Keeping your digestive tract in good shape is so important on many levels, and there are some nutrients for gut health that can either make or break your success. Why are these nutrients for gut health important? To start out, they keep your digestive system regular, which is important for removing waste, they make foods easier to digest, they prevent harmful bacteria from taking over, and they feed healthy bacteria in your body. They also ensure your digestive system is absorbing the nutrients from the foods you eat. So, what are these terrific nutrients for gut health? Check them out below, and let me know if you take any of them yourself!
This is a commonly known vitamin among many, but many aren’t aware that it’s one of the absolute most important nutrients for your gut health you can consume. Vitamin B-12 is actually a soil-derived bacteria that your body needs for energy, optimal digestion, brain-health, and preventing many common health disorders. If you’re vegan, a supplement is necessary, unless you eat foods like nutritional yeast on a regular basis. B-12 can help regulate your system, along with increase your mood and sense of well-being. Be sure to take a sub-lingual supplement if you buy B-12 in supplement form, since it’s the most readily available way for your body to absorb it.
Most of you also probably know that probiotics are popular and important for gut health maintenance. You’re only as healthy as your gut, and that’s no joke! Did you know your gut has more cultures of bacteria than cells in your body? It’s a fact many people don’t know, yet it affects everything from food cravings to weight gain, poor digestion, and even depression. Probiotics help keep the good guys in (good bacteria), and the bad guys out (such as pathogens and even parasites), so you stay healthy, and happy. When gut bacteria is imbalanced with an overabundance of bad bacteria, your immune system is weakened, you suffer digestive problems, and you also get depressed. Serotonin, the happy hormone, is made directly in the gut, or at least 95% of it is. Without enough healthy bacteria, it’s impossible for enough serotonin to be produced. Birth control pills, antibiotics, and even household chemical cleaners can prevent your body from producing its own healthy bacteria, so a supplement is necessary for most people today. Take one with at least 5 billion cultures or higher for the best varieties, and be smart about what brands you choose.
3. Digestive Enzymes
Another extremely valuable supplement to add to your routine are digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes make digesting any food you eat easier on your system, and ensure they’re properly assimilated. They can prevent anything from IBS to poor nutrient absorption. You’re only as healthy as what your body absorbs, so keep a good brand of digestive enzymes on hand and take one to two pills before each meal for optimum digestion. I like MRM brand’s Digest All, which you can buy anywhere online at very affordable prices.
Magnesium is good for a wide range of issues in the body, but especially for your gut and energy levels. It can even help you sleep, it’s so great! For your gut, it helps to relax your digestive tract, which is helpful for those who suffer stress and IBS. Magnesium can help restore natural movements to your tummy that regulate digestion, and help you stay regular. I take magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide before bed and it helps me sleep and keeps my tummy in great shape for the next day.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D acts like a hormone in your body, and it’s been proven to prevent depression, treat Crohn’s Disease, and even prevent colon cancer. Vitamin D is best manufactured from the sun, but if you don’t go outdoors on a regular basis, or aren’t able to get sunlight each day, it can be hard for your body to produce Vitamin D. This makes a supplement the perfect choice. Doses can range up to 5,000 mg, which is the top level sold, but most people usually do well with a 1,000 mg supplement. You should be sure to eat foods rich in Vitamin D as well, such as wild salmon, mercury-free tuna (if you can find it), and Certified Humane or pasture-fed eggs for the best sources. Fish oil with high Vitamin D levels is another great option.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your immune system, but also your digestive system. Since nutrients are directly absorbed in the digestive tract, it’s important to get enough Vitamin C to keep your immune system in shape. Your immune system is based off what you put in your body, and taking Vitamin C can help your gut allow your immune function to work at its best level. Vitamin C can also help with mild constipation if that’s an issue.
A less commonly known nutrient for your gut is L-Glutamine. This amino acid is important for healing the gut lining, and keeping it in good condition. Most animal sources of protein are rich in this amino acid, but some vegan protein powders, such as Sunwarrior Warrior Blend, are also high in this amino acid. If nothing else, add a supplement, which you can buy in powdered form or pill form. A good dose is 5 milligrams. L-Glutamine has also been linked to muscle recovery after exercise, and is popular with many athletes, along with people who have digestive issues and need to heal their gut lining.
Taking a whole foods multivitamin is a great way to get in basic nutrition, but keep these nutrients for your gut on hand too. They might just make all the difference in how you feel and function each day. Do you take any of these nutrients for your gut health?