Go With Your Gut
Good gut health is essential for overall health and well-being. Proper digestion is key to ensuring that all the nutrients the body needs are adequately absorbed and utilized. However, poor diet, stress, and certain medications can disrupt the digestive system. These disruptions cause harmful side effects. If abdominal discomfort, gas, bloating, fatigue, and skin problems persist, supplements can help relieve these issues and promote healthy digestion. Here are 4 of the best supplements to support digestive health.
1. Pack in probiotics
The gut contains trillions of good bacteria that must be maintained for optimal health. The probiotics found in foods are the best way to manage this ecosystem. Probiotics are live bacteria naturally found in fermented foods. Common examples include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, pickles, and sourdough bread. Good bacteria help maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the body. Many studies have proven that probiotics effectively treat digestive problems and other gastrointestinal disorders. However, most doctors recommend supplements since these foods aren’t part of a standard diet. The best probiotic supplement should contain at least 50 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of beneficial bacteria per serving.
2. Try omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s help reduces inflammation in the gut, which can help alleviate symptoms like bloating and stomach cramps. In addition, studies show that omega-3s effectively treat digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and chronic diarrhea. These fatty acids also improve heart health and reduce the risks of heart disease and diabetes. Omega-3s can be found in fatty fish, flax seeds, and walnuts. Pharmacists also produce omega-3s as supplements in fish oil or algae oil.
3. Dig those digestive enzymes
Digestive enzymes are proteins that help break down food into smaller components so the body can absorb the nutrients. This process relieves discomfort and improves digestion. The stomach, intestine, and pancreas all create these enzymes. However, if there is insufficient supply, digestion problems can occur. Some digestive enzyme supplements include bromelain from pineapple, papain from papaya, lipase from milk, and protease. These enzymes can be taken in capsule or tablet form before meals or as directed by a healthcare professional.
4. Fuel up on fiber
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is found in plants and has many significant health benefits. For example, increasing one’s dietary fiber intake helps regulate bowel movements, improves blood sugar control, and reduces the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and IBS. Some high-fiber foods include apples, bananas, beans, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to increase one’s fiber intake. Fiber supplements are also available in pills and powder.
Trust your gut
Improving gut health can significantly improve a person’s overall health as well. Supplements like probiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, and omega-3 can help prevent digestive issues. A healthy gut has been linked to healthy skin, better mood, more energy, and prevention of certain cancers. Look for symptoms of poor gut health and get a supplement boost if the diet lacks the necessary nutrients.