In the last few decades food processing, antibiotic use, sugar consumption, and toxin exposure have all increased dramatically! Because of this, many Americans' gut health has decreased. If you are looking for a small step to help your digestion and gut health, some gut friendly supplements may be very beneficial for not only your digestive tract but also your mind.
Refrigerated, medical food, and drops, oh my! There are hundreds of different types of probiotics on the market! But which kind is the BEST kind? The answer is “spore based” probiotics, and research backs this up! The probiotics protective shell causes the spore-based probiotics to have the best survivability rate in the gut along with being able to exist for long periods of time in harsh conditiions. The digestive system can most certainly be a harsh environment so unfortunately, many commercial probiotics cannot survive.
Spore-based probiotics can survive extreme temperatures or hazards in the gut. Unfortunately, the majority of probiotics you find at your local health food store are NOT actually probiotics. These supplements are merely dead bacteria that will not have any benefits for the gut. These “probiotics” don’t even fit the accepted scientific definition of what qualifies as a “Probiotic.” So you should look for a "spore-based" probiotic the next time you are looking for a quality probiotic.
You may be familiar with dried thyme when cooking, but this herb does a lot more than flavor your lasagna! Thyme leaf has various antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. In fact, research looked at thyme as a potential anti-fungal agent and found it to inhibit the growth of Candida (a problematic fungus) in the gut! In addition to helping rid your gut of candida, thyme is also a prebiotic which means it helps feed and stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. It also helps increase protective gastric mucus layers in your stomach. Ultimately, will help protect the stomach lining and prevent leaky gut. So if you want to cleanse the gut and give your gut health a boost, look no further than thyme!
Supporting the immune system, cardiov scular health, and balancing blood sugar are all benefits of garlic. But in recent years, studies have indicated that garlic can be extremely beneficial to the gut. Although garlic may make your breath a little stinky, it can do wonders for your gut microbiome and digestion! Due to its antimicrobial and prebiotic properties, garlic has the potential to balance the gut microbiota and protect your gut from intestinal inflammation. If you are looking for a quality garlic supplement, in order to reap all the gut health benefits try to find one that is organic and that has no fillers or masking.
Digestive bitters have been used to help support digestion and gut health for hundreds and hundreds of years! From Ayurveda, to the original bitter liquids of the Mediterranean, bitters have been a digestive staple in almost every culture. Why? There is science behind it! Digestive bitters engage/excite the digestive system and alerts the body through taste, that a complex food is being ingested. This prepares your body from the brain to the salivary glands in preparation of digestion.
How does this help with your gut? It helps make more saliva which breaks down food more effectively. When food is broken down better, digestion is an easier task for your gut. Thus, digestive bitters (usually found in tinctures) can help with heartburn, indigestion, bloating, and stomach upset. In fact, a review found that in general, bitter plants and herbs can provide digestion-enhancing activities. The ideal timeframe to take digestive bitters is about 10 minutes before you start eating.
If any spice is excellent for digestion, ginger root takes the cake. Improving overall digestion, supporting gut health and reducing nausea and vomiting are all benefits of ginger. Researchers suggest that ginger root stimulates the digestive tract. Ginger has been shown to increase the digestive enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase which can elevate saliva flow and improve gastric motility. These factors keep food moving through the GI tract which support problems like fermentation in the gut or gas buildup. One study found that ginger supplementation can support the gut microbiota, resulting in its effects on obesity, insulin resistance, and low-grade inflammation in mice. Ginger supplements can come in powder and liquid forms. Just make sure to look for an organic brand and preferably a brand that contains bioperine and gingerol's as these ingredients create better absorbability.
Start Your Gut Health Journey
The digestive system is made up of everything from the mouth and the gut. Specifically, our gut contains an intricate colony of bacteria that dictate numerous functions on a physical and emotional level in the body. Supporting the gut is crucial for one's health and supporting it through supplements is one of the easiest ways to help aid digestion and overall wellness on a holistic level.
Kaylee Noland See all the author’s articles