Gut health is important for almost every aspect of your life and wellness. What you eat (and digest) has a profound impact on how well your brain functions, as well as the overall quality of your sleep. Ensuring that food is properly broken down and digested is the first step to improving overall health over time.
There are several supplements that can help to heal the gut and ensure it functions optimally. As with most health matters, prevention is much easier than treatment.
What are gut health supplements?
Gut health supplements are dietary supplements that contain specific ingredients believed to boost the health of your gastrointestinal system.
Many different types of ingredients fall under the label “gut health supplement”, including: prebiotics fiber, probiotic foods, digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, licorice root, marshmallow root, aloe vera juice, slippery elm bark powder, apple cider vinegar, glutamine, ginger root extract or powder, betonite clay, amalaki fruit powder.
Here are 9 of the best supplements for gut health…
This amino acid helps to repair the lining of the intestines and boosts your immune system. It also promotes good bacteria growth and is a powerful antioxidant. It’s important to note that too much L-glutamine can cause leaky gut, so be sure to monitor your intake of the supplement until you know how it affects you.
This herb contains an ingredient that mimics cortisol. In today’s stress-driven world, many people are dealing with chronically elevated cortisol levels. As cortisol is a catabolic hormone, it breaks down our muscle and this can cause increased appetite – resulting in weight gain. Licorice root may help to balance cortisol levels over time, which will have a positive effect on your gut health.
Inulin can be found in asparagus, bananas, garlic, and onions. It provides prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in our gut. You can also purchase it as a supplement to increase your daily intake of prebiotic fiber. We recommend purchasing organic whole foods first (vegetables, fruit, and legumes) before considering an inulin supplement – but if you do decide to go this route, make sure you purchase a high-quality product (they’re not all created equal).
Collagen Protein Powder
This protein powder can be added to smoothies or mixed with water or almond milk. It contains the amino acids which help build and repair gut tissue – specifically L-glutamine and glycine. It’s also high in protein, has no additives or fillers, and tastes great.
This is an herb that can be purchased as a tincture or tea. Because it kills parasites and worms, it may help with leaky gut syndrome – by eliminating the bad bacteria which are leaking through your system. It’s also high in antioxidants, which can help to strengthen gut cell tissue (especially important after bouts of food poisoning or diarrhea).
Moringa Leaf Powder
This is an herbal powder that can be added to smoothies and shakes – but research it before purchase because some moringa products may contain added sugars/preservatives. It’s also important to note that when taken in high doses, moringa has been known to have a diuretic effect – so be sure to monitor your water intake when consuming this supplement.
This herb can be purchased as a powder or tea and contains antioxidants which help heal the gut lining. The root is also believed to be anti-inflammatory and works well with other herbs (like licorice root) to balance cortisol levels.
This is an oral detox supplement that can act like “spackle” in the intestines – helping to repair holes and cracks that may have formed thanks to inflammation, stress, or bad bacteria. It also contains minerals that can boost nutrient absorption and promote the growth of good bacteria.
Not technically a supplement, bone broth provides collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, and amino acids (like glycine) – all of which increase tissue repair in the gut. It also has anti-inflammatory properties due to it’s high content of the amino acid glutamine.
9 Best Supplements for Gut Health
- Elm & Rye Probiotic
- Bulletproof Gut Health Collagen Protein
- Garden of Life Raw Microbiome Ultimate Care
- Indi body
- Inessa Advanced Biotic Complex
- Kalla for Relief
- Wellgard Vitaflora 20 billion CFU probiotics for women
- So Perf Kids Peruvian cacao and coconut bars
- Bio-Kult boosted
What are the side effects of Gut Health Supplements?
Since most gut health supplements contain multiple ingredients they can often result in side effects like bloating, cramping, diarrhea, etc.
It is important to consult your doctor before taking any new supplement if you are already on medication or suffer from any medical conditions.
Start slowly by introducing one supplement at a time and take it for at least 2 weeks before adding in another to make sure it doesn’t cause negative interactions.
What are the benefits of taking Gut Health Supplements?
Gut health supplements can benefit you by relieving symptoms like abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, and heartburn. They also help support proper nutrient absorption which helps to promote better overall health.
Do gut health supplements actually work?
It depends on the product you are taking and your current diet/health status. Some experts say that most gut health supplements are not effective long term since they can’t provide the same amount of benefits as a healthy diet.
What is the best time to take Gut Health Supplements?
You should give your intestinal lining at least 30-45 minutes to break down before eating or drinking anything after taking a supplement. If you’re using it as a snack or instead of eating food, take it before you eat.
What’s the Right Dosage for Gut Health Supplements?
Most supplements come with instructions to take 1-2 capsules daily. You may also need to follow up your dosage with a probiotic supplement which you should take at least 30 minutes apart from the other product.
Should you take Gut Health Supplements if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding?
Some supplements contain herbs that can interact with hormones which can cause side effects for the mother and baby. It would be best to check with your doctor if it’s safe to use during pregnancy/breastfeeding before taking any products containing herbal extracts.
We’re not saying to immediately head out and purchase all of these supplements but rather, be mindful of them as you attempt to re-balance your gut health over the next few months. The gut is an important foundation for our overall health, so don’t neglect it!
This article has been supplied by Verma Media, a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.