Apple cider vinegar can help boost digestion - nine other foods to improve gut health

Looking after your gut health is one of the most crucial ways of looking after health as a whole. 

An upset in gut health can impact digestion and cause you a great deal of discomfort. 

Speaking to NHS Choices, Dr Anton Emmanuel, a consultant gastroenterologist at University College Hospital in London said there’s a wide choice of pharmacy remedies for heartburn, indigestion and similar problems that are very good for the short-term relief of symptoms. 

But nutritionist Cassandra Barns has revealed 10 gut friendly foods to boost your digestion that could be hanging around in your cupboard. 

Apple cider vinegar

Contrary to what you may have thought, it’s more common to have too little stomach acid than too much. Having low stomach acid can cause many of the problems that people associate with indigestion, including burping, nausea and even heartburn symptoms. Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a small amount of water before a meal can help to balance stomach acid levels. However, do not try this if you are already taking a prescribed medication to reduce stomach acid.


Garlic has potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can help keep in check any ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut and can also be beneficial in cases of candida (yeast) overgrowth in the gut.

Raw sauerkraut or kimchi

Sauerkraut is a traditional fermented food usually made with shredded cabbage. It naturally contains gut-friendly bacteria – it’s basically a natural probiotic! Kimchi is similar to sauerkraut but usually made with a combination of vegetables and the addition of spices such as ginger and red chilli flakes. Make sure you get raw sauerkraut or kimchi; if it doesn’t say raw on the label, it’s probably been pasteurised, which kills all the beneficial bacteria.


We’re learning more and more about the importance of the ‘friendly’ bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut. They’re thought to influence our immunity, mood and weight, as well as our digestion of course. Raw, organic and unpasteurized, Equinox Kombucha is £1.80 from Waitrose. 

Jerusalem artichoke

These knobbly vegetables are one of our best sources of inulin, a type of soluble fibre. Inulin has a prebiotic effect, helping to ‘feed’ the good bacteria in our gut.

Raw Cacao

For something a little sweeter but still guy friendly, try OMBAR 72 per cent which is packed full of friendly bacteria called, Lactobacillus acidophilus, a dairy free treat you and your gut will love.


Ginger can stimulate production of stomach acid and digestive juices, as well as helping to keep food moving through the gut. It can also help relieve nausea. Use ginger in stews, stir-fries, soups, vegetable juices, grated on salads, or in curries (but keep them light to benefit your digestion) Hot ginger tea made with fresh grated ginger is a fantastic digestive tonic too.

Bone Broth

Traditionally prepared bone broth is made by simmering leftover meat or fish bones for at least 8–12 hours. This process leaves us with a highly nutritious broth containing valuable minerals and gelatin that come from the bones. Gelatin can help to restore a healthy gut lining, and the amino acids it contains may also help to improve stomach acid levels.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which is vital for good gut health. Raw pumpkin seeds have also been used as a traditional remedy for parasites. Try Grinding up Clearspring’s Organic Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seeds before eating to get the most benefit. 


We need fibre for a healthy gut and good bowel movements. But wheat bran can be quite harsh on the gut, causing digestive problems for some people. Oats can be a better source of gentle fibre. As a bonus, the fibre in Nairn’s Gluten Free Super Seeded Crackers have also been found to help lower cholesterol levels and help control blood sugar.

Constipation pain and bloating can make your stomach feel stretched and uncomfortable. But, taking these cheap probiotic supplements everyday could help to boost your immune system and help with digestion.