When your gut health is not optimal, you know it. The bloating, abdominal pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms of having an unhealthy gut. You don't need to be formally diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Colitis, Chron's or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) to have an unhealthy gut. In fact, most of us walking around have gut health issues. Why? Our lifestyles!
The first level of destruction of our gut health is what we eat. When we eat very few fruits and vegetables, food that is grown with chemicals and meat treated with antibiotics, our gut is unhealthy. Layer on top of poor eating habits the daily stress of life and lack of regular exercise, and it is no wonder our gut is so unhealthy. The gut can only take so much! When we constantly bombard it with unhealthy habits, it will continually fight to try to be healthy. This leads the gut to become fatigue and more susceptible to illness and disease.
While eating foods that are high in fiber, drinking lots of water (more than you think you can drink in a day) and exercising regularly can help support a healthy gut, there are also herbs and supplements that when taken daily, help support the gut and can even help it heal. Below is a list of common supplements studied for their gut health support. Before you start taking any, checking with your doctor or a Certified Holistic Nutritionist is highly recommended. This will ensure the supplement selected is appropriate for your unique situation.
Probiotics are mostly known for being able to restore good bacteria in the body when traveling or taking a course of antibiotics. But probiotics can be taken on a daily basis to help support a healthy gut. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common probiotics taken for gut health.
In addition Saccharomyces boulardii, has been studied for diagnosed Colitis patients. Probiotics help alleviate symptoms such as bloating, gas and abdominal pain. While probiotics alone won't alleviate all unhealthy gut symptoms, taken along with other supplements and eating a high fiber diet can improve some of the symptoms.
Turmeric is a flowering plant that is used in cooking. Most of us think of curry as soon as we hear turmeric. But the turmeric root has also be used to make medicines. Turmeric is known as a key anti-inflammatory herb.
Gut health issues are inflammatory by nature. Taking an anti-inflammatory helps reduce some of the root causes of gut health issues. In a large, randomized double-blind multi-center trial involving 89 patients with Ulcerative Colitis, were given 1 gram of turmeric twice a day had both clinical improvement and a statistically significant decrease in the rate of relapse. (Source: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine)
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea is a potent flavonoid that supports a healthy metabolism. However, green tea now is being studied for improving gut health. One issue that most of us have is our intestinal lining is weak or even develops holes as we get older. When the intestinal lining is weak, it can't decide what nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and what is moved along for elimination by the body.
A weak intestinal lining results in toxins and bacteria leaking into the body which causes bloating, gas, fatigue and food sensitivities. (Source: Harvard Health) Green tea was studied in mice at Ohio State University for its effects on obesity and the results showed that the mice had improved intestinal barrier function, in addition to helping prevent obesity. (Source: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News). There are plenty of green tea supplements in the market. Look for a standardized extract to ensure you are getting the most of the active ingredient.
This is a favorite of mine! I started taking it about a month ago and have experienced less gas, bloating and noticed a healthier elimination. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that supports a healthy gut. While it can be found in foods, such as eggs, beef and tofu, sometimes you may need a supplement. Especially if you don't eat a lot of eggs or beef.
L-Glutamine helps the intestinal lining remain strong to prevent some of the embarrassing symptoms of gut health issues. It also helps keep the immune system strong since 70% of the immune system is found in the gut. Finally, L-Glutamine is important for the normal growth and maintenance of cells in the intestines. (Source: Healthline)
Boswellia is one of the most valued herbs used as a effective remedy for diarrhea. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is used as a pain-reliever. (Source: NIH) Boswellia has been studied versus pharmaceuticals for its effects on Ulcerative Colitis and Chron's disease.
A six week trial showed boswellia to be as effective as the drug sulfasalazine in reducing symptoms of patients with Ulcerative Colitis. Another study found boswellia to be as effective as mesalazine in improving the symptoms of active Chron's disease. (Source: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine).
Those are a few of the herbs and supplements that can help promote a healthy gut. If you think your gut health could use some help, I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist helping people overcome the embarrassing symptoms of an unhealthy gut.
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