Dr. Berookim's mix of snacks that help you go includes a variety of delights, from snack bars to yogurt to veggie chips. But what do they all have in common, you may wonder? They all feature gut-friendly components, from fiber that promotes healthy digestion to probiotics that help feed the good bacteria in your gut. So, if snacks are your all-time favorite, you might want to listen up and get your shopping carts ready.
- Peyton Berookim, MD, board-certified gastroenterologist at the Gastroenterology Institute of Southern California
A gastro’s top 5 gut-friendly snacks to promote regularity
At the top of Dr. Berookim’s list are BelliWelli snack bars which are vegan and gluten-free. “These bars are baked and don’t include any processed grains, dairy, or other gut aggravators,” Dr. Berookim says. What’s more, he notes that each bar—which comes in flavors like strawberry shortcake, cinnamon swirl, and birthday cake—is made with ingredients that promote healthy digestion and regularity. Namely, oats, natural probiotics, fiber, and ginger.
“Another differentiator is that the bars are Monash low-FODMAP certified, meaning they don’t include sugars that are hard to digest—which oftentimes produce painful gas in those with sensitive guts,” Dr. Berookim says. Basically, they’re the perfect on-the-go snack for anyone looking to prioritize gut health.
2. Chobani Greek Yogurt
It’s no secret that probiotics are essential for feeding the healthy bacteria in our gut—and Greek yogurt notoriously has a lot of ‘em. “Greek yogurt is a great natural probiotic and helps to support the good bacteria that already live in your digestive system so your gut stays balanced,” Dr. Berookim says.
Another bonus of snacking on a bowl of Greek yogurt? It's packed with protein and calcium, which are essential for bone health. To be exact, 16 grams (32 percent of your daily value) and 190 milligrams (15 percent of your daily value) per three-quarter cup serving of Chobani’s Non-Fat Greek Yogurt. That said, Dr. Berookim emphasizes that Greek yogurt is his favorite kind for promoting a healthier gut due to its lactose levels. “I’d opt for Greek because it is lower in lactose than other dairy products and tends to be more gentle on the stomach,” he says.
3. Back To Nature Harvest Blend Trail Mix
Dr. Berookim says this trail mix is a great option for a gut-friendly snack, because it's made with no added sugar or salt, has five grams of protein per serving, and a whole lot of healthy fats. “It includes tons of beneficial fruits and nuts such as raisins which are a source of fiber and are known to help relieve constipation, as well as pumpkin seeds, which are high in magnesium and help hydrate and relax your digestive system allowing for regularity,” he says. FYI, it makes for a great salad topper, too.
4. Off The Eaten Path Chickpea Veggie Crisps
IMO, texture is everything—especially when it comes to food—and few things can beat a crunchy, crispy snack in the afternoon. Evidently, Dr. Berookim agrees, as he enjoys noshing on these veggie crisps made with wholesome ingredients like chickpeas, beans, and sweet potatoes that he says “offer great sources of plant-based protein and fiber, plus tons of other essential nutrients."
5. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars
If you were convinced figs would make it into a gastroenterologist’s favorite snacks list, you were right on the money. Why? According to Dr. Berookim, they contain an enzyme called ficain that helps ease constipation, and these snack bars are filled with ‘em. “These bars are soft-baked with no cholesterol, GMOs, or high fructose corn syrup. And they’re made with real fruits, like sun-ripened figs, and whole grains that are a great source of fiber,” he says.
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