Get a Good Gut Feeling with Gut-Healthy Food Recipes

gut health recipes

Perhaps you’ve noticed there’s a lot of hype out there about probiotics in regards to your gut health, but why are probiotics so important? Aren’t bacteria a bad thing? While some bacteria can make us ill, the truth is, we cannot survive without them. 


Bacteria are an important part of our digestive tract. In addition to helping us break down food that is difficult for our bodies to break down on their own, bacteria help us gain the nutrition we need from food. Vitamins like vitamin K and biotin are actually synthesized from the bacteria itself rather than coming from the food we eat. According to Harvard Nutrition, “The key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12 are only found in bacteria, not in plants and animals.”1 We absolutely need bacteria in our bodies in order to live a healthy lifestyle.


What Is the Gut Microbiome?


According to Live Science, “Experiments done on guinea pigs have shown that animals raised in a sterile environment without any bacteria are malnourished and die young.”2 We depend on our gut bacteria for nourishment, and since seniors in particular can have difficulty getting enough nutrition from food, it’s important to have a healthy gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live in our gut. While most of these organisms are kinds of bacteria, there are also different kinds of fungi, parasites, and viruses living inside our gut, coexisting and helping us function. Having a healthy gut microbiome means having biodiversity throughout the microbial community. Seniors tend to have less biodiversity in their gut than others, which can be a leading cause as to why they may experience trouble obtaining or absorbing certain nutrients.


Poor gut-health can lead to fatigue, which can lead to accidents. This is one of the many reasons why seniors should consider wearing a lifesaving medical alarm. Alert1’s On-the-Go Medical Alert System with GPS and Fall Detection can detect falls and automatically call for help.3 Everything in your body is connected, which is why taking care of your overall health, and even something as simple as taking care of your gut health, can be a fall prevention strategy.


It’s All Connected


Current researchers are fascinated by the gut microbiome, and the more we learn about the gut microbiome, the more we discover its importance to our overall health. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum” make up the enteric nervous system (ENS), a system in your gut influenced by your gut microbiome that directly communicates with the brain.4 Because of this complex system, scientists are treating the gut microbiome like it’s a newly discovered organ, proving to be more vital to bodily function than other organs like our spleens. The quality of our gut microbiome impacts our metabolism, body weight, propensity to illness, immune system, appetite and mood.5 Have you ever had a “gut feeling” about something? This expression is gaining more and more meaning as we begin to understand the signals that pass from our guts to our brains and how they impact our overall health and mood.


In a recent blog post, we discussed just how frequently elderly individuals suffer from age-related digestive problems every year (spoiler: it’s a lot),6 and in another blog post we learned how seniors are at a greater risk of developing IBS.7 IBS is now a disorder of brain-gut interaction because of how the central nervous system communicates with the digestive system, (and vice versa) and IBS can trigger stress. While scientists originally thought that IBS could be a symptom of other neurological conditions like anxiety and depression, recent research is leading people to believe that the opposite may in fact be true, that our gut health can contribute to these neurological disorders. What this means, and what current research is trying to prove, is that having a healthy gut microbiome can relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. The gut microbiome impacts the body in truly fascinating ways, and knowledge of its importance is ever increasing.


Improving Gut Health


Improving your gut health can leave you with lots of newfound energy which can be put toward leading a more active lifestyle. If you’re active or considering trying a new activity, it’s good to wear a medical alert, and Alert1’s On-the-Go Wrist Watch Medical Alert + GPS + Pedometer has everything you need to stay active such as a built-in weather app, GPS, a push-button SOS alarm, and a pedometer.8 Here are some simple ways you can improve your gut health:

  • Increase fiber intake: Fiber keeps everything in the gut moving properly, which keeps your gut microbiome healthy.


  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables have a lot of fiber, and they also help to promote the growth of good bacteria.


  • Variety matters: The food we eat determines which microbes are in our gut microbiomes. In order to have a diverse and healthy gut microbiome, you have to eat a variety of foods.


  • Consume polyphenols: Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants, which are proven to help prevent gastrointestinal diseases.


  • Fermented foods: Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and yogurt are all natural probiotics.


  • Skip the supplements: Probiotic supplements do not have the same effect as eating naturally probiotic foods, and other supplements may interfere with gut microbes. The best thing you can do for your gut is to eat a wide variety of whole foods.


  • Don’t drink too much alcohol: While a little bit of alcohol, such as a fermented drink like beer, can be beneficial to your gut microbiome, large amounts of alcohol will start to kill off your microbes.


  • Skip artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners can interact with your gut in a negative way, sometimes causing loose bowels or diarrhea. 


  • Use antibiotics properly and carefully: Antibiotics are very harmful to your gut microbiome, which is why you may experience intestinal discomfort while taking them, but antibiotics are necessary at times to cure certain illnesses. Luckily, most doctors now are hesitant to give out antibiotics unless they think it’s truly necessary. If you’re prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to follow all of the instructions given to you and to finish the entire pack. After you’ve finished a round of antibiotics, it is the perfect time to eat lots of naturally probiotic foods in order to replace the healthy microbes that were lost during treatment.



Gut Healthy Food Recipes


One of the best ways to support your gut health is to eat gut-healthy meals. The best meals include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, are rich with probiotics, which we can get from fermented foods, and foods that have lots of fiber and polyphenols. Here are some great gut-healthy food recipes.



White Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi10



  • ½ cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes plus 2 tablespoons oil from the jar, divided
  • 1 (16 ounce) package shelf-stable gnocchi
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • ⅓ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves


Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown. Add beans and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes and shallot, and cook for one minute while stirring. Increase to high heat and add broth. Cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Reduce heat to medium and stir in cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Return the gnocchi mixture to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. Serve topped with basil. Serves 3-4.



Probiotic Power Bowls with Orange Cider Vinaigrette11


Power Bowl Dressing Ingredients and Instructions

·         1/2 cup avocado oil or olive oil

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4-inch nub fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • sea salt, to taste


Add all ingredients for the dressing to a small blender and blend until completely smooth and thick. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.


Power Bowl Ingredients and Instructions

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 large red beet, roasted and chopped
  • 1 small head cauliflower, roasted
  • 3 cups dandelion greens, chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced, optional
  • 1 cup sauerkraut
  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped


Divide the cooked rice between 3 or 4 large bowls. Top with roasted beets, roasted cauliflower, dandelion greens, green onion, sauerkraut, pumpkin seeds, and raw walnuts. Drizzle the dressing over each bowl and serve. Serves 3-4.



Moroccan Lentil Soup12



  • ½ cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 cup cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon salt-free Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cooked lentils


In a medium saucepan over low heat, sauté onion in coconut oil and 4 tablespoons broth until translucent. Add remaining broth, cauliflower, and seasoning ingredients and stir for four to five minutes. Stir in one cup water, tomato and spinach. Bring to a very brief boil and then reduce to a simmer for about twelve minutes. Add lentils to heat through. Serves 2.



If you like to cook, but have poor gut health, you've probably experienced having to run to the bathroom at inconvenient times, like while cooking. Leaving cooking food unattended can lead to accidents in the kitchen, and medical alerts can quickly call for help in emergencies. Alert1’s On-the-Go Medical Alert makes it easy to call for help.13 But on days when your gut is giving you trouble, these delicious recipes can help to alleviate your symptoms. With time and a little contentiousness about your gut health, you’ll be able to see improvements in your overall health.


No matter where you are on your journey, Alert1 has got you covered.