How to Heal Your Stomach and Save Money


When you think of gut-healing foods, you probably think of the various fermented foods constantly highlighted in the media, right? Miso, sauerkraut, etc. While these foods are great sources of natural probiotics, they’re certainly not the only foods that promote gut health! Foods like spinach, bananas, and whole grains, which seem to get less air-time than their probiotic counterparts, also have incredible health benefits when it comes to gut health. Furthermore, we often succumb to the misconception that eating for our gut is unaffordable. As a registered dietitian, I’m going to take the opportunity to guide you through some of my favorite foods for gut-health (and health in general)! And I promise, my recommendations won’t break the bank!


Beans & lentils: These guys are excellent sources of fiber, protein, and B vitamins, which are all important for proper gut health! Yes, eating too many beans in one sitting can cause gassiness for some people (this is due to their high fiber content), so be sure to begin with just one serving. Research also shows that the more frequently beans and legumes are consumed, the better your gut will tolerate them. The average can of beans costs between .99 cents and $2.00, and contains ~3 servings.


Kimchi: You may have heard a thing or two about kimchi by now, and that’s because it’s a probiotic powerhouse! Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented veggies – usually cabbage. It’s a great source of probiotics, aka the good bacteria that resides in our guts. Mama O’s premium Vegan Kimchi costs $7.99/jar and contains 8 servings, making it 99 cents a serving!


Oysters: Bet you don’t think of oysters when you think of gut health! It comes as a surprise to many, but oysters are a good source many vitamins and minerals, namely iron, selenium, and zinc. Zinc is an especially important mineral for wound healing, as it expedites the process by promoting quicker cell turnover (aka, when we need to make new cells to heal a wound). Be sure to catch the $1 oyster special at your local seafood joint.


Bananas: These guys are good sources of prebiotic fiber, which provide a food source for our beloved probiotic bacteria. Think about it like this: if you want the good bacteria to proliferate, they need to be fed! Prebiotics are essentially the probiotic feed. Don’t hesitate to buy a bunch of bananas from Trader Joes, at just 0.25 cents a banana!


Sauerkraut: Similarly to kimchi, sauerkraut is a probtioic goldmine. You can add it to a salad, quinoa bowl, or even put it on your morning eggs. Caraway sauerkraut has 7.5 servings/container, and a container costs $7.79.


Gut shots: If fermented foods just aren’t your thing, Farmhouse Culture makes probiotic “gut shots” that you can take for a quick and convenient boost of probiotics. One bottle costs $7.99 and contains 11 servings, making it $0.72/serving.

Brussels sprouts: These veggies seem to get lots of attention – for lots of good reasons! In addition to their impressive nutrient profile, they’re also high in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. Glucosinolates have been shown to promote good intestinal barrier integrity, and in other words, they may help prevent against leaky gut.


Turmeric: Turmeric for gut health? Absolutely. Turmeric has a very strong anti-inflammatory effect, and just as other cells in your body can become inflamed or exposed to harmful free-radicals, the lining of your intestines is no different. Spices in general tend to be wonderful, versatile sources of antioxidants. This doesn’t mean you should now overdose on turmeric, but it does mean you can make a conscious effort to add it into your diet where it makes sense, ie., over veggies, in a smoothie, or in a homemade salad dressing. 1, 1.37 oz bottle of McCormick Turmeric costs ~$4.00, meaning there are LOTS of servings in here for far less than $1.00.


Barley (and most other high fiber whole grains for that matter): Just 1 serving of barley has 8 grams of fiber, and we already know that fiber is a major player in the (gut health) game. Remember, fiber helps to keep us full and satiated, and helps food content to pass through our intestines. 1 bag of Arrowhead Mills barley is ~$4.00. With 18 servings per bag, 1 serving comes to just .22 cents!


Water: It seems as if we’re so laser focused on the right foods to eat, that we forget about our beloved beverages – and water especially seems to slip under the radar. Drinking enough water is crucial for just about every bodily function, and your gut is no exception! It is essential for digestion as it helps food pass through your intestines, and even aids in nutrient absorption. It also helps to prevent against constipation. How do you know if you’re properly hydrated? Just look at your urine! Yep – the color is an easy indicator of your hydration status, and the lighter the better. So keep that water bottle filled and don’t stop drinking! Oh – and it’s FREE from the tap!