Go with your Gut Health: Your Guide to Creating Better Gut Health Products

Go with your Gut Health: Your Guide to Creating Better Gut Health Products

Go with your gut. It’s a time-honored saying that reminds us to trust our instincts and to listen to our inner voice.  

While we mean the saying figuratively, it alludes to a very literal fact – the gut is important, and it plays a critical role supporting the inner workings of the body and mind.

This unsung hero of the body works hard, but we haven’t always given it the attention it deserves. Fortunately, that’s changing.

Good gut health is trending with consumers as they continue to learn more about the gut microbiome – the important and diverse ecosystem of microorganisms that help support different body functions. Specifically, people are increasingly interested in the connection between a healthy gut microbiome and other areas of health, such as brain health and immunity.

In fact, when asked what health claims appeal to them when looking for food and drink products, 50% of respondents reported “supports good gut health” as their answer.

Consumers are searching for products to help them maintain a healthy gut, specifically the gut microbiome. But the gut microbiome is complicated, sometimes making product development complicated as well.

In this post, we’ll uncomplicate the topic for you by talking about:

1. How to build and maintain good gut health

In theory, we want good gut health, but what does that look like in practice? A few key ways to improve gut health and maintain a healthy gut microbiome include:

  • A diet with a variety of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Proper sleep and exercise
  • Reduced intake of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol intake
  • Providing prebiotics through diet that help healthy gut bacteria flourish

Diet is at the top of our list for a reason. Eating a diverse diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is one of the most important ways to support a healthy gut microbiome.

That’s because fruits and vegetables contain critical dietary fiber. Not only does the dietary fiber help improve digestive health, but it also protects and carries antioxidants called polyphenols that are uniquely bonded to fiber intact to the gut.1

Dietary fiber and fiber-bound polyphenols also act as prebiotics, which can help improve overall healthy bacteria abundance and diversity.  

Once in the gut, dietary-fiber bound polyphenols are slowly fermented in the colon, where they release “several bioactive and absorbable metabolites” known as postbiotics.1 This leads to a positive impact on the gut microbiota and overall gut health.

2. What consumers are looking for in their gut health support products

  • Convenience
  • Gentler forms of fiber that don’t lead to harsh side effects
  • Clear communication about gut health benefits

It’s easy to say just eat more fruits and vegetables for better gut health. But for many consumers, that’s hard to do in practice, especially given the amount of time it can take to shop for and prepare fruits and vegetables. So, we’ve put convenience at the top of the list of what consumers are looking for in gut health products.

Innova Market Insights reports that a desire to eat more fruits and vegetables is driving convenient food choices. When asked if they have bought any convenience products in the last 12 months, 8% of respondents reported purchasing more prepared vegetables and, 9% reported purchasing more prepared fruits.

We anticipate that the desire for convenient products with multiple benefits will continue to grow as consumers look to address their gut health concerns.

Gentler Forms of Fiber
Consumers are also looking for gentle forms of fiber that won’t negatively impact their everyday routines.

According to Brendan Kesler, Research and Innovation Director at FutureCeuticals, “Typically, isolated fibers that are not a part of the standard human diet can have harsh, laxative side effects. Fiber from common fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, can work more gently and naturally. You really are what you eat! The body produces digestive enzymes and bacteria in response to our dietary habits. So, we believe getting our fiber from food sources instead of isolated sources outside of our diet will create a more gentle fermentation experience.”

Clear Communication
Last, consumers are looking for clear communication about gut health benefits. According to Innova, 67% of survey respondents stated that it’s important to them to be informed regarding healthy foods and nutrition.2

3. How you can develop products that help consumers achieve their gut health goals

  • Use familiar ingredients from real, wholesome, nutrient-dense foods
  • Formulate with convenience in mind
  • Educate and clearly communicate about your product’s gut health benefits

Consumers know eating more fruits and vegetables will support their gut health. Mintel reports that 49% of consumers are trying to eat more produce to include more fiber in their diet.3

Using familiar ingredients from real, nutrient-dense foods will appeal to your customers who don’t want to sacrifice authentic, wholesome ingredients for convenience. For example, dried fruit and vegetable powders and pieces where nothing has been removed but moisture can be ideal for easy-to-eat gut health support products.

Speaking of convenience, finding ways to incorporate the benefits of dietary fiber into on-the-go products is a great way to appeal to gut-health-conscious consumers. Include dietary fiber from fruits and vegetables into products like yogurt, ready-to-mix smoothies, and functional bars, among others, to help your customers overcome any dietary fiber consumption barriers.

Last but certainly not least, be a teacher. Dietary fiber and food sources of prebiotics can significantly impact health, giving product developers and marketers the opportunity to educate and communicate on packaging and in marketing content.

Take advantage of your communication platforms and spread the word to your customers that maintaining good gut health isn’t as challenging as it sounds. Just a bit of effort can have a big gut health impact.

You have influence! With the right product and communication, you can help make healthy eating easier.

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How We Can Help

Let us help you be a part of the gut health revolution! We have a variety of ingredient solutions that can help you create great gut health products.

One of our favorite solutions is NatureKnit. NatureKnit™ delivers intact, plant-based dietary fiber and polyphenols, naturally bound together, to the gut.

Click Here to Learn More

1Perez-Jimenez, et al. Non-extractable polyphenols, a major dietary antioxidant: occurrence, metabolic fate and health effects. Nutrition Research Reviews. 26, 118–129. doi:10.1017/S0954422413000097

2Innova Market Insights. Now and Next for Fiber and Prebiotic – Global. 2024.

3Mintel. Making Fiber the Next Must Have Nutrient.” July 2022.