5 vegan meals that are rich in gut-health boosting probiotics, dietitian approved

  • Eating foods full of probiotics improves gut health, which can reduce bloating and gas.
  • Try fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and sourdough.
  • Vegans can also enjoy kefir if they get a water-based one, said dietitian Sophie Medlin.

Gut health is an important part of overall wellness.

people with good gut health tends to less bloating, less gas, and better mental health.

Eating probiotic-packed foods like kimchi, sourdough, and kefir can help improve the good bacteria in your gut, which can support immune health and aid digestion. according to the Cleveland Clinic. Dietitian Sophie Medlin told Insider that foods like pickled vegetables and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics and good to incorporate into a diet.


vegetarian diet

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Breakfast

Kefir, oatmeal and berry smoothie

An oatmeal and berry smoothie

Adding kefir to a smoothie will give your gut health a boost.

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Kefir is a fermented milk drink, similar to yogurt but with a more acidic flavor. However, you can also get water-based kefir, which is vegan. Medlin suggests adding some to a smoothie with frozen berries, oatmeal, and any plant-based milk.

“Although there is no strong evidence that the bacteria in water kefir reach the large intestine, which is where we generally think the benefits of probiotics occur, they may still benefit the microbiome in our mouths and
esophagus,” Medlin said.

Sourdough with tofu and kimchi

Scrambled tofu on toast.

Scrambled tofu is often used as a vegan alternative to eggs.

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Scrambled tofu is often served as a vegan alternative to scrambled eggs. Serve on top of sourdough with kimchee (Korean fermented cabbage) to improve gut health.

“Sourdough toast has a lot of probiotic bacteria and kimchi is a delicious spicy fermented cabbage, also rich in probiotic bacteria and goes great with scrambled tofu,” Medlin said.

Lunch

Salad with pickled vegetables

pickled vegetables

Pickled vegetables make a great side dish or garnish for salads.

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Adding pickled vegetables to any meal is a great way to improve gut health. Medlin recommends adding to a salad or serving as a side dish.

“Pickled carrots, cucumbers, radishes and cauliflower are a great probiotic-rich snack or addition to a meal and are so easy to make at home,” she said. Treat this easy recipe by Dr. Rupy Aujla for BBC Food.

Baked potato with sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is traditional in Germany.

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Sauerkraut (literally “sour cabbage”) is traditional in Germany, often served with wurst (German sausage). But pickled cabbage is a delicious and healthy addition to any dish, Medlin said. She recommends adding sauerkraut to her favorite sandwich or as an additional dressing on a baked potato to boost flavor and probiotics.

“It’s a delicious addition to lunches, lasts a long time in the fridge, and is great for boosting your probiotic intake,” she said. You can buy it in jars or try making your own sauerkraut with this easy recipe from The Gut Stuff.

Dinner

Tempeh wrap with roasted vegetables and hummus

tempeh wrap

Try filling a wrap with tempeh and vegetables.

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Tempeh is traditional in Indonesia, made from fermented soybeans and packed with probiotics. Medlin recommends it as a meat substitute because it’s packed with protein.

“It’s so good with roasted vegetables or to make a satisfying salad,” he said. “I also love it in wraps with salad and hummus. Medlin recommends this savory crispy tempeh recipe from Caitlin Shoemaker.

Drink

Kombucha

Kombucha

Kombucha is good for the gut.

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Kombucha is a beverage that is traditionally made by fermenting tea, but is now widely available in many stores.

“It’s really refreshing as an added bonus, it contains plant polyphenols which are also good for our gut health,” Medlin said. If you want to try making your own, take a look this recipe by Justine Pattison for BBC Food.

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