Best Summertime Foods to Nourish the Gut

Summer is here and that means it’s time to plan out all the fun activities you’ll do! Usually, that list includes vacations, day trips, and BBQ’s. To keep up your energy and make the most out of your summer days you’ll want to make sure you’re eating the best foods to support your body. Keeping your gut health in mind allows the rest of your health to be optimal. Read on to learn about the best summertime foods to nourish the gut!Best Summertime Foods to Nourish the Gut

The #1 Best Tip for Eating Healthfully this Summer

Eat a wide variety of healthy, whole foods. This means keeping a well-balanced diet in mind. Make sure that each day you’re getting adequate helpings of:

  • Healthy fats
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Natural sugars rather than added or artificial sweeteners

When you eat a healthy, balanced diet, your gut becomes balanced and allows the rest of your body to be healthy. The microbes within the gut microbiome break down the foods that aren’t absorbed by the stomach and small intestine. As they break down these harder-to-digest foods they release byproducts that help the body perform better. 

Each part of your body needs different nutrition to function properly. That’s why eating a variety of healthy foods helps your body do everything you expect of it. 

So let’s break this down into the categories above so you can get examples of each to bring along with you wherever your summer travels take you!

Also, remember that eating foods that are seasonally available provides you with the protection you need from environmental factors and supports your body for activity levels that time of the year. 

Learn about how polyphenols can provide UV protection here!

Healthy Fats for Summer Snacks

Healthy fats are important for your gut, brain, joints, hormones, chemical messengers, and, therefore, your entire body. Fats are a tricky subject because not all fats are healthy but not all fats are dangerous either. 

Diets high in unhealthy fats mixed with large quantities of carbs and sugars are associated with obesity, diabetes, and related conditions. They can also result in dysbiosis — an imbalance of unhealthy microbes in the gut. 

However, if we look at the Mediterranean diet — one of the healthiest diets — it contains moderate amounts of healthy fats like avocados and olive oil. There is a low incidence of heart diseases, obesity, and other common conditions throughout the Western world. 

It’s important to note that healthy fats help the body to absorb essential vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E. Omega 3 fatty acids are associated with a higher abundance of healthy gut microbes.

Trans fats are the biggest concern and what you should avoid. These are often found in fried and highly processed foods. These are common in high-fat diets. 

Modeling your diet more after the Mediterranean diet rather than a high-fat diet will help you get the right kinds of fats in your body.

Healthy fats that you’ll want to include in your diet this summer include:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil and other healthy oils — a great base for salad dressings
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish
  • Eggs

Fibrous Summer Foods

Fiber is an expected topic when trying to optimize gut health. Fiber is the preferred food for gut microbes and allows for healthy stool and bowel movements. 

What’s great about high-fiber summer foods is that they also contain high water content. So you’re replenishing your fluid, electrolyte, and fiber levels all at the same time. Some of the best fibrous summer foods include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Celery 
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini

In addition to fiber, a lot of these foods are high in polyphenol and antioxidant compounds. These are important because they provide your body with protection against UV rays and other environmental factors. So in addition to the high-fiber foods you can include other nutrient and polyphenol-rich foods like herbs that can provide further healing, anti-inflammatory, and nutrition to your cells.

We have a whole article on fiber and summer foods here if you want to learn more.

Protein-Packed Foods for Summer

Protein has gotten a lot of attention in recent years for people looking to gain muscle and lose weight. Adding protein to your diet keeps you fuller for longer without needing to add in extra carbs. 

Protein is necessary for healthy muscles, but many people don’t realize that it’s important for gut health as well. Protein quality is the most important factor when it comes to how protein affects gut health. 

High-quality proteins help to support the gut microbes and allow for helpful metabolite release. Low-quality proteins do the opposite which can contribute to inflammation and disease. This could be why there are differing views on how healthy meat is for the body. 

Choosing local, high-quality meats that come from grass-fed, free-range, and wild-caught animals is the best way to determine the quality of your food. 

Some great options for high-protein summer foods include:

  • Marinated grilled meats — check out this link for tips on how to make grilling healthier
  • Grass-fed beef sticks and jerky
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Fish filets 

Healthy Summer Carbs

Carbs are broken down into two main categories: starches and sugars. Normally when we think about carbohydrates, we think about cereal and pasta. But there are plenty of other sources of carbs that are healthier. Get some healthy summer carbs in the form of:

  • Farro
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain breads or pasta
  • Vegetables like potatoes and green peas
  • Starchy beans and legumes

Now if carbs give you a hard time, like in people with IBS, stick to the ones that are less irritating for your symptoms. However, carbs are an important source of energy for our bodies and a great source of the fiber our gut microbes love to use to nourish the gut. 

When it comes to carbs, consuming whole sources of carbs rather than overly processed ones is going to be better for your body. These allow the gut microbiome to become diverse with a healthier population of microbes and starve the pathogenic species.

There are a ton of foods out there this summer that are going to be great for nourishing your gut! 

Try some of our recipes from our site here!

All in all, as long as you’re getting high-quality foods from each food group daily, you should be on your way to better health this summer. And if your summertime activities get in the way of getting enough polyphenols and prebiotics into your diet, make sure to take your daily dose of Atrantil to protect and nourish your microbiome!

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