Foods for a healthy gutA new study out of Spain has found that the polyphenol content in red wine can promote the activity of healthy bacteria in the gut, an area that’s gained widespread interest in light of digestive disorders like celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

In the study, published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, male participants who drank red wine were found to show an increased percentage of beneficial gut bacteria in the lining of their intestines, an important factor in a healthy digestive system.

Food manufacturers and consumers alike have expressed a keen interest in products that promote gut health, as the gluten-free trend shows no sign of waning and the importance of the digestive system comes to light.

It’s a concept Dr. Michael Gershon communicates in his book The Second Brain, in which he touts the gut as another organ that can send out early signals of a wide range of disorders and diseases like Parkinson’s, osteoporosis and autism.

Meanwhile, Canadian publication Best Health provides a few tips on how to maintain a healthy gut by choosing the right foods:

-Up your intake of citrus fruits and fiber-rich leafy greens and yellow vegetables.

-Tuck into more foods that contain probiotics, which keep the lining of the colon healthy. These include foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, bananas, garlic, asparagus and onions.

-Spices and herbs like caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, ginger, mint and nutmeg have been shown to prevent or relieve gas, help the digestive process and relax the stomach muscles.

-Avocado, brown rice, dark chocolate, nuts, oatmeal, olive oil and seeds have also been shown to flatten the tummy, which can alleviate the pressure in the gastrointestinal tract.