The 8 Foods to Focus on for Better Health, According to a Gastroenterologist

By | March 18, 2024

Thank you, Doctor B!



<p>Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Holly Dreesman, Prop Stylist: Gabriel Greco</p>
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Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Holly Dreesman, Prop Stylist: Gabriel Greco

Reviewed by dietitian Emily Lachtrupp, MS, RD

One of our favorite gut health experts, gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, MD, is now going viral after posting on The diary of a CEO podcast with host Steven Bartlett. The episode with Bulsiewicz has been viewed more than 2.6 million times for its insights into bowel movements and digestion.

Recently, Bulsiewicz posted a notable excerpt from the podcast to his Instagram, in which he notes foods that are good for your overall health, including heart health, gut health, and longevity. Here we share his thoughts on the 8 foods you should add to your shopping list for their healthy benefits.

Related: This One Habit Can Significantly Improve Your Gut Health — And It Has Nothing to Do with Diet

1. Fruits

There’s a weird rumor going around that fruit is actually “bad” for your health, but leave it to Dr. B about presenting the facts.

“I think fruit has been inappropriately misused,” Bulsiewicz said. “I think fruit is incredibly good for us. People who consume more fruit are even less likely to develop diabetes; they also lose weight.”

The gastroenterologist’s diabetes claim is supported by a 2021 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolismwhich showed that individuals who regularly ate whole fruits had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Related: Is Canned Fruit Healthy? This is what dietitians say

2. Fermented foods

Bulsiewicz specifies that “we” should include fermented foods such as kimchi, miso and kefir in our diets as this can help with microbial diversity in the gut. Check out this list of fermented foods to eat for a healthy gut to get you started.

3. Leafy greens

Kale, lettuce, spinach, you name it: these leafy greens are great for your health because they’re packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

“Green vegetables contain almost no calories, but still a lot of nutrients, which is good,” says Bulsiewicz. Leafy greens make an excellent base or side dish for a protein-rich main course to create a complete meal. Try these simple salmon cakes on a bed of spinach or this creamy pesto chicken salad with greens.

4. Whole grains

The gastroenterologist points out the importance of grains in your meals.

“By grains I don’t mean refined grains,” Bulsiewicz explains. “I mean unrefined grains, so like whole grains. [They’re] so good for us, these are foods for the intestinal microbiome: rich in fiber and resistant starch.”

Whole grains in particular are packed with heart-healthy soluble fiber, making them a nutritious food for those watching their cardiovascular health or blood pressure. From old-fashioned oatmeal to brown rice bowls, you can easily add whole grains to your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids

But not just omega-3 fatty acids: Bulsiewicz talks about omega-3-rich seeds and nuts such as chia seeds, hemp seeds and even walnuts.

“They contain omega-3 fats,” he says. “These are healthy fats that we need more of.”

Healthy fats are an essential part of any nutritious lifestyle, even if you’re trying to lose weight. They can help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can help improve heart health and reduce inflammation in the body. Seaweed is another food Bulsiewicz mentions later that is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.

Related: 13 Healthy High-Fat Foods You Should Be Eating

6. Aromatics

Any vegetable that makes you cry, add it to the list of aromatics you should eat.

“That’s onions, garlic, shallots,” Bulsiewicz explains. “They are delicious, they are also good for your heart and protect you against cancer.”

Besides what the doctor has stated, there are some amazing health benefits of onions and garlic as they are both packed with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, and they are also healthy for the gut as they are packed with prebiotics and probiotics respectively.

Related: 15 Garlic Parmesan Recipes You’ll Want to Make Forever

7. Legumes

Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart and overall health, says Bulsiewicz.

“For me this is number one,” the gastroenterologist suggests. “They’re gut health foods, they’re longevity foods, and if you look at the evidence around heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, across the board, you’ll see that these increase the risk of getting reduce these diseases. .”

Talk about a rave review about legumes! Legumes include beans, chickpeas, lentils and more, and they’re especially packed with fiber, making them great for your digestion. Canned beans benefit from the same benefits and are even easier to prepare!

8. Mushrooms

Last but not least, Bulsiewicz explains how mushrooms are certainly useful in our diet.

“They contain fiber and are incredibly good for us,” he says. They may also improve gut health and have anti-inflammatory properties among other benefits. Check out these mushroom recipes you’ll want to make forever.

Related: The 3 Best Fiber-Rich Vegetables You Should Eat, According to a Gastroenterologist

Read the original article about Good food.

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