In recent years, the importance of the gut to human health and well-being has been thrust into the spotlight, and rightly so. The condition of your gut can affect your health in big ways. Here's a look at six supplements that benefit the gut, and can in turn bolster your overall health.
Why Having a Healthy Gut Matters
When we speak of gut health, we are referring to the gut microbiome. The gut is referred to as a microbiome because it contains trillions of bacteria and other microbes. Most of the microbes in the gut are located in a segment of the large intestine known as the cecum. Up to 1,000 species of bacteria are contained in your gut.
The microbes in your gut have a large swathe of influence on your body and your health. A gut microbiome that is diverse tends to be the healthiest. The majority of gut microbes are positive, but negative foreign invaders can enter the gut, such as viruses and negative bacteria. These bacteria and microbes are living organisms, which explains their influence.
Your gut microbiome affects digestion and bowel movements. It also has a huge influence on your immune system, because it communicates with immune cells directly. The gut influences your nervous system, and in turn it plays a role in managing brain physiology and function. It also influences the markers of heart health, such as cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It can even influence your ability to lose weight, as well as avoid the development of diabetes.
Supplements for Your Gut
Your nutritional intake naturally has an immense direct impact on the gut, where nutrients are digested. Some of the vitamins and nutrients that you take in are especially important for gut health and, in turn, your overall health. Here are some of the best nutritional supplements you can take for your gut microbiome:
Probiotic flora, also simply called probiotics, are living bacteria that you consume and which make a beeline for your gut. Among them are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis. Probiotic flora, taken as a supplement, can bring balance to the gut by diminishing the presence of negative bacteria. .Results of this restored balance can include improved immunity, reduced gas and bloating, and healthy digestion.
L-glutamine is a nutrient that is crucial for intestinal health. It is known for its strong anti-inflammatory effect, which benefits the gut. This effect on gut inflammation makes l-glutamine effective in mitigating ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Ginger root is another natural substance that combats inflammation in the gut. Ginger root can help relieve nausea, as well as prevent ulcers. Science suggests that supplementing with ginger root regularly can inhibit the growth of h. Pylori, a negative bacteria that can increase the risk of developing a stomach ulcer.
Psyllium is a type of fiber that can have a positive effect on the gut microbiome. Its effects are especially helpful for those with constipation, because psyllium also helps the gut to retain water, which eases bowel movements.
Lactase is the enzyme used by the gut to digest lactose, which is present in milk and dairy products. For those who are lactose intolerant, supplementing with lactase could enable them to digest dairy products with digestive complications such as bloating and diarrhea.
Wormwood is an herb with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to help manage gastrointestinal issues and indigestion. By supporting the gut microbiome, wormwood can reduce inflammation and diarrhea.
Your gut microbiome is a critical part of your bodily health, both now and in the long term. Consider the above supplements for their ability to support the gut, when taken within the context of a healthy diet. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any of these suggested dietary supplements for the first time, to consider such factors as possible conflict with prescription medicines you are taking.