5 Satisfying Snacks to Help Boost and Balance Gut Health

Mid-day bites packed with fiber, probiotics, and other gut-friendly nutrients for energy that lasts.


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Are the snacks you reach for every day actually keeping you satisfied until your next full meal? If not, it’s probably time to start snacking smarter, not harder. If you nourish yourself throughout the day with nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants, you’ll not only quell midday hunger, mood dips, and energy crashes, you’ll also give your gut microbiome a boost—which your whole system will thank you for. 

Why Snack With Gut Health in Mind?

Gut health is essential to overall health in so many ways. The gut microbiome is a group of over a trillion microorganisms found mostly in the large intestine, and ever-emerging research continues to uncover how these tiny organisms live and work together, and how they play a vital role in several body systems and processes. The microbiome plays a large role in overall digestion and metabolism, including helping to create certain vitamins and amino acids, target and destroy toxic compounds in the food we eat, and absorb calcium for  the health of our bone cells. The gut microbiome also has a surprisingly deep connection to the brain and nervous system, and supports the immune system by boosting the population of good gut bacteria and helping our immune cells spring into action when needed. In fact, a variety of studies have shown that our gut microbiome is linked with chronic disease across multiple body systems. Just a few of these include asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, type 1 and 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney disease.

Choosing Foods for Gut-Healthy Snacks

Our food choices and eating habits have a direct impact on the health and wealth of your gut microbiome—in other words, one of the quickest ways to influence gut health is to eat! Gut-healthy foods are all around you, you just need to know what to look for. The best types of foods for the biome include:

Finally, it’s smart to limit foods and drinks that disrupt the balance of healthy gut bacteria or promote inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are so many inflammatory foods available in our food system, some of which include processed foods, alcohol, fried foods, anything with added sugars, red and processed meats, and artificial sweeteners. Nothing beats a bag of potato chips or a candy bar sometimes, but if you make a habit of only munching on these types of goodies every once in a while, you'll be rewarded with a happier gut (and may actually start craving them less).

Gut-Healthy Snack Ideas

Next time you need a snack, get inspired by one of these tasty and satisfying ideas to help boost or maintain your gut health while keeping your energy levels stable throughout the day.

01 of 05

Energy Balls With Oats, Seeds, and Nut Butter

Energy balls (or bars) are so versatile, nutrient-dense, and delicious that eating them can truly feel like you’re indulging in a treat. Start with oats and flaxseed, both of which contain prebiotics—typically soluble fibers that act as food for our healthy gut bacteria, helping them to flourish. Then add in anti-inflammatory (and protein-packed) almond butter (or whatever nut butter you love) to create a simple go-to energy ball base. From here, add in any other ingredients you like including anti-inflammatory powerhouses like chia seeds, chopped walnuts, or dried cherries.

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Greek Yogurt With Whole Grain Cereal, Nuts, Seeds, Banana, and Honey

There’s nothing like a little yogurt parfait to keep you going through a long afternoon. Greek yogurt provides a healthy dose of probiotics and has even more protein than regular yogurt, leaving you fuller for longer. Your favorite whole grain cereal, walnuts, sliced banana, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey are perfect toppers that offer both prebiotics, anti-inflammatory benefits, and longer-lasting satisfaction.

03 of 05

Banana-Zucchini Muffins

Snacks are often overlooked when meal-prepping for the week. Try whipping up some banana zucchini muffins on your next Sunday—you won’t be sorry. Wholesome muffins will feel like an indulgence at snack time, but without the sugar crash you may get from other baked goods or pastries. Both zucchini and bananas will feed your gut bacteria while serving as anti-inflammatory foods. Bonus points if you mix in chia seeds, nut butter, or sub yogurt for oil in your recipe. Try making these muffins with white whole wheat flour for extra fiber, which helps reduce that spike in blood sugar you get from most muffins.

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Tortilla Chips With Guacamole and Salsa

Not every gut-healthy snack needs to be made at home or ahead of time. Great options await in the grab-and-go section of the grocery store, too. Tortilla chips, guacamole, and salsa make a flavorful and filling combo. Avocados and tomatoes are potent anti-inflammatory and prebiotic ingredients. While you’re there, grab a low-sugar kombucha to add some healthy bacteria into the mix.

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Mini Mezze Platter: Crispy Chickpeas, Fermented Pickles, and Labneh

Move over, potato chips—crispy chickpeas have arrived. These crunchy pops of flavor are inexpensive and easy to make at home, and they’re a great source of prebiotics. Make a mini mezze platter out of this hand-held snack, enjoying them alongside probiotic-rich labneh, a Middle Eastern yogurt-based dip, and fermented pickles from brands like Cleveland Kitchen or Bubbies.

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