As the gut health obsession takes the health and wellness arena by storm, many seekers of the next miracle food have turned to bone broth. But the broth, typically produced using sawed-open cow bones, is more of a horror story than the miracle medicine consumers hoped for. Great gut health is important in supporting your entire body, from your skin to your immune system. VegNews shares the 10 vegan ingredients that will help you achieve that sought-after balance in your belly.


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1. Drinking vinegars
Drinking vinegars have exploded in popularity, but these trending beverages have health benefits, to boot. Reported to aid in digestion and help keep stomach acid levels balanced, you can count on more drinking vinegar companies like Bauman’s Best Botanicals popping up as demand grows.


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2. Sauerkraut
Fermented foods are a key ingredient in achieving great gut health. That zesty sauerkraut that you pile on your Beyond Sausage can also offer probiotics that support healthy digestion. To be sure that your sauerkraut is the kind that contains those helpful microorganisms, look for jars with “naturally fermented” on the label.  


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3. Avocado
An important component of gut health is balancing the bacteria in our bellies. While fermented edibles such as sauerkraut deliver probiotics, one of the world’s most perfect foods—avocados—offer us the prebiotic fibers we also need for balance. So, go ahead: toss more slices on that salad, and indulge in the avo toast for breakfast. It’s for your own good health, after all!


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4. Miso
Miso, a fermented soybean paste, has a funny way of popping up in recipes when we least expect it. It can make vegan mac and cheese magical, and has even made appearances in savory waffles. A staple of Japanese and Chinese cuisines, as a probiotic-containing fermented food, miso also provides health benefits for the gut.


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5. Blueberries
Simple. Perfect. Bluerries. We can eat them straight from the plant or blend them into delicious icy-cold smoothies. Not only are these sweet finger foods as great raw as they are in desserts, but they are full of healthful antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, while also high in Vitamin C and potassium. And, they’re great for our gut health. A study led by University of Maine scientists provided evidence that blueberries help keep our digestive systems in great shape.


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6. Tempeh
Another fermented soy food that offers great benefits for the gut is the protein-packed and super-versatile vegan favorite: tempeh. Whether served as smoky plant-based bacon or tossed in a salad, tempeh seems able to adjust to just about any culinary context. A 2013 study showed that this flexible food also boosts healthy bacteria in the belly.


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7. Seaweed
About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water, so why should we limit ourselves to the food that grows on less than a third of the planet. Mysterious, dark, and rich tasting seaweed adds an element of the unusual to our savory dishes, while delivering a variety of health benefits. It provides vitamins and minerals, contains antioxidants, and is an excellent source of fiber, helping to keep our guts healthy. Seaweed also contains sulfated polysaccharides which are known to boost good gut bacteria. So dive in and indulge in this surprising sea food.


Maya Gottfried is the Digital Editor for VegNews and author of the books Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal and Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary.


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