The #1 Best Vegetable for Gut Health

Your daily diet has a direct impact on your gut health, which can affect many different aspects of your health. But sometimes it can be difficult to know the best foods to eat for your gut.

As a general rule, fiber-rich whole foods generally help keep your gut happy. For example, fruits and vegetables (and some whole grains) contain polyphenols, which are compounds that improve your gut barrier.

And while eating plenty of vegetables and fruit can provide you with healthy fiber and nutrients to help your gut, research has shown that leafy green vegetables can specifically help feed the good bacteria in your gut and improve your overall gut health.

Read on to learn more about how leafy greens can help your gut, and for more healthy eating tips, check out 7 Low Sugar Dessert Recipes You’ll Want to Try Today.

cooked broccoli and spinach

It’s time to sauté some kale or make a delicious spinach salad because leafy greens (think spinach, kale, bok choy, collard greens, etc.) can help your gut bacteria in a unique way.

A study published in Nature Chemistry Biology discovered that these leafy greens contain a unique sugar compound called sulfoquinovosis (also known as SQ, because “sulfoquinovose” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue). The good bacteria in your gut feed on SQ for energy, so when you eat leafy greens, you’re essentially feeding the good bacteria in your gut microbiome.

What happens when we feed the good bacteria in our gut? The more energy these good bacteria have, the more they are able to build the protective barriers in our microbiome that are needed to ward off bad bacteria and prevent them from growing and multiplying.

A healthy gut is important because it affects more than just your stomach. In fact, your gut microbiota is known to directly impact your cognitive health and also your risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

A report published in Neurology states that the high fiber content of leafy greens can improve your gut health and therefore has neuroprotective qualities, helping to reduce cognitive decline.

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with eating fiber-rich whole foods, like vegetables, for your gut health (not to mention your overall health). But if you’re a fan of leafy greens and can incorporate more of them into your daily meals, you’ll get an extra boost of gut SQ to keep your good bacteria satisfied.

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