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6 foods to enhance gut health

Small bowls of yogurt, pickles, and more

Trust your gut

Gut health is a hot topic. In fact, eating foods with good bacteria and limiting the number of bad bacteria in your body means that you can regulate your immune system, digestion, and even your mood.  

With the gut having such a huge impact on overall health, it's important to fuel our bodies with food that produces good bacteria, such as probiotics. Probiotics help keep the natural balance of organisms in the intestines. Here are six choices that can be found at your local grocery store.

Yogurt is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk, and many yogurts contain probiotics. Look for specific kinds of probiotics listed on the food label such as L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, or L. acidophilus.

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that can be added to rice bowls, as a topping on your favorite sandwich, or on your morning avocado toast. Not only does it pack a probiotic punch, but it also contains vitamins C, K1, and B6.

Pickles are primarily cucumbers brined in water and sea salt instead of vinegar. Most often pickles containing the good-for-you probiotics are in the refrigerated section.

Kimchi is fermented vegetables, and often thought of as the “soul food” of South Korea. There are plenty of recipes to make your kimchi. Plus, you can mix it in with rice, include it in an omelet, or even add it on top of potatoes.

Miso is fermented soybean paste. There are many varieties of miso paste, each with different fermentation levels. It can be used to flavor vegetables, make a salad dressing, or make miso soup.

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. There are a wide range of flavors to fit everyone’s taste.

Challenge yourself to try one new probiotic food from the list above! One to three servings of probiotic food per day will have a significant impact in maintaining healthy gut bacteria. Your doctor can also recommend probiotic supplements. However, for healthy individuals, probiotics found in food are more than enough.

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