Looking for the best foods to support your gut health? It's no wonder everyone's talking about gut health – evidence shows there's a connection between a healthy, balanced gut and good mood, quality sleep, effective immunity and lots more. Recent studies show that our individual microbiome (trillions of bacteria which live in the gut) influence our health as much as our genes do, and these are hugely impacted by what we eat and drink.

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That's why it's so important to consider your gut when planning your meals. Whether you're someone who already suffers from digestive issues, or you want to improve your overall wellbeing, you'd be wise to start with the gut.

Below, we've highlighted foods with impressive benefits to your gut, from fibre-rich fruits to anti-inflammatory fermented condiments. Add them to your basket, get cooking and enjoy.

For more like this, check out high protein foods, how to support your gut health with fibre and 16 recipes for a healthy gut. Now discover the top health and wellness trends for 2024, what to eat before and after a run, plus how to eat 30 plants a week and more nourishing recipes that help pack in your 30 plants.


Listen to the olive podcast where host Janine Ratcliffe catches up with Holland & Barrett's Global Product Director April Preston to discuss 2024's health and wellness top trends.

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Best foods for gut health

1. Kiwi

Not only are they rich in fibre, kiwis also contain an enzyme called actinidin which facilitates the breakdown of protein, helping us to digest meat, fish and other protein foods. Blend them into this super-green smoothie for a perfect gut-healthy start to the day.

Kiwi smoothie

2. Miso

This traditional Japanese ingredient is made from fermented soybeans and contains millions of beneficial bacteria, which support a healthy gut and good digestion. In this dish, we've combined it with gochujang, another condiment made with fermented soya beans, to make a nutritious chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe with Miso and Chilli

3. Sweet potato

Starchy sweet potatoes are packed with fibre, plus they contain high levels of protective plant sterols. Combine with lentils – another fibre-rich food – and anti-inflammatory turmeric to make this warming vegan curry.

Bowls of sweet potato and lentil curry topped with coriander and lime

4. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are generally cheap, easy to use and good for you, plus they contain compounds including beta glucan, which appear to act as prebiotics, fuelling the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Stuff them with garlic and halloumi for a light, gluten-free meal.

23 Halloumi Recipes and Expert Guide to Cooking Halloumi Halloumi Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

5. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage, which means it's easy to digest, and is a good source of probiotics. It's best to make your own as pre-packaged sauerkraut may be pasteurised to extend the shelf-life, killing the beneficial bacteria. If you are buying it ready-made, look for ‘unpasteurised’ products, which should be kept chilled.

Tall glass container filled with sauerkraut

6. Broccoli

Broccoli contains sulphur, which contributes to a healthy balance in the gut and, as a result, supports your immune system. Here we've combined it with soba noodles, edamame beans and peanuts to make a fresh and healthy dinner.

Soba Noodles in a Bowl with Broccoli, Peanuts and Limes

7. Chickpeas

If you're looking to increase your fibre intake, look no further than your kitchen cupboard. Chickpeas are packed with the stuff, meaning they contribute to a healthy digestive system and relieve gut issues. Combine with tikka paste, paneer and yogurt – another gut-friendly food, as it contains probiotics – to make this delicious chickpea curry.

A white plate topped with a chickpea and paneer curry with two chapatis on the side

8. Figs

Due to their high fibre content, figs act as a natural laxative. This fibre also has prebiotic properties, feeding the good bacteria in the gut and improving digestive wellness. When they're in season, enjoy them in a range of dishes, from porridge to a light and peppery salad.

Halved figs and salad leaves on a plate

9. Kimchi

We're huge fans of kimchi – it's a flavour bomb of sour, spicy and tangy. As with other fermented foods, it's believed to improve intestinal health and may also reduce inflammation. Turn it into an easy tray bake with tofu, broccoli, baby corn and rice.

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Kimchi-Baked Tofu in a Metal Tray

10. Sourdough

Sourdough is one of the healthier bread options – especially for our guts, thanks to its unique fermentation process. Don't be afraid of making your own loaf – try our step-by-step starter recipe.

The lowdown on sourdough

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