4 Easy Ways to Make Your Gut Happy

Written by Jamie Luu, RDN, LDN , Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

Did you know that trillions of gut bacteria call your body home? A lot of them can be found in your gastrointestinal tract, specifically your gut. These hitch-hiking bacteria inside all of us are part of what’s called the microbiome. Your microbiome can be affected by things like aging, where you live, medication and antibiotic use, disease, diet and supplementation. 

If you don’t feed your gut bacteria the right protein, fats and micronutrients, then your digestive tract is not able to do its job of absorbing nutrients properly. 

But, when you feed your gut right, it takes care of all of the things you rely on it to do: break down foods; make vitamins; produce energy; and support immunity. Bacteria in the gut are also vital to supporting cardiovascular health and brain health, in addition to reducing our tendency to become overweight or obese.  The even better news is that some foods — like soy protein, plus the bioactive peptides and amino acids that can be unlocked from it — help us to be gut-friendly. 

Protein and peptides work best when crafted in an all-natural formula, rather than just being extracted and consumed by themselves, however. One such formula is Almased. Supported by over 30 years of research, Almased is rich in soy protein, bioactive peptides, amino acids and other nutrients. Here are four ways we can hack our diet to make our gut happy and, so doing, support our overall health, immunity and so much more. 

1. Eat More Protein and Amino Acids 

Digestive wear and tear each day requires constant repair. If we add inflammation, bowel challenges or other gastrointestinal issues, as well, then we need additional protein and other nutrients to help restore gut health. 

Taking in extra good protein helps us digest extra protein more easily, because protein enzymes get released and put to work. In addition to protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, we also need amino acids to feed the gut and help restore the gut lining. Soybeans have four major components that can enhance the make-up of our gut bacteria: fiber, oligosaccharides, isoflavones and protein. Soy also has healthy bioactive peptides. Almased is of course rich in non-GMO soy. 

2. Choose More Fiber 

In addition to including Almased and lean protein in our gut health diet, we will want to include foods with a type of starch, called resistant starch, which acts like soluble fiber. 

Fiber-rich vegetables are among the very best microbiome-friendly foods because they contain resistant starch. Studies indicate that resistant starch offers significant health benefits, such as supporting healthy metabolism of glucose. Examples of foods that feature resistant starch include lentils, chickpeas and beans, firm bananas, rolled oats and cashews, and whole-grain products. Almonds, apples, artichokes, blueberries and pistachios also increase our levels of specific good bacteria, called Bifidobacteria. Incorporating a variety of fiber into your diet is also a great way to keep your digestive system humming along.

3. Say Yes to More Fermented Foods 

Many traditional diets in the world feature fermented foods. And, believe it or not, milk from camels, goats, sheep and cattle was naturally fermented as far back as 10,000 BC. 

However, people didn’t really begin to understand the science of how yeast can ferment foods until the 1800s. The process of fermentation involves bacteria or yeasts that convert sugars in food into organic acids or alcohol. Examples of fermented foods are kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt. 

Some of the most sought-after fermented soy foods include miso, natto, pickled tofu, tamari and tempeh. Fermented soy is especially nutritious because the fermentation process is able to unlock the true potential of the bioactive peptides and other nutrients that are inside soy. 

This is awesome news, since these peptides improve our satiety (our ability to feel full) by supporting healthy levels of the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin.

4. Include Extra Polyphenol-Rich Foods 

Polyphenols are natural colors that protect plants against mold, disease, bugs and ultraviolet radiation from that big yellow orb in the sky. 

When people eat foods rich in these natural antioxidants, some of these plants’ health enhancing benefits are passed along, too. 

And most of the powers of these colorful compounds need to be set free by, you guessed it, our gut bacteria. 

Some good sources of polyphenol-rich foods are: almonds, broccoli, cocoa, grape (skin), green tea, onions and red wine. 

So there you have it. Protein-packed, bioactive peptide- and amino-acid-rich Almased can be a core part of your new gut-friendly diet!

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