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This Dietitian Says There's One Specific Breakfast That Can Improve Your Gut Health

This breakfast food is packed full of gut-healthy soluble fiber.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Our gut health should never be ignored, especially because experts are continually finding more and more evidence to back up the close connection between our gut and the rest of our bodies.

This includes what is known as the gut-brain axis, a connection between your gut and your central nervous system that impacts many different aspects of your health, such as the prevention of disease and even your mental health.

Researchers have found that along with your environment and levels of stress, diet plays a significant role in gut maintenance, which is reason enough to find foods that help you have a happy and healthy gut!

If you're looking for a breakfast food that is gut-healthy but still delicious, we've got you covered. According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our medical expert board, the best breakfast for a healthy gut is none other than oatmeal!

"Oats contain large amounts of a soluble fiber," says Goodson, "and this fiber works as a prebiotic to help feed the good bacteria in your gut."

Aside from oatmeal being delicious and good for your gut, you can also pair it with other food to make a well-balanced breakfast.

"Oatmeal and peanut butter, oats paired with Greek yogurt and nuts, or even oatmeal and scrambled eggs with berries are all fantastic, gut-healthy ways to start the day," says Goodson.

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Why oatmeal is good for your gut

There is a certain type of soluble fiber found in oatmeal called beta-glucans, and according to Goodson, these are some of the key ingredients that make oatmeal a gut-healthy choice.

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry says that beta-glucans are molecules found in foods like barley and oats, and have been known to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

But how do these soluble fibers work as a "prebiotic" as Goodson mentioned? Prebiotics' main function is to help increase the good bacteria in your gut. And according to a 2019 report in Nutrition and Microbes, beta-glucans can help your gut in the same way.

It is also believed that the impact beta-glucans have on your gut can increase the health of your immune system as well. This can happen when the fibers enter your gut and alter the bacteria in your gut microbiota, which leads to improved immune response.

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha