30 Mar Supplements and Foods for Gut Health
Is your gut feeling telling you there’s something wrong with your gut?
The signs of an unhealthy gut include:
- Upset stomach
- Sleep issues
- Skin Irritations
- Unintentional weight gain or loss
- Food craving
Even by looking at these symptoms, you can tell how vital gut health is for our health and well-being. Beyond allowing us to digest food, it hosts 70% of our immune system.
The gut plays an enormous role in keeping us healthy, but it can do this only when the gut itself is healthy. Good bacteria in the gut helps maintain good health by producing vitamins, supporting the immune system, and fighting off harmful bacteria.
Unfortunately, about 44% of the worldwide population is dealing with digestive health problems. Poor diet is one of the common reasons for the unhealthy gut, so when searching for ways to improve your gut bacteria, supplements and foods below can help.
Supplements for Gut Health
L-Glutamine, an amino acid naturally existent in your body, helps restore the lining of the intestines and boosts your immune system. It also encourages good bacteria growth, and experts believe L-glutamine can help relieve diarrhea from stress, surgery, or infections. It may also boost absorption of some nutrients in people with too much harmful bacteria in their GI tract, those taking cancer drugs, or patients who’ve had part of their intestines removed. Although L-glutamine is unquestionably beneficial for the gut, it can cause leaky gut in high doses, so ensure not to take too much.
Probiotics – Good Bacteria
Probiotics are essentially good bacteria helping maintain digestive health and boost the immune system. If your diet doesn’t include foods rich in probiotics, dietary supplements can fill the gap and aid digestion. When an imbalance of microbes occurs in the digestive tract, it can lead to numerous health problems, including diarrhea. Probiotic supplements can help restore the balance in the gut.
Inulin, a prebiotic fiber, is naturally found in bananas, onions, garlic, and asparagus. Although our stomach doesn’t digest or absorb inulin, it remains in the bowel to feed the good bacteria. So if your diet isn’t rich in the above-listed sources of this prebiotic fiber, you can buy and take it as a supplement.
Licorice has a long history of use in traditional medicine and is widely available in supplements. Often people use licorice root extract is to relieve symptoms of indigestion, commonly upset stomach, heartburn, and acid reflux. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on adults with indigestion found that taking a 75-mg licorice capsule twice a day significantly improved symptoms compared with a placebo.
Curcumin has higher bioavailability in the gastrointestinal tract than in any other organ. Thus, many studies have investigated the therapeutic potential of curcumin for digestive diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease. Up till now, there have been limited studies on curcumin’s effect on IBD, but two human studies of curcumin concluded promising results. Moreover, curcumin in the gut encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria strains such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli and reduces the growth of pathogenic strains.
This herb can help relieve many digestive issues, including diarrhea, heartburn, and acid. You can purchase it as a powder or tea. In addition, antioxidants in marshmallow root supplements can help heal the gut lining.
Talk with Your Doctor First
The FDA does not strictly regulate dietary supplements. Therefore, these supplements aren’t guaranteed in quality or effectiveness. Always read the labels carefully, and speak with your doctor before adding them to your routine. That’s crucial, especially when pregnant, taking medication, or if you have an existing medical condition.
Foods for Healthy gut
If you want to improve your gut health by fine-tuning your diet, here are the best foods you can add to your menu:
Bananas are a good source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of good bacteria.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics – the good bacteria. It’s available in many sugar-free, fat-free, or even vegan options. By adding yogurt to your diet, you will supply your digestive tract with friendly, beneficial bacteria, keep your gut healthy and help boost your immune system. Besides, it’s a good source of protein.
Kefir is a yogurt drink packed with probiotics and has even more than yogurt itself. Besides, it has a thinner consistency and is easy to add to soups or smoothies or even as a base for a salad dressing.
Gut bacteria need fiber to grow, so the more fiber you consume, the better. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, but green peas have exceptionally high soluble and insoluble fiber essential for a healthy gut. You can add peas to omelets, salads, stir-fries, or soups.
Whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, or quinoa are excellent sources of fiber. They can support healthy digestion by supplying your gut with fibers and probiotics essential for a healthy gut.
We hope the supplements and foods above will help keep your gut healthy. So don’t forget to add these gut-friendly foods to your shopping list and increase your intake of probiotics and fibers for a well-balanced diet necessary for healthy digestion.