How Holistic Health Practitioner Lily Harris Eats for Better Gut Health

Last Update: April 10, 2024

“Good for your gut.” 

“Supports your gut microbiome.” 

“Optimizes gut health.” 

These are all phrases you may have heard before when shopping for healthy groceries or reading up on the latest trends in healthy eating. But what do they mean, really? 

We talked to Holistic Health Practitioner, Lily Harris, about what gut health really means, how to improve your gut health, and some of her favorite food recommendations for a healthy gut. 

What is gut health? 

According to Harris, “Your gut is another word for your gastrointestinal tract.” To go a bit deeper, the gastrointestinal tract is the series of organs that lead from your mouth to your anus, including the major organs of the digestive system. 

The health of your gut refers to how well this system is functioning, or how well you’re digesting the foods you eat and passing them through your system without pain or irritation (or even other physical manifestations, such as skin irritations). 

What is the gut microbiome? 

Within the gut is the gut microbiome, which is a popular topic in the world of health and wellness. “Your microbiome is made up of organisms, like bacteria and viruses, that live in your gastrointestinal tract,” Harris explains. “Good bacteria plays into everything from your immune system to digestion to pooping to mental health — it’s really, really important.”  

One of the best ways to support your gut microbiome is through the foods you eat. Some studies show that eating probiotic-rich foods, such as fermented vegetables or certain dairy products, can help to support and diversify your gut microbiome. 

Do probiotics improve your gut health? 

Probiotics are live microorganisms that may have a beneficial effect on a person’s health when administered in adequate amounts. 

While most people think of pills and other supplements when they think of probiotics, there are probiotics in many of the foods we eat as well. “Probiotics are great, but you could also incorporate fermented foods into your diet and get that good bacteria that way,” Harris says. “I love things like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso paste, and kefir.” 

Lily Harris’s Favorite Foods for Good Gut Health 

  • Yogurt. You’ll often find Harris adding probiotic-rich yogurts to her morning smoothies, or making coconut yogurt bowls topped with fresh fruit and granola for breakfast. 
  • Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is finely cut raw cabbage (and often other veggies) that has been fermented to give it a distinctly sour flavor. “I eat sauerkraut alongside my eggs and veggies for breakfast, or throw it on top of a salad for a little bit of added flavor,” Harris says. 
  • Miso paste. This savory, umami condiment is made of fermented soybean paste, and it’s often found in traditional Japanese cooking (and it’s that fermentation process that makes miso beneficial for gut health). “I love to add miso paste to soups or marinades,” Harris says. 
  • Kefir. Kefir is a drink made from the fermented milk of a cow, sheep, or goat and kefir grains. It looks and tastes similar to a very thin yogurt, and it contains live bacteria. “I take a shot of kefir every day,” Harris says. 
  • Kimchi. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made of salted and fermented vegetables and seasonings like garlic, gochugaru, and ginger. Similar to sauerkraut, Harris eats kimchi alongside meat, veggies, or rice. 

Best Probiotics and Gut Health Products at Thrive Market 

Looking for even more gut support? Here are some of our best supplements, powders, beverages, and other products for gut health. 

Ancient Nutrition Leaky Gut Support
This holistic supplement contains lion’s mane mushroom, fermented spearmint, fermented licorice root, and spirulina to help naturally support gut health*. 

Beekeeper’s Naturals Propolis Complete Gut Health
Made with natural propolis (an antibacterial, resin-like material that comes from bees), and a combination of pre- and probiotic bacteria strains, this supplement aims to help improve your gut health*.

Trace Minerals Liquid Gut Health
This liquid daily supplement contains soil-derived humic acid, fulvic acid, and other active compounds like electrolytes, probiotics, and prebiotics to support your gut*.

Thrive Market Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is made from the fermented cider of fresh apples, which may help to support your gut health* when taken as a shot or used in healthy recipes. 

Poppi Fruity Sampler
These soda alternatives are formulated with probiotic apple cider vinegar to create a good-for-your-gut sip*. 

wellmade by Thrive Market Daily Probiotic for Men or Women 

With 50 billion live probiotic cultures and 15 different strains, these daily probiotic capsules are made to help keep your gut happy and healthy*. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

More about digestion: 

How to Improve Digestion with Erica Zellner of Parsley Health

What Are Probiotics, and How Do They Work?  

Natural Sources of Fiber

This article is related to:

Gut Health

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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