Does a Vegan Diet Improve Your Gut Microbiome?

Your gut bacteria play an essential role in keeping you healthy; they regulate blood glucose levels, lower the risk for degenerative diseases and help your body absorb nutrition from food sources.

Although no two people’s gut bacteria are identical, their composition can often be determined by what you eat.

People who regularly eat meat and dairy foods tend to have higher populations of disease-causing bacteria in their gut.

Research indicates that those who eat predominantly plant-based whole foods have better balances of beneficial bacteria in their gut, possibly because these diets contain lots of fiber and other essential nutrients good bacteria need to thrive.

However, even high-quality vegan diets may still lack certain essential nutrients that could impede microbiome health, including zinc and glutamine, which are necessary for gut health.

Vegans may be missing out on vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy nervous system and red blood cells. If you are transitioning or considering going vegan, talk with your physician or registered dietitian for guidance.

To learn more about how a vegan diet improves gut microbiome, continue reading. 

What Is a Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet involves cutting out all foods containing meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products and focusing on plant-based foods.

This eating plan offers numerous health advantages as well as helps protect the environment.

Going vegan can be an exciting step towards leading a healthier lifestyle, but transitioning can take time and requires preparation.

Begin slowly replacing animal-based foods on your plate with plant-based options over time to minimize feelings of loss.

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts that contain fiber – these foods will help control your weight while decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Supplement your diet with iron, zinc, calcium, iodine, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fats. This may be especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who may not receive enough essential nutrients from their daily meals.

Do Vegans Have Better Gut Health Than Omnivores?

Studies reveal that eating a diet based on plants is good for our health because it promotes a variety of gut bacteria that are crucial for maintaining good gut health.

Furthermore, vegans and vegetarians have more of certain types of bacteria than meat-eaters.

However, simply going vegan is not enough to improve your gut microbiome.

In reality, each individual’s microbiome differs significantly, and certain foods, environments, or behaviors can alter this balance and have detrimental impacts on overall health.

Diet and lifestyle modifications are one of the best ways to strengthen your gut microbiome.

Cutting back on foods high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar is an important first step. While it’s equally essential that you consume sufficient fiber and polyphenols from whole-plant foods.

Foods rich in probiotics, like fermented dairy products like kefir and yogurt, can also help boost your good bacteria.

Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts into your daily meal plan will also ensure you receive all necessary vitamins and nutrients.

How a Vegan Diet Improves Gut Health?

Veganism can be an excellent way to support gut health. Rich in fiber and other important nutrients that support a healthy intestinal environment, this diet may help restore gut health.

Vegan Diet Is Full of Fiber

Most Americans lack enough fiber, an essential dietary component essential for digestive health and weight management. Fiber helps support heart health, supports weight loss, and feeds beneficial bacteria that keep you regular.

An effective vegan diet includes plenty of high-fiber foods like whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, as well as plant-based proteins and fats for optimal nutrition and gut health.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to feed beneficial gut bacteria, while insoluble (roughage) fiber draws water into stools to make passage smoother. Consuming more fiber can also help prevent constipation, promote weight management and enhance digestive health. 

Fermented (Pickled) Vegetables Improve Gut Health

Fermented vegetables have recently received widespread recognition due to their potential to help strengthen your gut microbiome–the collection of 100 trillion bacteria and microorganisms that comprise your digestive tract.

Consuming fermented vegan foods is one of the best ways to maintain gut health, so make sure they form part of your daily diet.

Add probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread to your diet to enhance gut health by increasing the good bacteria count in your gut and reducing bloating, gas and can boost mental well-being.

Vegan Foods Contain Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber compounds that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, making them an essential component to digestive health.

While vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of prebiotic-rich nutrients for vegans, probiotic supplements can also be beneficial.

These supplements provide the best vegan probiotics in concentrated form, supporting a healthy gut flora and aiding in digestion.

Apples, oats, and flax seeds remain among the top vegan prebiotic foods, offering fiber and essential vitamins.

Incorporating both prebiotic-rich foods and probiotic supplements can help optimize digestive health for vegans.

Vegan Foods Don’t Contain Trimethylamine N-Oxide

Recent research suggests that adopting a vegan diet could actually benefit your gut health.

They found that vegan foods don’t produce trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which increases the risk of heart attack or stroke and causes poor gut health.

TMAO is formed when our gut bacteria convert L-carnitine from meat, fish, and dairy into an unhealthy waste product called TMAO. This makes vegan foods beneficial for your overall health. 

Best Vegan Foods to Improve Your Gut Health

Vegans looking to improve their gut health have numerous options at their disposal that will assist. Here are the best vegan foods to improve your gut health. 

  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Water kefir
  • Miso
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Pickled Vegetables
  • Chickpeas


Your gut microbiome is your body’s greatest ally when it comes to maintaining immune health.

These microbes aid digestion, help absorb nutrients more readily and even signal your brain to secrete insulin more often.

Diets that emphasize plant foods help cultivate an array of beneficial gut bacteria.

Vegans and vegetarians tend to have higher counts of certain OTUs related to Bacteroidetes bacteria compared with their omnivorous counterparts. However, if you are planning to go vegan to improve your gut health, consult a nutritionist for guidance.