Multivitamins, minerals and herbal supplements are the most common types of dietary supplements used by adults. Most of them decide to take such dietary boost to improve health, lose weight or treat a certain condition. For instance, collagen supplements are used to boost nutritional intake and maintain optimal health, while gut health supplements are used to relieve gastrointestinal symptoms and support digestive health.
Maintaining good gut health is crucial for the various bodily functions. Having healthy gut bacteria can protect you from certain conditions and diseases. It’s not a coincidence the gut is considered the “second brain” and if something’s amiss with the microbiome the person is exposed to a risk of numerous health issues.
Can Supplements Improve Gut Health?
Trust your gut, but make sure to take good care of it first. You can begin by eating smaller, nutrient-dense meals high in fibre. Have a plate filled with fresh fruits, veggies, beans whole grains and healthy fats to support your digestive and overall health. Choose fermented foods and yoghurts as they’re a good source of probiotics that can help support optimal digestion.
What you eat is important, but nowadays even if you eat a wholesome diet, it’s likely you’re not getting all of the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs. You can find gut health supplements from trusted brands to support your digestive system and overall digestive comfort as they may help metabolise and break down the food you eat.
They’re meant to improve the balance of microorganisms that inhabit the gut including different bacteria, fungi, viruses and more. All of these are called gut microbiota and advances in research of these microorganisms have shown how important a healthy gut can be in improving overall health, from optimised immunity to physical and mental health.
Therefore, it’s no surprise healthy gut has become the focus lately and many food and supplement companies got caught in the excitement surrounding it. You can see a number of marketing claims on their products boasting a range of benefits such as improved digestion, relief from digestive disorders, improved immunity and more.
From probiotics to prebiotics, glutamine, aloe vera, collagen, digestive enzymes and more, there is a variety of options available, but little scientific evidence to back up their efficiency. Here are some that are worth the investment as long as recommended to you by your health practitioner, and if the foundations of your diet are wholefood based and focused on foods that naturally help to populate your gut microbiome.
Digestive probiotics are a form of good bacteria and/or yeasts found in our bodies and they play a huge role in maintaining a healthy gut. Good bacteria support your immune function and control inflammation, and certain types can help your body digest food and prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed through food or drinks from entering your blood.
Probiotics support digestive health by balancing out undesirable bacteria and improving nutrient absorption from the food we eat. You may be adding digestive probiotics into your meals without even knowing it, like yoghurt, kefir, pickles and more. But not every meal contains probiotic-rich foods, so supplementing is an important part of any digestive health strategy that can help you keep your body healthy and working well.
Probiotics can be beneficial for both kids and adults. There are probiotic supplements specifically designed for infants and children, however, make sure to talk to your child’s paediatrician before giving them a gut health probiotic or including probiotic rich-food in their diet.
Our bodies naturally produce digestive enzymes to help break down and absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. However, it’s not working perfectly with every meal, especially if eating a plant-based diet. Adding a digestive enzyme to your daily diet can help support overall intestinal health and break down food easily, so your body can absorb the nutrients it needs.
Glutamine has anti-inflammatory properties and is considered a key nutrient for intestinal health according to some reviews. Glutamine supplements can be helpful for people with inflammatory bowel disease because they may have lower levels of this crucial component in their bodies.
Supporting digestive health is more than maintaining a healthy diet and using supplements. It’s always a good idea to couple it with a healthy lifestyle as being physically active can keep your bowels moving. Also, make sure you stay hydrated as it can help flush out toxins easily and effectively.
The key to improving the health of your gut is to understand that it takes some time and patience because our digestive tracts are quite sensitive. While we can change our gut composition within days through lifestyle factors such as food, exercise, stress management, good night’s sleep and more, for permanent positive changes we need to maintain this routine for a minimum of 6 months, if not forever.
That’s why it’s better if you forget about quick fixes from the very beginning and focus on having a proper diet, avoiding highly processed and refined foods, and including regular exercise, hydration, and quality sleep in your everyday life. Reducing stress can also help to improve digestive health.
In the end, it’s important to remember to consult your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or changing the dosage. Not every supplement is appropriate for people with specific lifestyle factors, conditions, or medications. Also, if you’re experiencing symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain or else, review your supplements with your doctor to ensure they don’t harm your body.