40 Foods That Build Healthy Gut Bacteria

Make your belly healthier in no time with these delicious foods.
Sarah Crow

The battle of good versus evil is happening closer to home than you think. In fact, it’s going on right inside your own body. 

In your gut, the war between all the fiber-rich additions to your diet that promote healthy gut bacteria and the foods and illnesses that wipe them out is never-ending. Your gut is home to more than 70 percent of your immune system, making the preservation of the gut microbiome an essential component of your overall well-being, but many of the choices you make on a daily basis could be disrupting this delicate ecosystem.

Whether you’ve been prescribed antibiotics for a recent illness, had one too many glasses of wine, or have over-indulged in some decadent foods, the smallest disturbances in your gut can have a major effect on your health. However, the effects of an imbalance in your gut go further than the occasional belly ache: not only can out-of-whack gut bacteria lower your body's defenses against illness, research published in the journal Scientific Reports reveals a link between a reduction in the diversity of our gut bacteria and Alzheimer's disease. The good news? You can set things straight in no time with these 40 foods that boost your gut bacteria. And when you're ready to make your whole body healthier, starting with your belly, add the 42 Healthiest Sources of Fiber to your menu.