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Top 18 Superfoods For Gut Health That Increase Energy

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Some of the best superfoods for gut health are foods you might already consume. Not only are all the superfoods I’m sharing here helpful in supporting a healthy microbiome, but they also support cellular energy!

Superfoods for Gut Health

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Some of the best superfoods for gut health are foods you might already consume. Not only are all the superfoods I’m sharing here helpful in supporting a healthy microbiome, but they also support cellular energy! It’s a win-win! 

If you want to improve your energy with autoimmunity, you’re in the right place! While fatigue is a common complaint associated with thyroid autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s, this list of superfoods can help you maximize the nutrition needed to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). 

ATP is energy for our cells and body, and we must have good ATP production to heal and get autoimmunity into remission. Food can be our best medicine to support healing!


“The term ‘superfood’ was introduced in the 1990s to indicate a special category of food with superior nutritional properties and food that contains an impressively high amount of nutrients.” Superfoods are best known for offering significant support to overall health due to their rich antioxidant content. These are often referred to as functional foods because these foods may support and benefit a particular function within the body. 

Antioxidants significantly impact the body because they have a “high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score.” This means that superfoods with high levels of antioxidants help fight harmful free radicals and oxidative stress. Consuming more antioxidants can mitigate some imbalances caused by toxins that accumulate in the body. Consuming more superfoods is in everyone’s best interest! 


Unfortunately, our modern lives are filled with countless environmental toxins, high-stress levels, nutrient-depleted soil, and inflammatory processed foods. These factors contribute to a high toxin load in our bodies, increasing our need for the antioxidants found in superfoods. 

Polyphenols are plant compounds found in many superfoods. Some of these compounds are anthocyanins, catechins, or genistein, for example. They have unique antioxidant properties and help combat inflammation, which is often linked with poor gut health. Research shows that polyphenols also promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome. 

Polyphenols are extensively metabolized by gut bacteria into a complex series of end-products that support a significant effect on the functional ecology of symbiotic partners that can affect the host physiology.

By incorporating more powerful antioxidants into the diet, many experience:

  • Increased energy levels 
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Better sleep
  • Regulated digestion
  • And so much more!


Numerous superfoods can support a healthy microbiome. However, a handful of superfoods are also beneficial for increasing energy levels and fueling the body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. 

One of the most effective ways to fight low energy is through your diet! Consume more of these nutrient-rich superfoods, and you will start to notice an increase in energy, both physically and mentally!

Consuming more superfoods packed with all the nutrients your body craves. Before you reach for another cup of coffee, try these 18 superfoods instead! You might be surprised what makes the list! 

Superfoods for Gut Health


Beets and beetroot powder are rich in nitrates, which support vasodilation or widening of blood vessels to improve circulation and regulate blood pressure. They contain betalain, which gives beets their red/purple pigment and supports cell turnover. Many of these betalains function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules. 

Cell turnover is especially helpful when healing the gut, as it strengthens the lining to prevent toxins, bad bacteria, and pathogens from sneaking into the bloodstream. 

How to enjoy: Beetroot is easy to consume as a powder and can be added to smoothies. You can also eat beets roasted, pickled, or boiled. Rinse gently under cold running water, taking care not to tear the skin, which helps keep the health-promoting pigments inside.

I recommend healthy steaming beets for 15 minutes to maximize their nutrition and flavor. Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the beets, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork, knife, or the tip into them.


Pineapples are a sweet fruit that contain vitamins and minerals like C, B1, manganese and enzymatic proteins. Pineapple makes the list for the top 20 superfoods for gut health because it contains one of the most benefical enzymes, called bromelain. 

The bromelain proteolytic enzyme in pineapple improves protein digestion and breakdown, which is essential for improving energy levels, breaking down nutrients, and reducing pain and bloating. Bromelain also stimulates peristalsis, the muscular contractions that eliminate waste from your intestines. 

In addition, pineapple improves immunity and is anti-inflammatory, all essential for energy.

How to enjoy: Bromelain is found mostly in the core of the pineapple. You can add it to your smoothies or enjoy it on its own. I suggest slicing pineapple into large circles and broiling them with coconut oil and cinnamon. It is one of my favorite snacks! 


Matcha contains essential amino acids, like L-theanine, which improves energy levels and metabolic health. It is also high in polyphenols, which support gut health, immune function, and healthy skin. 

Matcha green tea naturally contains catechin, a powerful antioxidant that is more than 130 times the power of regular green tea. Due to this antioxidant power, matcha can also support brain health, liver detoxification, weight loss, and healthy lipid and cholesterol levels.

How to enjoy: If you’re looking for a matcha recommendation, my favorite is this Matcha Collagen Latte I keep on repeat. It has great flavor, contains probiotics, prebiotics, and concentrated antioxidants, and is triple-screened for toxins. The perfect drink to support your health and your energy levels! 


Wild-caught sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. By consuming more omega-3s, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio is better balanced, which supports overall inflammation in the body. Optimal fatty acid balance also promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, can aid in weight loss, and increases energy. 

Your body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids onit’s own, so we must consume enough from whole foods or supplements. This is especially true because many processed foods are high in omega-6, throwing off the fatty acid balance. 

How to enjoy: Aim for 2-3 servings per week of wild-caught sardines. You can find these in most health food stores in a can. I personally enjoy eating them in the same way I would eat tuna fish from a can. Mix it with some avocado oil mayo and add chopped vegetables, or add olive oil and vinegar dressing and toss it with fresh avocado slices! 

Wild Blueberries

Blueberries, specifically wild ones, contain high levels of antioxidants like phenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins that support gut health and improve energy levels. Wild blueberries contain numerous vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C, E, and K, multiple B vitamins, and minerals like manganese, copper, and zinc. 

Blueberries support a healthy digestive system and immune function while reducing overall inflammation. Studies show that eating blueberries contain a slew of cancer fighting antioxidants and might support blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance overtime. Improved insulin sensivity increases energy! 

How to eat them: Try adding a half cup of blueberries to a smoothie, add as a topping to coconut yogurt, make a chia pudding, or just enjoy them as part of a healthy snack with a handful of almonds to balance blood sugar, improve energy, and support a healthy microbiome! 


The main compound found in turmeric is called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can reduce pain. While it is best known for reducing overall inflammatory markers, it also works as an antioxidant by preventing oxidative damage in the body. 

Bonus: turmeric is also a carminative or an herb that expels gas from the stomach and reduces bloating! 

How to enjoy: For flavor, add fresh turmeric root to vegetable dishes, smoothies, and meat. You can also make a creamy turmeric latte as a mid-afternoon treat to banish inflammation and boost energy! 


Reshi, or Ganoderma luciduma, is typically ingested in powder form. Reishi is a type of medicinal mushroom that has been shown to contain anti-cancer antioxidants and iingredients that support the immune system and increase your metabolic rate after they are eaten. One way these mushrooms increase your metabolic rate is by increasing your ability to provide oxygen throughout the body. Improved oxygen allows your body to exert extra energy. 

Reishi mushroom powder also contain polysaccharides that assist with digestion. This is another important benefit since efficient waste elimination is important for daily detoxification.

How to enjoy: You can drink reishi in powder form with coffee to mitigate its metabolization and support healthy cortisol levels. You can also add it to warm water to make tea for a calming and sustained energy boost. 


Acai and acai powder are Brazilian superfoods sourced from the tropical acai fruit. The berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Acai can help slow the aging process because it boosts metabolic function, improves lipids, and removes destructive free radicals from the body. 

Acai is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, calcium, and potassium. Together, all these nutrients can naturally boost energy, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and improve brain function.

Acai contains more of the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin than any other food! Additionally, acai’s ORAC level is over 3,500, hundreds of times higher than most fruits and vegetables. 

How to enjoy: Acai can be found in powder and juice. Either form can be added to smoothies, shakes, juices, yogurt, or boiled as a tea. 


Cacao refers to the raw, unprocessed bean from a cacao tree. It is also the primary ingredient in chocolate and can increase beneficial gut bacteria, increase energy, improve blood flow, and reduce inflammation. These health benefits are likely due to its polyphenol and iron content!  

Cacao contains 9 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving, which can make you feel fuller with fewer calories, leading to less food consumption. Cacao also contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which may help treat obesity.

Additionally, in animal studies, researchers found that after taking cacao, rats fed a high-fat diet gained less weight than those who did not. Researchers believe cocoa affects fat cell production, which can profoundly affect weight loss.

How to enjoy: Cacao can be consumed by eating cacao nibs, dark chocolate, or cacao powder. I like to add cacao powder to a smoothie for a rich chocolate flavor, or I’ll add cacao bibs if I want to add some crunch to yogurt, chia pudding, coconut ice cream, or smoothies. Having a few squares of 85%+ organic dark chocolate in the afternoon is one of my favorite ways to get a quick energy pick-me-up, too! 

Grass-Fed Beef Liver

Beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. In fact, when I run a micronutrient analysis on clients, beef liver is one of my top recommendations for including more in the diet because it contains many nutrients individuals are typically deficient in. 

Beef liver is a potent source of essential fatty acids, nutrients like vitamins A, D, and B12, and minerals such as selenium and iron. It is also rich in antioxidants, like glutathione, and a high-quality source of animal protein rich in amino acids, both of which support the gut lining and our energy. 

Grass-fed beef also contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Studies show that CLA helps with weight loss and fights diseases such as cancer and chronic inflammation. Grass-fed beef is also a good source of creatine, which gives your muscles more energy when you work out.

How to enjoy: One of the best places to find quality pasture-raised liver is through Farm Match. You can add your zip code and find food from local farmers in your area. If you, like most, don’t love the strong flavor of beef liver, I highly recommend incorporating it into a recipe. For example, the taste is virtually undetectable in my simple meatball recipe.

Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate seeds are rich in vitamin C, which supports immune health, and vitamin K, which improves healthy blood clotting and bone strength. Pomegranates are also chock full of fiber, folate, and potassium, supporting multiple bodily functions. 

Pomegranate seeds support the gut as they contain fiber and help replenish healthy bacteria to support your microbiome, reduce inflammation, and keep your digestive system regular! 

How to enjoy: You can add pomegranate juice to smoothies, pomegranate seeds to salads, or pomegranate seeds to yogurt. You can also eat them as a snack on their own! 

pomegranates for gut health


Like pomegranates, raspberries are high in vitamins C and K and offer minerals like manganese and magnesium. Raspberries contain high anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer antioxidants. 

Raspberries are also well known for having cardiometabilic benefits and being low on the glycemic index. Fruits lower in the glycemic index cause blood sugar to rise slowly instead of rapid spikes and crashes (hello, more energy!). 

Lastly, raspberries contain fiber, which serves your body through detoxification, reducing inflammation, and feeding the good bacteria in the gut! Of all the berries, raspberries contain the most fiber, with 15 grams of carbohydrates per cup, eight of which are fiber, over 30 percent of the recommended intake! 

How to enjoy them: You can eat raspberries in smoothies, salads, in chia seed pudding, homemade chia jam, or just enjoy them on their own as a healthy snack.

Camu Camu

Camu camu contains an impressive amount of vitamin C. In fact, according to recent studies, “camu camu has more powerful antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities than daily intake of 1500 mg of vitamin C.” Vitamin C can support cellular detoxification, which increases overall energy. 

This superfood is incredible for immunity, and vitamin C is the most known for it. Since most of our immune system is located in our gut, getting enough vitamin C is essential to support a healthy microbiome. 

Another benefit is that camu camu provides collagen for joints, gut health, energy, and skin health. 

How to enjoy: The easiest way to include camu camu in your diet is to use it as powder. You can add a serving of the powder to smoothies or baked goods for an antioxidant boost! 

Arecola Cherry

Acerola cherries have very high antioxidant levels. They also contain the highest content of food-based vitamin C compared to any other berry. 100 g fresh acerola provides an astounding 1677.6 mg of vitamin C, about 1864% of the recommended intake! 

Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood. Arecola cherries are also rich in other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A and B, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium! 

Research shows that acerola cherries help reduce inflammation and support blood sugar levels in type II diabetics. They can also improve energy and physical endurance.

How to enjoy: Eating as few as 2-3 cherries is sufficient enough to fulfill daily vitamin requirements. You can add them to a fruit salad or use them to make a jelly or gummies with good quality gelatin. I personally like to eat arecola cherry in the form of a powder and add to my smoothies.  

Apple Cider Vinegar

I’m a huge advocate of a daily dose of ACV (apple cider vinegar) for its widespread health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is best known for its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. ACV has been proven to target harmful bacteria while supporting the beneficial bacteria your gut needs! 

ACV can aid in digestion, regulate blood sugar, support immunity, improve gut health, improve cholesterol, and even support the gallbladder! Always get ACV that contains “the mother” for best results. Ingesting the fermented “mother” from ACV helps your body to break down and derive nutrients from fats and protein. This will lead to a faster metabolism and more energy.

How to enjoy: First thing in the morning, add a few teaspoons of ACV to 8oz of warm water with lemon to activate digestive enzymes. You should always dilute apple cider vinegar before drinking it. It is also important to rinse your mouth out with water afterwards so that the acid does not damage your tooth enamel. You can also use ACV in dressings for salads or to make homemade bone broth. 

Animal Fats 

Examples of animal fats include ghee, pasture-raised grass-fed butter, duck fat, lard, and beef tallow. These animal fats support your body through the high levels of essential saturated fatty acids. They contain and improve levels of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Because of these properties, animal fats can improve cholesterol levels, inflammation, and cognitive function. 

Animal fats are also rich in butyrate. Butyrate supports the intestinal lining and the cell membranes within gut tissues. Since animal fats also contain conjugted linoleic acid (CLA), they can support metabolism and increase energy levels! 

Important Note: Grass-fed cows produce dairy with CLA levels 3-5 times that of grain-fed cattle! Grass-fed butter is richer in minerals and the fat-soluble vitamins mentioned above. If your body can’t tolerate the casein protein in butter, you can try clarified butter (or ghee) instead.

How to enjoy: I suggest using animal fats to cook as much food as possible, since this will be a staple in an anti-inflammatory diet. You can use animal fats to sautee vegetables, make scrambled eggs, cook meats, use in baking, and just about anything else! I suggest Epic brand for good quality animal fats. 


Cabbage is a favorite for me for its incredible gut health benefits. I use it to make sauerkraut – an amazingly beneficial fermented food that supports the population of good gut bacteria. Even regular steamed/cooked cabbage has numerous health benefits, especially its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cabbage is in the family of cruciferous vegetables. Cabbage contains vitamins C and K and provides a rich amount of antioxidants. The glucosinolates found in cabbage can convert into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

Long-established in health research is the role of cabbage juice in supporting stomach ulcers (called peptic ulcers), but more recent studies on cabbage have looked at the overall health benefits of this food for the stomach and digestive tract. 

New studies have found that cabbage contains various nutrients that benefit our stomach and intestinal lining. These nutrients include glucose isolates (anti-inflammatory isothiocyanates or ITCs made from them), antioxidant polyphenols, and the amino acid-like substance glutamine.

In the case of ITCs, digestive tract benefits include proper regulation of bacterial populations of Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) inside the stomach. These bacteria are normal stomach inhabitants, but their populations can become too large, and they can latch onto the stomach lining in an undesirable way, causing many ailments in the body. The ITCs made from cabbage’s glucosinolates can lower the risk of bacteria such as H. Pylori. 

How to enjoy: I most enjoy cabbage for its high fiber content and its prebiotics. Prebiotics serve as “food” to the probiotics, all working together to feed your gut what it needs to remain happy and strong. A great way to consume cabbage with enhanced benefits is by turning it into sauerkraut. Check out how sauerkraut can heal your gut, and how you can easily make it from home here


Oysters contain several nutrients and minerals that your body needs for good health. A 6-ounce serving of raw oysters contains 16 grams of protein. Getting enough protein in your diet is important because your body needs it for tissue repair, immune function, and hormone synthesis.

Oysters are also high in antioxidants and minerals such as zinc, iron, and selenium, which support gut health, immunity, hormones, and detoxification. A single 6-ounce portion of oysters contains 28 milligrams of zinc, 9 milligrams of iron, and 131 micrograms of selenium. All three minerals are important for healthy cell function, and zinc also fights disease by promoting immune system health.

Oysters also contain the perfect amount of copper to ensure a balanced zinc-to-copper ratio, a key factor for more energy! 

How to enjoy: Oysters are best enjoyed once or twice a month! You can have them raw or cooked and added to your favorite recipes. There are also high-quality organic versions sold in cans that you can eat while you are on the go.


What are the most common symptoms I see in my practice? Low energy levels, lethargy, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. Are you currently experiencing fatigue, too? If so, knowing the root causes is essential to start seeing improvement. 

Symptoms of low energy affect most women with autoimmunity, such as Hashimoto’s, and can drastically impact everyday life. So, why are we so chronically exhausted? 

Some of the most prevalent causes of fatigue include:

  • Chronic stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Nutrient deficiencies 
  • Dehydration 
  • Thyroid imbalances
  • Gut imbalances 
  • Underlying infections or disease

While it’s critical to understand the root cause of your low energy, eating a nutrient-rich diet, or one filled with superfoods, can help increase your energy levels. This blog post provides a more in-depth breakdown of the causes of low energy and some practical ways to support it beyond adding the superfoods in this blog post to your diet. 

Superfoods for more energy


Consuming more superfoods helps fight nutrient deficiencies, reduce inflammation, support detoxification, and lower levels of oxidative stress. 

Some examples of how you can add these to your routine include: 

  • Add 1 TBSP organic pomegranate powder to your morning smoothies 
  • Drink 2-3 oz tart cherry juice around 7:30 PM (also helps activate melatonin for a great night’s sleep) 
  • Enjoy up to 1oz of dark chocolate (70%+) daily. The Alter Eco brand sold at most supermarkets has a few great options! 

Food can be our best medicine to prevent disease! 

While these are just 20 superfoods for gut health that give you energy, there are many more. If you want the complete list, click here for a FREE download to fast-track your way to more energy! 

These superfoods are packed with a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support a healthy microbiome and increase energy. These nutrients also help your mind through increased clarity and stamina, giving you that lasting brain power you might want! 

Out of these top 18 superfoods, which one is your favorite? Which one would you like to add to your plate? Let me know in the comments! 

best superfoods


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"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."

-Nikki Yelton, RD

a note from nikki:

If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment. 

You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.

are you ready?

Ready to resolve your GI distress, reverse autoimmunity, and live your extraordinary life?

I believe every woman can take back their health!

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