Whether you have irritable bowel syndrome or simply want to eat right by your stomach, eating for gut health has taken center-stage in the health and wellness world. But as with any insurgent health craze, misinformation often abounds. Case in point: the obsession with yogurt as a healthy, probiotic-rich food.
"The biggest mistake I see people making around gut health is eating yogurt and thinking it's a good source of probiotics," said Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health, to MindBodyGreen. "Most yogurts have very few live bacteria in them and are packed with sugar and are made from poor-quality, low-fat sources of milk." Instead, Berzin believes that gut health is "all about the fiber," including flax seeds, broccoli, kale, and whole, unprocessed grains like quinoa and oats.
Another doctor, Amy Shah, founder of AmyMD Wellness, voiced a similar concern: "The number one mistake that people are making for gut health is consuming these packaged products that promise 'probiotic health,' like processed yogurts with tons of sugar, probiotic drinks, even sugar-heavy kombucha," she told MindBodyGreen.
Moral of the story: Just because these are "healthy" foods doesn't mean they're not processed. Remember to check the nutrition label and select high-quality, organic products that aren't just jumping on the gut health bandwagon (Stonyfield Organic is a trusted brand). Or better yet, you can take Dr. Berzin's advice and stick to fiber-rich foods and unprocessed grains.
For more, read up on the best inflammation-fighting food that doctors swear by.