If you have been experiencing digestive issues for quite some time it is likely that you may be low in certain key vitamins due to malabsorption. B12, iron, and calcium are commonly low in those experiencing lowered stomach acid production, while the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are essential for immunity and re-building the integrity of the gut lining.
Probiotics are a great way to quickly and effectively replenish levels of healthy bacteria in your gut. It is worth testing to see which specific bacterial strains you might be low in, however, if this is not an option for you, then it is important to opt for a multi-species probiotic with at least 10 billion colony forming units to ensure bacterial diversity within the gut.
The body requires L-glutamine for energy production as well as for the healing and repair of tissues. When the body is under a lot of stress, glutamine usage becomes accelerated and levels can quickly become depleted. As glutamine is an essential energy source for the cells in our gut, it is vital to ensure that you have adequate levels. One of the richest food sources of L-glutamine is bone broth - or, you can consume L-glutamine in a pure, powdered supplement form.
A number of studies have demonstrated the benefits of zinc supplementation for supporting immune balance and decreasing levels of gut permeability (14,15). Zinc is not always easily absorbed unless bound to another compound - so, consider a chelated form of zinc such as picolinate for increased bioavailability and absorption.
TOP-UP ON ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SPICES
As inflammation is often present in cases of gut dysfunction, certain anti-inflammatory agents can be useful to calm the immune system and allow for healing. Ginger is not only a powerful anti-inflammatory, but it has also demonstrated an ability to aid gut motility, therefore enhancing immune health while reducing digestive distress (16). Turmeric, another well-known anti-inflammatory agent has been found to both dampen intestinal inflammation and soothe the gut lining (17).
DON'T FORGET THE OMEGA-3'S
Omega-3 fatty acids have been widely studied for their ability to cool inflammation in the body. Additionally, recent studies have found omega-3’s to improve the composition and diversity of bacteria within the gut (18). Increasing omega-3 rich foods such as flax seeds, walnuts and oily fish in your diet can provide a natural but powerful method for improving gut health. Alternatively, if you choose to supplement, make sure that you are using a high-quality product to avoid impurities and contaminants which could impede anti-inflammatory actions (19).
As you can see, if you want to regain your health, then rebalancing your gut is a vital first step. With a few adjustments and some targeted nourishment, you could be back on the road to wellbeing in no time.
Tell us what you do to support your gut health in the comments below!