Published February 8, 2018 — Share
A healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract is crucial toward your overall well-being. Your gut is the centre of your digestion, governing whether food breaks down into essential nutrients and are absorbed. Additionally, approximately 90 per cent of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is thought to be responsible for balanced mood, proper sleep and memory function, comes from the gut.
Antibiotics, pesticides and excessive caffeine consumption can compromise your gut health by eroding your stomach lining, promoting bad bacterial overgrowth in your stomach or small intestines (SIBO), and significantly impairing your mineral and nutrient digestion. If your gut health is compromised, you could suffer from:
To ensure optimal gut health and function, continue reading for a guide to three essential supplements that will help restore your gut flora, boost your digestion and protect your stomach from acidic damage.
Did you know that an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, known as dysbiosis, can lead to food sensitivities, skin problems and frequent fatigue?
Studies show that daily probiotic supplements containing 10 million CFU (Colony Forming Unit) help to rebalance your gut flora and regulate bowel movements, improve your heart health and even lower LDL cholesterol. In fact, studies reveal that supplementation with 10 million CFU of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for one to two months can improve anxiety, depression and memory. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are also high in probiotic content, as well as yogurt and kefir.
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) helps break down food in the stomach before it reaches your small intestines, which is where the bulk of nutrient absorption happens. If you have leaky gut syndrome, IBD or acid reflux, your stomach produces less HCl, which can prevent the proper breakdown of your food, and lead to potential heartburn and indigestion.
A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) on salads or diluted in a 240 ml (1 cup) glass of water can help to improve stomach acid levels naturally and boost your digestion. Look for ACV containing “the Mother,” a combination of proteins, enzymes and bacteria beneficial to gut health.
When the stomach lining is worn away by antibiotics, alcohol, stress and poor dietary choices, it can result in burning sensations and pain, known as gastritis.
400 to 700 mg of DGL as a supplement (standardized to 2 per cent glycyrrhizinic acid) taken approximately 30 to 60 minutes before meals helps to stimulate mucin production within the stomach, creating a protective barrier that helps the gut heal from damage, and reduces heartburn and indigestion.
Whether you’re looking to reduce heartburn or indigestion, or balance your mood and energy levels, it all starts with your gut health. Be sure to visit your local CHFA Member health food store for more information on the supplements above and others beneficial to your gut health, such as digestive enzymes and oregano oil.