phone with our expert team at Shine Health and Wellness today.

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