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The 6 Best Foods to Improve Your Gut Health and Prevent Diabetes, Biochemist Says

This doctor explains a fascinating link between diabetes, the gut microbiome, and metabolism.

Gut health continues to make headlines, and for good reason—more and more, scientific studies suggest that a balanced gut microbiome attributes to better overall health. Now, moving into National Diabetes Awareness month, one biologist explains how eating just the right foods for your gut may actually help you fight diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it's estimated that 34 million (approximately one in 10) Americans have diabetes. Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD, is a biologist who has concentrated on biochemical and metabolic research, as well as the CEO of Pendulum Therapeutics, a medical probiotic designed to lower blood sugar spikes. Cutcliffe also serves on the board of the American Diabetes Association's Northern California chapter.

A representative for Cutcliffe's probiotic supplements suggested that there's new research showing microbiomes play a role in diabetes prevention, and that some patients are turning to methods besides insulin to better manage their blood sugar. So we were curious—what's a method most anyone could easily adopt to prevent diabetes right now? Keep reading for Cutcliffe's answers, and don't miss Eating Habits to Avoid If You Don't Want Diabetes, Say Experts.

High-fiber Foods

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"Foods that are high in soluble fiber are a great choice for gut health," Cutcliffe tells Eat This, Not That!

She goes on to explain how high-fiber foods help improve three important aspects of gut health: Regularity, slowing the absorption of sugar (which results in lower post-meal blood sugar spikes), and feeding Akkermansia muciniphilia—which she explains is a keystone gut microbiome strain.

What were her specific picks for the best high-fiber foods to support all this? Keep reading.

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1

Apples

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Apples came first on this biochemist's list of high-fiber, gut-friendly foods. Learn more by reading One Major Effect Eating Fiber Has on Your Liver, New Study Says.

2

Barley

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A solid recommendation for the cozy soup time of year—Cutcliffe says this particular grain is a great way to pack in more fiber.

RELATED: 23 Cozy Soup Recipes That Are Perfect For Weight Loss This Fall

3

Carrots

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Cutcliffe suggested carrots are another surefire vehicle for upping your fiber intake. (Curious? Read What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Carrots.)

4

Oats

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A beloved staple this time of year, oats were another recommendation on this doctor's list of fiber-rich foods to serve your gut.

RELATED: 16 Celebs Describe How They Make the Perfect Oatmeal

5

Peas

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Not only can peas add a flavorful pop to so many dishes, but earlier this year a dietitian told us one cup of peas contains an impressive seven grams of fiber. Peas may also lower your bad cholesterol—read more in What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Peas.

6

Psyllium

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If psyllium sounds like a word you've heard before but you're not all that familiar, this is an ingredient that's found in some store-bought fiber supplements. You can learn more about that in The #1 Best Supplement for Weight Loss, Say Dietitians.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more