Lifestyle

Top 10 Spring Ingredients to Boost Your Gut Health

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Cue the confetti! Spring is here. It’s time to hit the reset button on our homes, our grocery baskets, and our well-being. With cold weather coats tucked away, let this season usher in a wave of rejuvenation. To get started, we’re returning to the fundamentals. Gut health is the main objective. Serving as the cornerstone for our vitality, digestive health is at the root of it all. But whether you’re here for digestive support—or simply want to feel more energetic right now—it begins in the same place: the kitchen. With that in mind, we’re dishing up specific spring ingredients to support gut health.

Ahead, get a pulse on why you should focus on gut health in the spring, how the microbial landscape shifts within us during this season, and uncover the benefits of consuming seasonal fare for digestive well-being.

Edie Horstman

Edie Horstman





Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in women’s health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.

Why You Should Focus on Gut Health in the Spring

With winter (and its coziness!) in the rearview mirror, spring signifies a period of renewal. It’s a moment to reassess and revitalize our health—starting with the gut. In more ways than one, our digestive system is the central hub. From nutrient absorption and hormone balance to immune regulation, it supports numerous essential functions. By prioritizing gut health specifically, we set a strong foundation for overall wellness. As a result, our bodies are primed to embrace the vitality of the current season.

Camille gardening_spring ingredients for gut health

What is seasonal eating?

Speaking of the current season, let’s talk about seasonal eating. Like the phrase suggests, this lifestyle favors produce that’s harvested at its prime (for your geographic area). There are many reasons to eat with the seasons, but ultimately seasonal foods are rich in flavor and higher in nutrients than their out-of-season counterparts. Additionally, these fruits and veggies are more likely to be sourced locally. This reduces transportation emissions and supports local farmers. By aligning our diets this way, we can enjoy a diverse range of foods while promoting environmental sustainability and optimal digestive health—win, win, win.

spring rice salad_spring ingredients for gut health

How does seasonal eating support digestion?

As the seasons change, so do we. This is a beautiful and natural phenomenon. With relative ease, we can allow the changing seasons to guide everything from our daily rituals to our lifestyle at large—including our grocery basket! And this fluidity has tremendous health benefits. By making spring ingredients a priority, we nourish our bodies with the essential building blocks for digestive health.

It’s Fiber-Forward

Seasonal foods are often higher in fiber. This plays a crucial role in digestion. Spring ingredients to support gut health promote regular bowel movements, prevent constipation, and support healthy gut bacteria. Fiber-rich foods—like asparagus, artichokes, and strawberries—help reduce the risk of digestive issues (like bloating).

It Encourages a Diverse and Varied Diet

A diverse and varied diet is beneficial for gut health. After all, different fruits and veggies contain unique combinations of nutrients and phytochemicals—each encouraging digestive function in a specific way. By consuming a wide range of seasonal produce (the more the merrier!), you’re helping your digestion thrive.

woman cooking in kitchen_spring ingredients for gut health

Yes, Your Gut Microbes Change in the Spring

This may come as a surprise, but our gut’s microbial inhabitants—collectively known as the gut microbiota—undergo dynamic shifts in response to seasonal changes. Studies show that the composition and diversity of gut microbes fluctuate with the seasons. And this is influenced by factors like diet, daylight exposure, and temperature variations.

During the transition from winter to spring, certain microbial strains become more prevalent while others diminish. Understanding these seasonal fluctuations is the first step in supporting a thriving gut ecosystem. Step two? Noshing on spring ingredients to support gut health.

Camille picnic_spring ingredients to support gut health

How to Improve Your Digestion in the Spring

Spring—thanks to its fresh produce and rejuvenating energy—presents a golden opportunity to prioritize digestive health. Fortunately, supporting optimal digestion in the spring isn’t rocket science. In addition to the tips below, think light and seasonal (leafy greens and lean proteins), embrace cooking methods like steaming, and consider adding digestive aids, like ginger or peppermint, to your meals. And don’t forget to stay hydrated.

1. Focus On Colorful Produce

In turn, you’ll up your fiber and antioxidant intake—which is beneficial for gut health. When in doubt, fill your grocery basket with a rainbow of color.

2. Choose Fermented Foods

Fermented foods—like plain yogurt, kimchi, and tempeh—can benefit the microbiome. They enhance its function and reduce the abundance of disease-causing bacteria in the intestines.

3. Add in Prebiotics

New to prebiotics? These are non-digestible fibers that nourish beneficial gut bacteria. Many fruits, veggies, and whole grains naturally contain prebiotics. You can benefit from prebiotics by eating cooked and cooled potatoes and rice! The cooling process turns some of the digestible starches into resistant starches.

4. Don’t Forget Probiotics

Beyond probiotic-rich foods, consider a probiotic supplement. Because probiotics are often referred to as the “good”—or helpful—bacteria, they keep your gut humming along optimally. Plus, probiotics can also help minimize seasonal allergies.

5. Keep Sugar to a Minimum

When it comes to a thriving gut, blood sugar balance is key. After all, chronically elevated glucose levels can reduce beneficial bacteria. When it comes to satisfying your spring sweet tooth, consider swapping common sources of sugar for their lower-glycemic alternatives or digging into a bowl of fiber-rich fruit!

Spring grain bowls.

How Gut Health Impacts Your Hormones, Blood Sugar, and More

Before we dive into spring ingredients to support gut health, let’s bring this full circle: the well-being of our gut profoundly influences our entire body, i.e., hormone regulation, blood sugar levels, skin health, and more. In terms of hormones, the gut microbiota play a crucial role in metabolizing and regulating our hormones, affecting processes like metabolism, appetite, and mood.

Imbalances—unfortunately—can lead to insulin resistance. And this impacts blood sugar and increases the risk of everything from PCOS to type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the gut-skin axis demonstrates that disturbances in our gut microbiota can manifest as skin issues (acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.). When in doubt, prioritize your gut health! It presents a hosts of advantages no matter your well-being goals.

Smoothies_spring ingredients to support gut health

10 Spring Ingredients to Eat for Gut Health

Let’s eat! From crisp asparagus spears to tangy rhubarb, spring produce is both vibrant and nourishing.

Asparagus

Rich in prebiotic fiber, asparagus promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, aiding in digestion and regularity.

Recipes to try:

Artichokes

Packed with fiber and antioxidants, artichokes support gut health by promoting healthy digestion and reducing inflammation.

Recipes to try:

Radishes

These crunchy root vegetables are a good source of fiber and vitamin C, which support digestive function and immune health.

Recipes to try:

Spinach

Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, spinach nourishes the gut lining and supports overall digestive wellness.

Recipes to try:

Strawberries

High in fiber and polyphenols, strawberries promote gut health by supporting regularity and reducing inflammation.

Recipes to try:

Peas

Peas are packed with fiber and plant-based protein, supporting digestive health and providing sustained energy.

Recipes to try:

Rhubarb

This tart spring vegetable is rich in fiber and antioxidants, promoting healthy digestion and gut microbiota balance.

Recipes to try:

Fennel

Fennel contains compounds that aid in digestion, soothe digestive discomfort, and support gut motility.

Recipes to try:

Watercress

With its peppery flavor and abundance of vitamins and minerals, watercress supports gut health by aiding digestion and reducing inflammation.

Recipes to try:

Broccoli

A powerhouse of nutrients, broccoli is rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that support optimal digestive function and gut microbiota balance.

Recipes to try:

Green sauce pasta_spring ingredients for gut health

A Season of (Digestive) Renewal

As spring unfolds, let’s harness the nourishing power of seasonal ingredients to support our gut health. By embracing a diet rich in fresh produce, we can cultivate a thriving gut ecosystem. At any rate, may this season be a time of renewal and revitalization—both for you and your digestive health.



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