We know that our fertility relies on so much more than just the health of our reproductive organs. Our bodies are complex systems in which individual parts rarely work on their own. For instance, gut health can have monumental effects on different body parts and functions. 

In fact, the gut’s microbiome has various effects on the intestines, which influence distant organs and pathways. According to the National Library of Medicine, the microbiota even affects the reproductive endocrine system by interacting with a woman’s estrogen levels, androgens, insulin, and other hormones. 

An imbalance in the gut’s microbiome can lead to pregnancy complications, adverse pregnancy outcomes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and endometriosis. The research on the mechanics of these connections, however, is limited.

Seed is dedicated to researching the importance of digestive health in order to help the vast number of people impacted by related conditions around the world. In tandem with leading scientists and researchers, Seed has developed and continues to develop research-backed probiotics for outcomes across gastrointestinal, dermatological, oral, pediatric, and nutritional health. 

What are the best foods for gut health?

We have partnered with Seed to run through some of the best foods you can eat in order to support your own gut health. Good inputs, aka consuming good-for-you foods, are crucial to maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. 

Here are nine of the top foods we’ve rounded up! 

1. Radishes 

Because radishes are high in fiber, they help regulate bile production in your gut. They are also high in antioxidants, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, folic acid, flavonoids, and manganese.

2. Asparagus 

Asparagus is naturally rich in prebiotic substances and particularly high in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stool and supports regular bowel movements. Asparagus contains soluble fiber, which acts as fuel for your gut microbes through fermentation. This fermentation process releases short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that provide important anti-inflammatory processes in your body.

3. Peas

Peas have a range of nutritional benefits, which include protecting heart and gut health. They are also a good alternative source of protein and iron, especially in a plant-based diet.

4. Cabbage

Red cabbage is rich in vitamins C and E, carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. Vitamin C aids in cell and immune function, supports collagen formation, boosts iron absorption, and promotes healthy skin. Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties, supports immune function, and reduces risks for chronic diseases like heart disease. The anthocyanins in red cabbage have also demonstrated to provide antioxidant activity in utero. 

5. Arugula

Dark green vegetables like arugula are a great source of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, such as magnesium, folate (vitamin B9), lutein and beta carotene.

6. Strawberries

Berries, particularly strawberries, and raspberries, are rich in polyphenols known as hydroxybenzoic acids, which are derivatives of benzoic acid. These compounds undergo metabolism by colonic bacteria after ingestion, resulting in beneficial metabolites. 

7. Mint

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Mint is considered a medicinal plant that exhibits multiple beneficial health properties, such as prevention of cancer development, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and more. 

Mint oil has antimicrobial potential against Bacillus subtilis, Streptococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and others. Furthermore, mint is enriched with caffeic acid, a compound synthesized by all plant species that has anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic activity. 

8. Leeks

Raw leeks, along with raw garlic and onions, are a great source of prebiotics. Prebiotics, a type of fiber, are beneficial for good gut bacteria. They assist in balancing the bacteria, which aids in a healthy digestive system. Leeks are also an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A and manganese.

9. Artichokes

Artichokes are low in fat while rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Particularly high in folate and vitamin C, they also supply the body with important minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Artichokes are a great source of fiber, which can help keep your digestive system healthy.

In addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet, Seed's DS-01® Daily Synbiotic promotes gut, skin, and heart health by combining 24 clinically and scientifically studied strains of probiotics and a plant-based, non-fermenting prebiotic. This potent formulation supports healthy digestion, and nutrient absorption, and supports a thriving gut microbiome. It’s also thoroughly researched, vegan, and free of common allergens, ensuring it is a safe and reliable choice. 

While we spend so much of our time and energy prioritizing the health of our reproductive organs, we cannot forget the importance of the other organs and systems in our body. All of the parts work together to make us the healthiest versions of ourselves. Feeding our bodies with good-for-us foods that benefit our microbiome and being consistent with taking our daily probiotics can do a lot in helping our digestive systems, which in turn may positively affect our reproductive health. Visit Seed.com and use the code RESCRIPTED for 30% off your first month’s supply!

Brighid Flynn is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and puppy. She is just beginning her journey toward motherhood.