Ways To Improve Gut Health Without Expensive Supplements
How often do you really think about your gut? Even if you never do, you may be surprised to learn that the opposite is always trueyour gut is affecting your thoughts.
Thats because the gut-brain-axis is a bilateral communication system, meaning theres a strong connection between your digestive tract and your brain. This expands the influence of your gut bodywide, making it critically important that you take care of it.
Trouble in your gastrointestinal tract doesnt only cause gas and cramping, it can also result in poor skin quality, weight gain, and even mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Obviously, you dont want thatnor do you want to spend half your paycheck on expensive supplements, either. Luckily, theres a middle ground between ignoring your GI tract and going wild in the supplement aisle. If youre wondering how to naturally improve gut health, here are four ideas for incorporating good gut practices into your daily life.
Tips To Boost Your Gut Microbiome
Your gut microbiome is a vast community of trillions of bacteria and fungi that inhabit every nook and cranny of your gastrointestinal tract, and have a major influence on your metabolism, body weight, propensity to illness, immune system, appetite and mood. These microbes mostly live in your lower intestine and outnumber all the other cells in your body put together.
Conceptually, we should view these microbes as a newly discovered organ, weighing slightly more than our brains and nearly as vital. There are some organs we can live without, including our spleen, gall bladder, tonsils and appendix, but we wouldnt survive long without our gut microbes. Intriguingly, no two microbiomes are the same we are all unique. And more than ever, were finding out just how important these microbes are.
Read more about the microbiome:
According to research, the richer and more diverse the community of gut microbes are, the lower your risk of disease and allergies. This has been shown in animal tests and also in human studies comparing the microbes of people with and without particular diseases. Examples from recent work at Kings College London include studies of diabetes, obesity, allergy and inflammatory diseases like colitis and arthritis.
Meanwhile, there is mounting evidence that babies born via caesarean section miss out on some of the microbes they would obtain through a vaginal birth, which may make them more vulnerable to allergies and asthma.
Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics
Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics is a probiotic supplement for kids with thirty servings per package. The probiotic product is good quality, GMO-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, safe to use ingredients. These probiotics provide a healthy environment for the growth of useful bacteria in the intestinal tract and boost your child’s immune system. The Dr Mercola products have a 90-day return period with a refund when they are not satisfied with any products purchased. The main ingredient is vinegar, but the flavor is sweet and fruity to encourage kids to consume it. The product has a long shelf life before expiry.
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Fad Diets Should Be Avoided
Science has shown repeatedly that dieters are doomed to failure, yet new fad diets always manage to find abundant followers.
Fad diets are often restrictive novelties that are not backed up by medical research. In many cases, they promise quick and easy weight-loss strategies without any information about the science, risks, and potential long-term consequences for your health, gut, and microbiome.
These nutritional regimes can mean cutting out whole food groups or eating a specific type of food. A major one is the no-carb craze, but we know that a healthy microbiome and happy gut flora need prebiotic fibres to produce beneficial metabolites. Just removing food can disturb this sensitive ecosystem and your bodys delicate metabolic balance.
Make Sure To Eat Your Vegetables
Especially the leafy green ones! Vegetables are loaded with fibres, which cannot be digested by people but are consumed by the good bacteria in your gut. It has been observed that people who follow a diet rich with fruits and vegetables are less likely to grow disease-causing bacteria. Some great examples of vegetables that feed your microbes are:
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How To Restore Healthy Gut Flora With Probiotics
Your body is an active place! Every day, trillions of microorganisms work to keep you healthy and functioning properly. We all get by with a little help from our friends, gut flora! If you are interested in learning more about your personal population of microbes, with tips on helping them stay active and happy, you are in the right place!
What is Gut Flora?
The digestive system is teeming with life. Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that live along the gastrointestinal tract. These microorganisms are called gut flora. Gut flora, or intestinal flora, are naturally occurring bacteria that live in your digestive system and help maintain homeostasis . Bacteria in your stomach and intestines might not be the most comforting image, but do not worry. Having a community of healthy bacteria is part of a firm foundation for overall wellness.
How Gut Flora Can Impact Your Health
So wait, bacteria in the body can be a good thing? Absolutely! Your relationship with gut flora is primarily symbiotic, meaning both you and the bacteria benefit. Healthy colonies of gut flora in your digestive tract benefit your body in many ways, from proper digestion to a healthy immune system. If you follow easy steps on how to improve microbiome balance, you will benefit by supporting your health overall.
What is a Microbiome?
How Antibiotics Can Affect Your Gut Health
What Are Probiotics?
How to Restore Healthy Gut Flora
Take a Probiotic Supplement
Weeks Four And Beyond: Maintenance Mode
The final step is to reintroduce grains, legumes and small amounts of caffeine and alcohol back into the diet. Do not splurge on all of these foods at once. Introduce them back into the diet one at a time and pay attention to how the body feels after having them. Headaches, fatigue, brain fog and digestive distress are signs that a particular food should be eliminated for good. Keep the focus on anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
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Best Foods For Intestinal Health
The best foods for intestinal health are fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains, especially those rich in fiber, to help your digestive tract function normally. To help your body produce as many good bacteria as possible, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and foods rich in fiber.
Give Your Gut A Rest From A Hard Days Work
Giving your body a break from digesting food could protect from metabolic diseases and restore gut health.
In fact, some beneficial bacteria, like Akkermansia muciniphila, actually enjoy a nice fast, and help strengthen the gut lining when they arent being fed by your food intake. Theres no need to be radical here, though, just lay off the midnight snacks and when you do eat, make sure you cram in wholesome plant-based carbs!
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Dr Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula 60 Capsules
Dr Ohhira’s Probiotics Original formula has a three-year-long shelf life and is fermented in nature made from prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics. It contains live cultures and is fully vegetarian with no gluten, no dairy product, and completely non-GMO. The prebiotic food components used are seaweed, mushroom, fruits, and vegetables. Live probiotics are twelve selected strains that have been cultured together with no fermentation. Postbiotics from the fermentation process include short-chained fatty acids, organic fatty acids like acetic, citric, fulvic, humic and phenyl lactic acid, trace amounts of minerals, lactic and amino acids. The supplement does not contain products that have carcinogenic substances. The probiotic supports good digestion, immune health and promotes a healthy microbial environment.
Overall Health Is Improved
In addition to developing and protecting our immunity, the gut microbiome plays an important role in overall human health by metabolizing nutrients and medicines, producing important vitamins and minerals, and digesting our food. One of the main links between the gut and the brain is the food we eat and how it is digested by the gut bacteria. By breaking down the food we eat, our intestines absorb nutrients that support our bodys functions. But when you think about it, it makes sense: the gut microbiome is responsible for breaking down the food you convert into energy that powers your entire body, from muscles to brain.
So, if you want to take care of your health, feel good, and build a solid foundation for overall well-being, follow your intuition. Achieve success in 2020 with good gut health practices that focus on what you can change, such as your lifestyle, eating habits, sleep patterns, and stress levels. You can grow a diverse gut microbiome for good gut health without supplements, fortified foods, or microbiome testing.
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Probiotics And Gut Health
The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children . Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.
More common than diarrhea is the opposite problem constipation. In a search for studies on the benefits of probiotics in treating constipation, researchers found that probiotics slowed “gut transit time” by 12.4 hours, increases the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and helped to soften stools, making them easier to pass. But the jury is still out on specific recommendations when it comes to the benefits of
Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease and the recurrence of pouchitis . Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they’re using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.
Can Diet Affect Ones Microbiota
In addition to family genes, environment, and medication use, diet plays a large role in determining what kinds of microbiota live in the colon. All of these factors create a unique microbiome from person to person. A high-fiber diet in particular affects the type and amount of microbiota in the intestines. Dietary fiber can only be broken down and fermented by enzymes from microbiota living in the colon. Short chain fatty acids are released as a result of fermentation. This lowers the pH of the colon, which in turn determines the type of microbiota present that would survive in this acidic environment. The lower pH limits the growth of some harmful bacteria like Clostridium difficile. Growing research on SCFA explores their wide-ranging effects on health, including stimulating immune cell activity and maintaining normal blood levels of glucose and cholesterol.
Be aware that a high intake of prebiotic foods, especially if introduced suddenly, can increase gas production and bloating. Individuals with gastrointestinal sensitivities such as irritable bowel syndrome should introduce these foods in small amounts to first assess tolerance. With continued use, tolerance may improve with fewer side effects.
If one does not have food sensitivities, it is important to gradually implement a high-fiber diet because a low-fiber diet may not only reduce the amount of beneficial microbiota, but increase the growth of pathogenic bacteria that thrive in a lower acidic environment.
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Your Digestive System: 5 Ways To Support Gut Health
Digestive system problems such as heartburn, gas, bloating and constipation reflect whats happening throughout your body. As we age, the natural cycles slow down and dont work as well, says Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist Gerard Mullin, M.D.
The main drivers of gut health change are shifts in stomach acid, gut immunity and gastrointestinal florathe complex ecosystem of bacteria in your digestive system.
When gut health is good, he says, youre less likely to experience damaging inflammation and lapses in immunity.
The following ways to protect your digestive system may sound surprising because theyre not just about diet. Everything ties together, Mullin says.
Seven Simple Ways To Keep The Right Balance
Eat more fibre Most of us eat only half the recommended 30g a day. But start slowly our guts dont like rapid change
Eat the rainbow Choose colourful fruits and vegetables and try to eat 30 different plants, nuts and seeds every week
Eat foods rich in polyphenols These include dark chocolate and red wine
Eat fermented foods Tim Spector favours kombucha, kefir and kimchi, as well as unpasteurised cheeses
Eat more omega 3 New research suggests a relationship between gut microbes, omega 3 and brain health
Let kids play with dirt and dogs Jack Gilberts research has shown that since the guts population is seeded in early life, allowing small children to dig in soil and play with domestic animals can undo a lot of the damage modern lifestyles do to our microbiomes
Avoid processed foods Cut back on salt and sugar, both of which seem to affect microbial diversity in the gut
Leon Happy Guts: Recipes to Help You Live Better is available for £14.78 from guardianbookshop.com
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Fermented Foods Are Gut
Fermented foods are another great source of probiotics. The crowd favourite is yogurt, however, if youre going to be eating a lot of yogurt, make sure that it is sugar-free! There are several other options that are a great source of good bacteria. Kombucha is becoming a very popular source of probiotics. You can also eat things like pickles, kimchee, and kefir to ensure that youre getting enough live cultures to keep your gut healthy and happy.
How Your Gut Keeps Your Body Healthy
In addition to absorbing and transporting nutrients to all tissues in the body, the gut is vital for maintaining fluid and salt status and expelling waste, explains Dr. Modi. Many vital nutrients and vitamins such as B12 and iron have specialized transporters that only exist in the gut as well, he adds. Iron, for example, needs stomach acid to be absorbed effectivelyand B12 requires certain receptors in the stomach and mid intestines also to be absorbed. It’s hard to get these nutrients in other ways and they are essential for normal physiological functioning, Dr. Modi adds.
The gut is also one of the bodys primary disease-fighting systems. The acid in the stomach kills the bacteria and virus that can be accidentally consumed by the food we eat, and the digestive tract is an important way to introduce antigens to mount immune function and protection in the body, says Christine Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic. The digestive tract also digests the foods consumed and extracts the important nutrients to be taken into the body for essential use.
Emerging research has even uncovered a link between poor gut health and several neurological conditions, such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, autism, and depression. One such study by the Université de Genève found that individuals with Alzheimers have different types of bacteria growing in their gut than those who do not have the disease.
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Eat Fermented Foods That Have Beneficial Bacteria
Weve all heard about eating more yogurt for our gut health, but have we learned about eating more fermented foods?
These foods have more good bacteria to improve your belly. They contain a high count of lactobacilli bacteria, which are beneficial. They are also the ones that convert sugar to acids and alcohols:
Choosing Probiotics For Your Gut Health
All you need to do is choose one probiotic from each type from a reputable brand that stands behind its label claims.
There are hundreds of probiotic species, and differentstrains within each species. But Ive found the best results in theclinic from encouraging my patients to use one probiotic from each category.
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Many people dont seem to achieve balance in their gut microbiotawith just one strain of probiotic. I have seen the best results with mypatients following a protocol that includes all three probiotic categories. For manypatients who have tried probiotics in the past, this approach makes all thedifference.
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Download The Healthy Gut Diet
This includes the best foods for gut health and your daily plan to heal your gut naturally.
For a more comprehensive 28 DAY EATING PROGRAM FOR GUT HEALTH, download The Healthy Chef App and and start your 7-day free trial. Follow the eating plan and recipes and follow wellness tips from our nutritionalists. The recipes included in the 28-day program are also low FODMAP and gluten free.
Enjoy your journey of healthy eating with balance, wisdom and moderation.
Your Genes Dont Matter But Your Gut Microbiomes Genes Do
As a society, we have been quick to place the blame for everything from our weight to our moods on our genes. We say things like She can drink wine and eat chocolate every day and not gain weight because she is French. The truth is human beings all have similar DNA. So why is it that some people are healthy when they consume chocolate every day while others maintain a strict Paleo diet and struggle with digestive symptoms or worse? Its because, unlike our genes, our microbiomes genes are vastly different.
The good news is that you can change your gut microbiome. You see, the average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is 20 minutes! So, you have the opportunity every time you eat to begin to change the population of your gut microbiome. This is good news because it means that rather than having to subscribe to theories such as the Paleo diet, which assumes our genes evolve so slowly that we all need to eat like cavemen, we can begin to change our gut microbiome one meal at a time and even achieve a healthy gut very quickly.
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