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
PRODUCE DEPARTMENT ~ VEGGIES
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.)
Unsweetened almond or cashew milk
Gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
Raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, seeds
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.)
Fermented miso paste
SPICES AND CONDIMENTS
Manuka honey (a great all-natural sweetener and topical acne treatment!)
Now go forth and shop!