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Gut Health Essentials: Your Guide to a Happy Belly

If you’ve ever felt that uncomfortable belly bloat, you’re not alone. Not to worry, you’re in the right place! Improving your gut health is easier than you think. With a few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle, you can say goodbye to that bloat and say hello to a happy belly.

Why is Gut Health so Important?

Your gut is not just the highway for your favorite pizza; it's a bustling metropolis of bacteria, enzymes, and cells that work tirelessly to keep you healthy. The term "gut health" essentially refers to the function and balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Optimal gut health involves a perfect symphony of microbes working in harmony, which helps in everything from digesting your meals to empowering your immune system. The gut is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad, that affect everything from your metabolism to your mood. Recent studies show that there is a mind-gut connection where a large majority of your hormones are located in the gut having significant effects on mental health. 

Scientifically speaking, a healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, effective digestion, and may even prevent some types of chronic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In essence, if your gut is happy, you’re more likely to be healthy.

The Gut Microbiome:

The gut microbiome is a complex, dynamic ecosystem of microorganisms essential for digestive health. It affects everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system. An imbalance in these microbes can lead to a plethora of issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and even mental health problems like anxiety and depression. There are a number of companies out there that offer microbiome test kits that you can use at home. You can check out our friends at Nucliq, a Canadian company that provides the test kit and an extensive report explaining your microbiome test results. 

So, How Can You Revive Your Gut Health?

Let’s break it down into three digestible steps 😉

Step 1: Introduce Probiotics and Fermented Foods

To populate your gut with beneficial bacteria, include probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi in your diet. These foods introduce live, beneficial bacteria to your gut, which can help balance your gut microbiome. If you’re not able to get probiotic-rich foods into your diet, try a probiotic supplement to help you out. You can find these at your local grocery or health store.

Fun Fact: Eating fermented foods can sometimes feel like you're hosting a party in your gut—just imagine all those probiotics doing the conga line along your intestines!

Hold on, what’s the difference between a PREbiotic and a PRObiotic? Prebiotics and probiotics both play important roles in maintaining a healthy gut, but they function quite differently:


Prebiotics are substances that come from types of carbs (mostly fiber) that humans cannot digest. The beneficial bacteria in your gut eat this fiber. Essentially, prebiotics serve as food for probiotics and other beneficial bacteria in your gut. They help promote the growth and activity of these bacteria and can contribute to improved gastrointestinal health and potentially enhanced immunity.

Sources of Prebiotics: Prebiotics are found in high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Specific examples include bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, and whole wheat foods.


Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for your digestive system. These are the "good" bacteria that help keep your gut healthy by restoring the natural balance of bacteria in your gut, especially after it has been disrupted by an illness or treatment (like antibiotics, which can kill off both good and bad bacteria).

Sources of Probiotics: Probiotics are commonly found in fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and beverages like kombucha. They can also be taken as dietary supplements.

Key Differences:

Function: Prebiotics are essentially the fuel that helps probiotics and other beneficial bacteria grow and function optimally within the digestive system. Probiotics, on the other hand, are the bacteria themselves that can offer health benefits.

Nature: Prebiotics are non-living dietary fibers, while probiotics are living microorganisms.

Step 2: Master the Art of Meal Prep

Meal prep isn't just about saving time; it's a way to ensure you feed your gut the right types of foods consistently. Start by incorporating a variety of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. These foods are fantastic because they act as prebiotics, feeding the good bacteria in your gut.

Effective meal prep can be your best friend when trying to improve gut health. Planning your meals ensures you include a variety of gut-boosting foods, making it easier to maintain a balanced diet throughout the week.

Blueberry Spinach Zen Salad from Nutrimeals with Chicken

Lean proteins and healthy fats are also essential: Include lean proteins such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes, along with healthy fats from avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These nutrients help rebuild and maintain gut lining and reduce inflammation.

Sample Meal Prep Plan:

- Breakfast: Overnight oats topped with mixed berries and a spoonful of almond butter.

- Lunch: Quinoa salad with chickpeas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

- Dinner: Grilled salmon with a side of steamed broccoli and sweet potato wedges.

Meal Prep Tip: People will use supplements to help them get enough nutrients in their diet if they can’t get everything through the foods they eat. The same concept for meal prep applies here. Using a prepared meal service like Nutrimeals to supplement some of the meals you need help with is a great way to ensure you are getting the healthy micro and macro nutrients you need for a happy and healthy gut.

Step 3: Stay Consistent and Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is like giving your gut a good river flow that helps sweep away waste and keep the intestinal lining healthy. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day—your gut’s miniature aquatic life will thank you. You can read more about the importance of hydration here:

Consistency is key in any good relationship, including the one with your gut. Regular meal times not only help regulate your body clock but also support consistent digestive patterns.

Embarking on a journey to improve your health is a serious commitment to your overall health. I hope that you've taken away some important messages in this blog to encourage living a healthy lifestyle! Your mind and body truly rely on the daily decisions you make! Here’s to a healthier, more vibrant you!

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