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Your Definitive Gut-Friendly Foods Grocery Shopping List

mbg editorial
Written by
mbg editorial
The mindbodygreen editorial team worked together on the creation of this article, combining their deep expertise honed by years of reporting on health and well-being. It has been thoroughly researched, written, fact-checked, and reviewed by our editors.
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
Expert review by
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
Image by Martí Sans / Stocksy
January 13, 2022

If you're looking to optimize whole-body health, one of the first places you should examine is your gut. You could start by asking yourself: How's my digestion? Do I feel bloated? Is what I'm consuming nourishing my gut microbiome? 

If your answer to that last question is a resounding "no" or a less certain "maybe," don't stress! We rounded up an expert-approved (and seriously comprehensive) list of gut-friendly foods and supplements to kick-start your journey.* Screenshot or bookmark this list to make your life easier next time you head to the supermarket. 

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Non-starchy vegetables

According to registered dietitian Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, non-starchy vegetables are high in nutrients and gut-healthy fiber, which helps support digestion.* "The bioactive compound in cruciferous vegetables, sulforaphane (a well-studied compound in broccoli), has been found to lower inflammatory markers, support liver functioning, improve natural detoxification processes, and improve digestion," she says.

When possible, registered dietitian and mbg Collective member Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, recommends filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables.

  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Radish
  • Zucchini
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Herbs & spices 

Certain herbs and spices provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, support a healthy gut, and promote abdominal comfort.*

  • Dandelion tea
  • DGL licorice root tea 
  • Ginger
  • Marshmallow root tea
  • Peppermint
  • Turmeric
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Probiotic foods

"One of the easiest ways to [get natural probiotics] is to increase the number of probiotic-rich foods in your diet," family medicine physician Sophia Tolliver, M.D., MPH, once told mbg.

And in case you need a refresher: Probiotics are live bacteria or yeast that live in your body and naturally occur in some foods. Consuming them is a good way to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut.* When purchasing foods rich in probiotics, Cording says to look for "minimally processed versions without added sweeteners or preservatives."

  • Almond yogurt
  • Coconut kefir
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi 
  • Kvass
  • Water kefir
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Healthy fats & protein

While omega-3s are often touted for their brain and heart-health benefits, they also play a role in gut health.* Research shows that the anti-inflammatory properties in EPA and DHA fats can alter the gut microbiome for the better by producing more short-chain fatty acids (similar to the role prebiotics play in the gut).* Bonus: Cording says dietary fats and protein also promote satiety, which helps maintain a healthy blood sugar balance.*

Plant sources:

  • Avocados
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut meat
  • Coconut oil
  • Grass-fed ghee
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Walnuts
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Meat and fish sources:

  • Anchovies
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Mackerel
  • Organic bone broth
  • Pasture-raised eggs
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Organic chicken (not a major source of healthy fats but an option for protein)

Starchy vegetables

Starchy vegetables are rich in gut-healthy fiber, along with other nutrients like calcium, iron, and B vitamins, Davar says. "In moderation, they are a necessary part of a healthy, balanced diet," she adds.

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Yams

Gut-optimizing supplements

We could all use a little extra support to maintain optimal gut health, which is where supplementation can come in handy.*

mbg editorial
mbg editorial

The mindbodygreen editorial team worked together on the creation of this article, combining their deep expertise honed by years of reporting on health and well-being. It has been thoroughly researched, written, fact-checked, and reviewed by our editors.