32 superfoods for a happier gut

32 superfoods for a happier gut revealed as our study shows the state of Britons’ gut health

In recent years, there has been a renewed focus on the importance of good gut health, with several studies now shining a light on its importance to our overall health and wellbeing.

Beyond its impact on our digestive health, research shows that good gut health can have a profound impact on both our physical and mental health too. From taking a toll our mood, sleep, energy levels, and even brain function, to supporting our immune systems and influencing the likelihood of diseases inflammation, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases – the bacteria in our gut has a lot to answer for.

That’s why our health clubs and restaurants place a significant focus on good nutrition, especially for our owners looking to improve their gut health and overall wellbeing.

Ross Mounsey, Group Operations Director

Which foods should I eat for better gut health?

While a balanced, nutritious diet is key to living healthily, some foods are better than others at helping more of the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut to flourish.

Studies show that plenty of fibrous vegetables, fruits, legumes, natural yoghurts, fermented foods, and whole grains, as well as foods rich in prebiotics and polyphenols, are ideal for encouraging better overall gut health.

This is because foods such as these are often less easily digested by the human body. As a result, they travel further in the digestive tract and lead to the growth of healthier bacteria in your gut, such as bifidobacterial and lactobacilli, to break them down.

In addition to eating the right types of foods, studies show that more varied and plant-based diets are often better for your overall gut health too.

There are also other health benefits to many of these foods too. For example, foods that contain polyphenols are associated with lower blood pressure, as well as reduced inflammation and cholesterol. Prebiotic-rich foods may also be helpful in preventing high cholesterol, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

The top 35 superfoods for better gut health

To help you get a better handle on your gut health, Baybora Erol, a senior wellbeing and fitness professional at our Malvern retirement village, has included 32 of the top superfoods that help promote better gut health. Before making significant changes to your diet, it’s always a good idea to check with your GP first.

Skip ahead to the data, looking at the best and worst places in the UK for a healthy gut.


Green Plantain superfood for later life gut health

Green Plantain

Larger than bananas, green plantain are a great source of resistant starch, a fibre that supports gut health.

Grapes superfood for later life gut health


Grapes contain antioxidants and fibre. Eat them as a snack or freeze them for a refreshing dessert.

Raspberries superfood for later life gut health


A great source of both fibre and antioxidants, raspberries are great in yoghurts, smoothies, or on porridge.

Avocado superfood for later life gut health


Not just for millennials, avocado contains healthy fats and fibre, making it an ideal for salads, sandwiches, guacamole, and even on toast.

Apples as a superfood for gut health


Apples are a great source of pectin, a type of fibre that supports gut health. Eat them as a snack or add slices to porridge or salads.


Onions superfood for gut health


Onions contain prebiotics, used in a variety of dishes, from roast dinners to soups and stir-fries.

Dill superfood for gut health


Apart from dill’s anti-diabetic and digestive benefits, it can be used to flavour soups, salads, and fish dishes.

Asparagus superfood for gut health


Asparagus contains prebiotics, supporting the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

Jerusalem artichokes for gut health and later life

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes contain prebiotics, making them ideal for your gut health. Roast them or use them in soups.

Leeks superfood for gut health


Leeks contain inulin, a prebiotic that promotes healthy gut bacteria. Ideal for many dishes, such as in soups, stir-fry dishes, and stews.

Brocolli superfood for gut health


Broccoli is rich in fibre and antioxidants, making it a valuable addition to a variety of salads, stir-fries, or roasted vegetable dishes.

Kale superfood for gut health


Leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in fibre, which feeds healthy gut bacteria and supports regular bowel movements. Add them to any meal, plus salads or smoothies.

Chicory superfood for gut health

Chicory Root

Chicory root also contains inulin, a prebiotic fibre that supports gut bacteria. It's often used as a coffee substitute or added to salads for a slight bitter taste.

Wholegrains and seeds

Chia seeds good for gut health

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are rich in fibre and can help regulate bowel movements. Chia seeds are great in smoothies and yoghurts.

Rye good for gut health


Rye is a whole grain that can be used to make bread, crackers, or cooked as a side dish, providing ample fibre for gut health.

Porridge oats good for gut health

Porridge oats

Porridge oats are a source of soluble fibre, which can help regulate digestion and reduce inflammation in the gut.

Almonds are good for gut health


Almonds are a good source of both healthy fats and fibre. Enjoy them as a snack or add almond butter to your breakfast.

Flax seeds good for gut health

Flax seeds

Flax seeds contain both fibre and healthy fats, which promote a balanced gut. Grind them and use them as a topping for cereal or yoghurt.


Lentils good for gut health


Lentils contain lots of fibre and protein for your gut health, and can be used in soups, stews, and salads.

Black beans good for gut health

Black Beans

Black beans are also rich in fibre and protein, making them a versatile ingredient for salads, soups, and burritos.

Spices, herbs, and garnishes

Turmeric good for gut health


Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in curries, soups, and smoothies for its gut-nourishing benefits.

Peppermint good for gut health


Peppermint can soothe digestive discomfort and be used to make tea or as a flavouring in desserts.

Garlic good for gut health


Garlic contains prebiotics and has antimicrobial properties. It can be used in a plethora of dishes to enhance flavours.

Ginger good for gut health


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can also aid digestion. Add it to teas, stir-fries, or use it as a spice in various recipes.

Fermented foods

Greek yoghurt good for gut health

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is packed with probiotics, the friendly bacteria that promote gut health. Enjoy it as a snack or incorporate it into smoothies and sauces.

Kimchi good for gut health


Kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish rich in probiotics. Enjoy it as a side dish or incorporate it into stir-fries.

Sauerkraut good for gut health


Sauerkraut is another fermented food that supports gut health. Use it as a condiment or side dish.

Kefir good for gut health


Kefir is a probiotic-rich dairy or non-dairy drink that can be consumed as a beverage or added to smoothies.

Tempeh good for gut health


Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that is rich in probiotics and protein. Use it in stir-fries, sandwiches, or salads.

Kombucha good for gut health


Kombucha is a fermented tea that provides probiotics and can be enjoyed as a beverage.


Red wine good for gut health

Red wine

Red wine in moderation may support gut health due to its polyphenol content. Enjoy a glass with dinner.

dark chocolate energy boosting food

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, which helps promote healthy gut bacteria. It is also rich in antioxidants and can be enjoyed in moderation as a treat.

Do Britons have good gut health?

Unfortunately, data suggests that many people in the UK struggle to make good decisions when it comes to their diet and gut health. Our analysis of Public Health England data shows that just 32.5% of people in England get their recommended five portions of fruit or vegetables a day - down 22.9% since 2019¹.

However, some parts of the country have better gut health than others. Many more people in areas such as the Isles of Scilly, Islington, and Devon are successful at including at least five fruits or vegetables in their diet each day.

Places in England with the best gut health

Rank Area % of people claiming to eat 5 or more fruit and vegetables a day
1 Isles of Scilly 52
2 Islington 43
3 Devon 42.3
4 Herefordshire 40.7
5 Kensington and Chelsea 40.6
6 Oxfordshire 39.7
7= Cornwall 39.5
7= Rutland 39.5
9 Southend-on-Sea 39.4
10 Isle Of Wight 38.8
11= Lewisham 38.6
11= Richmond-upon-Thames 38.6
13 Wandsworth 38.1
14= East Riding of Yorkshire 37.9
14= Bath and North East Somerset 37.9
14= Brighton and Hove 37.9
17 Gloucestershire 37.7
18 Suffolk 37.6
19= Torbay 37.3
19= West Northamptonshire 37.3
21 East Sussex 37.2
22 Norfolk 37
23= Surrey 36.9
23= Dorset 36.9
23= Lambeth 36.9



Places in England with the worst gut health

Rank Area % of people claiming to eat 5 or more fruit and vegetables a day
1 City of London 10.6
2 Sandwell 20.7
3 Knowsley 22
4 Walsall 22.3
5 Thurrock 22.4
6= Bexley 22.6
6= Stoke-on-Trent 22.6
8 Halton 23.7
9 Wakefield 23.8
10 Birmingham 23.9
11 Barking and Dagenham 24
12 Oldham 24.2
13= Salford 24.3
13= Bolton 24.3
13= Blackburn and Darwen 24.3
16 Hounslow 24.4
17 Luton 24.6
18= Hartlepool 24.8
18= Wolverhampton 24.8
18= Slough 24.8
21 Medway 24.9
22 Tower Hamlets 25.1
23= Bradford 25.3
23= Gateshead 25.3
25 Nottingham 25.6



We also crunched the data from the Office of National Statistics on expenditure on different types of foods in the UK to see how healthy Briton’s food shopping habits shape up².

The average monthly spend on foods that typically encourage healthy bacteria in the gut is significantly lower than the average spend on foods known to lead to unhealthy bacteria in the gut - such as takeaways and processed foods.


Food type Monthly food expenditure % of weekly food shop cost

Food and drink known to cause unhealthy gut bacteria when consumed too often

(eg; takeaways, red and processed meats, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, takeaways, processed 'junk' foods)

£78.57 44% of weekly food budget

Food and drink known to cause healthy gut bacteria

(eg; fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, yoghurt, fermented foods)

£29.70 17% of weekly food budget



As so much of the average food shop in the UK is spent on processed foods, we also looked at data from Statista³ on the popularity of takeaways in the UK. We found that Chinese food is now the average Brits’ takeaway of choice - with healthier options like Sushi coming in last place.

Most popular takeaways in the UK

Rank Takeaway cuisine Percentage
1 Chinese 25%
2 Indian 17%
3 Fish and chips 16%
4 Pizza 12%
5 Kebabs 3%
6 Thai 3%
7 Chicken 2%
8 Burgers 2%
9 Sushi 1%
10 Other 1%


¹Public health profiles - OHID (phe.org.uk)

²UKEOcons-08dec22.ods (live.com)

³Top types of takeaway food Great Britain 2021 | Statista

Information included in this article on gut bacteria, foods that promote healthy gut bacteria, and the health benefits and consequences associated with gut bacteria, was sourced from WedMD, Medical News Today, and Very Well.