3 Viral Breakfast Foods That Will Improve Your Gut Health

Whether you're short on time in the morning or you're intermittent fasting, you might be missing out on an important meal of the day — breakfast. According to Better Health Channel, breakfast helps with your energy and concentration while staving off chronic disease. Besides, a healthy breakfast rich in nutrients will make you less likely to reach for unhealthy foods when your cravings kick in.

Breakfast doesn't necessarily mean heading to your local diner for a high-fat omelet, pancakes, and cheese-covered hash browns. It could include just a few simple but healthy foods to get a head-start on your day. One gastroenterologist, Dr. Joseph Salhab, asserts via TikTok that he eats three things every morning for his gut and liver health: black coffee, berries, and mixed nuts.

Salhab says black coffee has compounds that help with cognitive, cardiovascular, and liver health. A 2020 study in Nutrients found that people who drank coffee had higher levels of certain gut bacteria that improve their microbiome. And the caffeine in coffee gets things going in your digestive system. This avoids the overgrowth of bacteria that could cause an imbalance in the gut (via Everyday Health). You'll want to watch what you put into your coffee, though. Adding too much sugar promotes the growth of harmful gut bacteria.

Berries for fiber and polyphenols

Whether you add them to your yogurt or eat them on their own, berries are packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and aging, according to the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Strawberries are high in folate and vitamin C. Most berries have beta-carotene, which helps your cells develop and improves your immune system. The fiber in berries helps prevent any spike in your blood sugar. Blueberries are rich in pterostilbene, which is a polyphenol linked to cardiovascular and cognitive health (via Lifespan).

The phenolic compounds in berries also control blood sugar, inflammation, and blood pressure, according to a 2022 study in Antioxidants. Berries also promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bacteria associated with irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal inflammation, anxiety, and depression. Gut bacteria use fiber and polyphenols in berries to produce short-chain fatty acids that are beneficial to your health.

Nuts for cognition and cancer prevention

Nuts might not be your typical breakfast fare, but a handful of nuts added to some oatmeal adds heart-healthy unsaturated fats, protein, and magnesium, according to Harvard Medical School. Nuts also have fiber that helps keep you full and keep your gut healthy. A 2022 study in the Journal of Nutrition had 79 adults eat a mix of walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts every day for four weeks. The researchers found that nuts not only improved their memory but also boosted Lachnospiraceae in their system. The Lachnospiraceae bacteria helps support the immune system (via University of Chicago Medicine).

A 2018 study in Nutrition Journal found that people who ate peanuts, pine nuts, and almonds had a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Nuts might also fight off pancreatic cancer, and walnuts, pecans, and peanuts could keep cancer from spreading (per Nutrition Facts). If you're not used to having nuts for breakfast, look for nuts with less than 100 milligrams of sodium for a one-ounce serving. Although chocolate-covered or honey-glazed nuts might taste divine, many of them are loaded with added sugar.