13 Best Gut Health Snacks For a Good & Healthy Gut

It seems like everybody’s talking about gut health as the next big thing, but this obsession isn’t without merit. Gut health translates to overall health, and the more you look after what you put in your gut, the better your gut will look after you. Improving gut health is one of the main goals I have for helping my clients and students as a certified wellness counselor from Cornell University.

Luckily, you can significantly boost your gut health with making the right dietary choices that keep your gut’s bacteria happy. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy foods that are good for your gut. In this article I want to focus specifically on snacks, so let’s get started exploring what the best gut health snacks are.

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What Ingredients Make a Snack Good for Gut Health?

On the whole processed foods are bad for gut health, while whole foods are beneficial. Ingredients that come from plants tend to be good for your gut.

Eat the rainbow should be your ethos when it comes to gut health. Try and eat as many plants as possible for a diversity of good bacteria in your gut.

Lean sources of protein such as nut butter and eggs are great for gut health. You should avoid over-processed meat and meats with added sugars.

Other components to look for in healthy gut snacks include probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, polyphenols, galactooligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, and inulin & oligofructose. At the end of the day just remember that often the best types of gut healthy foods won’t have a list of ingredients because they will be straight from the source with minimal processing.

Best Snacks for Gut Health

Before you go reaching into your cupboard, let’s review which snacks make the best gut health snacks. This list has some creative ideas and best of all they are all simple and easy.

1 – Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is one of the best things you can eat for gut health, especially when you eat as diverse a collection as possible. Fruit contains many important vitamins and minerals that boost your gut health and overall health.

If you are wondering which fruits are best, focus on berries. They contain some of the highest concentrations of antioxidants and polyphenols.

2 – Vegetables

Aiming to eat as many plants as possible includes vegetables as well as fruit. Every vegetable boasts its own unique selection of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so the best course of action is to eat a variety of your favorites. Legumes count too, so make sure to include staples like lentils and black beans in your diet.

>>Find out what makes cruciferous vegetables a great choice: Cruciferous Vegetables for Hormone Balance & Lowering Estrogen<<

3 – Dried Fruit

If you’re looking for the perfect snack to fit in your lunchbox, try dried fruit. It is just as good for your gut as fresh fruit and some people find dried fruit a more convenient option.

Just something to remember though, eating too much dried fruit can wreak havoc with your ahem, bowel movements. Make sure not to eat too much in one go.

While eating bowl after bowl of raisins can feel easy, remember each raisin corresponds to an entire grape. Finally, be sure the dried fruit you choose does not have any added sugar.

4 – Olives

Olives are actually fermented, and fermented foods are great for your gut because of the bacteria they contain. Olives can even enhance your immune function. They make it less likely that you will get sick and help your body do a good job of fighting it when you do.

5 – Chickpeas & Hummus

Chickpeas and the delicious dip made from them are both great ways to boost your gut health, as well as introducing more plant-based protein to your diet. Plant-based protein is especially good if you’re trying to cut down on your processed meat intake. Chickpeas are high in dietary fiber, which your gut simply loves.

6 – Nuts (Except Peanuts)

Nuts are a great source of plant protein and your gut adores them. Sadly, peanuts are a little too salty and fatty to be considered great for your gut. But, nuts like walnuts or almonds make a perfect snack when you’re looking for a treat and want it to be healthy.

7 – Seeds

Seeds provide the perfect snack when you’re not super hungry, but just want something tasty (and healthy) to nibble on. Seeds are rich in fiber, which is one of the most important components to boost your gut health.

Most of us don’t eat enough fiber, so enjoying seeds as a snack will help you boost your fiber intake with minimal stress. Some seed snack ideas include pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.

8 – Nut Bars

Nut bars are Ideal when you need something a little more substantial that’s still healthy and low in calories. Nut bars that contain healthy nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts have plenty of plant protein as well as components that are great for your gut. For an extra protein hit, look for a nut bar that doubles up as a protein bar.

>>I recommend these LARABARS!<<

9 – Sun Butter

Sunflower butter allows you to avoid the negative health effects that come with peanut butter while improving your gut health. Sun butter contains healthy fats which have been shown to improve gut health, as well as vitamin E and magnesium, both of which our bodies need to function at their best.

10 – Cashew or Almond Milk Yogurt

While dairy is a no-go, you don’t have to miss out on yogurt for a healthy gut! Yogurt made from cashew or almond milk is great for your gut. It’s even better when paired with other foods such as fruits, seeds, and nuts for breakfast or a mid-morning snack.

11 – Eggs

Eggs are actually one of the healthiest things you can eat! They are full of lean protein, making eggs great for your gut.

Eggs are easy to digest too. That means they don’t put a lot of pressure on your digestive system, and they’re easy on your stomach if you’re experiencing digestive discomfort for any reason.

12 – Canned Fish (Sardines, Tuna, Salmon)

Many of the oily fish that come in cans are actually the most nutrient-dense. For snacking, eating canned foods is much more convenient than the fresh alternative. Sardines, tuna, and salmon contain important Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your brain as well as your gut.

13 – Deli Meat or Sugar-Free Bacon (Must Have Approved Ingredients)

Lean protein in the form of deli meat or sugar-free bacon can be a healthy gut choice, but make sure they contain an approved ingredient for a happy gut.

If possible, get the meat from your local butcher or farmer’s market and try to ensure it’s processed as minimally as possible. There should be no added sugar or other additives and preservatives.

>>Another interesting read: Genius Elimination Diet Snacks<<

Best snacks for improved gut health.

Ingredients & Foods To Avoid in Order To Eat Healthy, Gut-Friendly Snacks

On the whole, the more processed a food is, the less healthy for your gut it will be. Refined sugar, dairy products, and gluten can all contribute to poor gut health – especially if you have any allergies or intolerances.

Artificial sweeteners aren’t great for gut health either. Avoid candy and chocolate where possible. You should also avoid alcohol.

Not only is alcohol bad for your gut, but it can also lead to poor dietary choices such as bingeing on greasy, fatty foods. As a general rule, the more processed the food, the worse it will be for your gut.

To get even more details on the best foods for your gut, be sure to grab this FREE printable anti-inflammatory food list. Just fill in the form below!

Which gut health snacks are you going to try first?

Now that you’ve established which gut health snacks are best, it’s time to pick the ones that sound tastiest to you. With such a diversity of food being great for your gut, you don’t have to stick to just one thing.

Nut butter on wholemeal bread can keep you going in the morning, while chickpeas and hummus can be your go-to afternoon snack. Just make sure you choose snacks you enjoy because your gut health plan will be much easier to stick to!

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