A Healthy Core Does Wonders
Nearly 2500 years ago, the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” And the truth is he wasn’t wrong. In recent years, scientists and researchers alike have indicated the undeniable importance of gut health.
Maintaining the gut microbiome balance (the bacteria in your digestive tract) is essential for overall health and well-being. And this makes sense, considering the digestive tract is where we obtain the tools for good health, including our energy and nutrients. Interestingly, the foods we eat also help heal the gut and promote a good gut environment for optimal digestion.
So, what are the foods and vitamins are essential for gut health? Let’s take a closer look!
Natural Sources of Prebiotics, Probiotics and Fiber
The gut contains over 40 trillion bacteria; this is what is referred to as the “gut microbiome,” which is essential for nutrient metabolism, immune system regulation, protection against foreign invaders and more.
While eating a wide range of different foods is important for a healthy gut, there’s a bit more to it than that. Potentially unsurprisingly, the gut bacteria thrive off a healthy diet consisting of veggies and fruit. Some of the fiber in these foods can’t be digested by our bodies. However, this fiber offers the perfect food for our gut bacteria.
Some great examples of fiber-rich foods include:
- Leafy greens.
- Chickpeas & Beans.
- Whole grains.
While on the topic of best foods for gut health, fermented foods are another great category to add to your diet to aid your gut bacteria. Many of these foods contain lactobacilli, a bacteria beneficial for overall health and gut health.
Some great sources of fermented foods include:
In particular, yogurt is a wonderful food for gut health. Studies show that yogurt improves the amount of lactobacilli bacteria in the gut while reducing the amount of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that may lead to increased inflammation.
Many foods listed above further contain probiotics and prebiotics, which also help feed the “good” gut bacteria. It can improve the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut, leading to optimal gut health.
Additionally, eating easy-to-digest foods, like bone broth, can lessen gut inflammation while allowing the body to gain valuable protein that may improve the integrity of the gut wall.
Vitamins for Optimal Gut Health
So, what about vitamins or supplements? Can these improve gut health too? While it’s always better to obtain vitamins and probiotics through natural food sources (such as the above), when not available, taking supplements may lead to gut improvements.
Some great and reputable brands with some of the best probiotic supplements include:
- Truvani Probiotic. This probiotic contains 15 strains of health bacteria that support a balanced gut.
- Puritans Pride. Contains friendly probiotics that support your immune and digestive system.
- Pendulum. Help you unlock the power of your gut microbiome with evidence-backed probiotics.
- Renew Life Ultimate Flora. Supports immune health and your body's natural digestive system.
- Biotrust Pro X-10. Promotes a healthy balance of gut bacteria while supporting a health digestive tract.
- Ancient Nutrition Probiotic. Contains 25 Billion CFU, helping restore your gut health.
- HUM Nutrition. Contains verified clean ingredients that aid in digestive support.
- HumanN. A beet brand that helps change lives through health blood flow.
- Zuma Nutrition. Contains various products that help support gut health.
- PatchMD. A cutting-edge patch that provides you with a daily dose of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
- 1md Supplements. For real, powerful results, use 1md supplements. Clinically-studied ingredients that support your overall gut health.
- Patchaid. Forget about the pill! These doctor-recommended patches can help support your gut health.
- Advanced Bionutritionals Digestive Support. A cutting-edge formula that helps support healthy digestion, providing temporary relief of heartburn, bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea.
- Umzu Gut Health. Provides you with everything you need to support your optimal gut health and digestion.
- Skinnyfit Belly Balance. Promotes healthy digestion, relieves stomach discomfort and helps calm bloating.
- Centrum: Providing you with a 2-in-1 multivitamin and probiotic supplement. Containing 18 micronutrients, including Zinc and Vitamins C and D, this product supports immune function, eye health and aids in energy production and metabolism.
Some of these brands may further offer other supplements that are good for gut health, such as:
- B Vitamins: These are essential for helping your body obtain energy from the food you eat. These vitamins also help regulate appetite and aid in the digestion of protein, fats and carbs.
- Vitamin C: While this vitamin is often talked about with keeping the cold and flu at bay, it also plays a major role in digestive health. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and keeps your teeth and gums healthy (which also starts the initial digestive process!).
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is involved in various processes throughout the body, including helping your digestive system absorb calcium, regulating immune system function and regulating nerve and muscle function. This vitamin may also reduce the risk of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin isn’t directly involved in any digestive function. However, it’s easy to become deficient when inflammation or imbalances occur in the gut. Thus, it’s one to grab if you’re experiencing digestive issues.
- Marshmallow Root: Various research supports marshmallow root for improved digestive function. It’s thought to help treat heartburn, constipation, intestinal colic and gastric ulcers. This supplement may also improve the health of the gut lining by reducing inflammation.
Before taking any new supplement, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor and determine which ones might be right for you and your health. Some supplements or vitamins may have certain interactions with medications, which is why this is particularly important to note for those already on prescribed meds from their doctor.
At the end of the day, improving your digestive health can only lead to improvements in your overall health and wellness. While it’s not the source of every disease, it counts for a lot!
- 'All disease begins in the gut': was Hippocrates right?
- 9 Ways to Improve Your Gut Bacteria, Based on Science
- Role of the normal gut microbiota
- Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome
- Introducing Truvani's Collagen Peptides Made From Grass-Fed Argentinian Cattle
- 4 Essential Vitamins for Digestive Health
- It may aid in digestion