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How To Grocery Shop For A Healthy Microbiome

Grocery shopping in NYC (or in any big city) is no joke. We’re talking eye-popping prices, picked-clean shelves and checkout lines that wrap around the entire store multiple times (ever been to the Union Square Trader Joes, at any time of day?). And that’s all before lugging your armloads of heavy, overstuffed bags on the subway and back to your apartment, potentially up several flights of stairs.

Even if you do your weekly food shopping in a less hectic environment (lucky!), it always helps to come prepared with a grocery list, and all the more so when you’re shopping with purpose — in our case, with the intention of stocking a microbiome-loving kitchen. After all, a thriving community of gut bacteria (the root of healthy digestion, immunity, skin, moods, energy and weight) is inextricably linked to the food you eat. Take it from gastroenterologist and gut health expert Dr. Robynne Chutkan: “If you’re a healthy plant-based eater, use minimal medication and live a healthy lifestyle, then simply eating lots of deeply pigmented vegetables and incorporating fermented foods may be all you need.” If food is medicine, then the supermarket is your farm-acy.

To make the grocery shopping experience* a little easier on you, and to guarantee your fridge is filled with the foods you need for a happy, healthy gut, we made you a list that includes plenty of fresh leafy greens, colorful fruits, prebiotic-rich veggies and grains, fermented foods and anti-inflammatory spices. Heads up: So as not to undo all your hard work, go for organic products whenever possible, since they’re free of toxic, microbiome-disturbing pesticides.

*FYI, if grocery shopping still feels like far too much, we’ve come up with a really great solution for that, too. It’s called Organic Meal Delivery. Check it out.

IN THE PRODUCE DEPARTMENT ~ FRUIT

Strawberries

Blueberries

Raspberries

Blackberries

Apples

Bananas

Plums

Pomegranate seeds

 

PRODUCE DEPARTMENT ~ VEGGIES

Kale

Mixed greens

Artichokes

Asparagus

Garlic

Onions

Leeks

Avocado

Jicama

Radishes

Broccoli (not just the crowns…get the kind with stalks and the entire thing! They are a great source of indigestible fiber to feed your gut microbes.)

Cabbage

Cauliflower

 

"DAIRY"

Unsweetened almond or cashew milk

 

DRY/BULK ITEMS

Gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats

Quinoa

Brown rice

Lentils

White beans

Raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, seeds

 

FROZEN AISLE

Spinach

Mixed berries

 

REFRIGERATED SECTION

Kombucha (Look for a brand with no added sugar or evaporated cane juice, like G.T.'s)

Sauerkraut (Skip the shelf-stable stuff…the live stuff is kept cold! Look for words like “raw,” “perishable” or “unpasteurized” on the label.)

 

ETHNIC FOODS

Fermented miso paste

Kimchi

 

SPICES AND CONDIMENTS

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Manuka honey (a great all-natural sweetener and topical acne treatment!)

Coconut oil

 

Now go forth and shop!

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