In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about your supplements for gut health so that you can choose your products wisely and heal your gut naturally.
Improve Your Gut Health Naturally
First, what does it mean to improve your gut health? How do you do it?
Your Second Brain
Many people think of digestive issues when they think of gut health. However, gut health is so much more than that. Here are some of the things your gut bacteria can do:
- Influence your behavior via the 100 million neurons in your gut.
- Help accurately predict obesity.
- Produce some important vitamins your body needs, such as vitamin K2, B12, biotin, folate, etc.
- Convert dietary fiber into useful short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids are a source of energy and help you maintain a healthy Ph balance.
- Produce 95% of your body’s serotonin.
Improving your gut health means improving your health as a whole. For more fascinating facts on your gut microbiome, read 31 Fascinating Facts About Your Gut Microbiome.
What Is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, means your intestinal lining has become damaged. Undigested food particles and toxins leak through the intestines and invade your bloodstream. The foreign substances cause an autoimmune response. The autoimmune response comes in many forms and affects different people differently.
Leaky Gut Symptoms
More than 40 diseases have been linked to bacterial imbalance including depression, arthritis, IBS, and cancer. Among the most common leaky gut symptoms:
- Digestive issues like chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Poor immune system
- Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Skin issues such as acne, eczema or rosacea
- Cravings for sugar or carbs
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Mood issues like depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Crohn’s
Gut Health Diet
Before we get in the supplements you can take to support your gut health, let’s talk about diet. Diet can alter your gut bacteria in a matter of days. It is critical you make sure you eat a proper diet. I have written a quite few posts about diet and gut health like How Fasting Can Improve Your Gut Health Starting Today, Is the Paleo Diet Good for Your Gut Health, Most Healing Foods for the Gut, and Rebuilding Your Gut Flora in 5 Simple Steps.
Let me summarize quickly how you can improve your gut health through diet:
- Eliminate inflammatory foods: Eliminate the top inflammatory foods which are dairy, gluten, excess sugar, excess alcohol, vegetable oil, and soybean oil. Instead, focus on fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
- Eat fermented foods: All traditional cultures have fermented foods as part of their heritage. No wonder why, they are an excellent mean of preservation and they nourish your gut. They even make some foods more nutritious! My favorite fermented foods are dairy-free yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir, and pickles.
- Drink bone broth: Bone broth contains key amino acids that help heal your gut lining.
- Eat plenty of fiber: Fiber helps detoxify your system and provide food for your good gut bacteria.
What You Should Be Looking For In a Gut Health Product
There are lots of ineffective supplements out there. I always believed that supplements could help fill the gaps in my diet. However, for many years, I didn’t notice much of a difference from taking these products.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are sourcing your supplements:
- Are they whole-food-based as much as possible? Whole foods and superfoods are the best way to give your body the nutrients it needs. They are highly bioavailable and the various vitamins and minerals work in synergy.
- Are they organic? Organic products are preferable. You want to flood your body with high-quality nutrients.
- Do they contain fillers or additives? Many supplements contain suspicious ingredients. You need to learn to read your labels.
- Are the active ingredients bioavailable? Some forms of vitamins are easier for your body to absorb than others. It doesn’t matter if a bottle says it contains 40% your daily need for a certain vitamin if your body cannot absorb it.
Before you buy gut health supplements, read this
Don’t Buy These Products
Supplements are not regulated, so it’s important you do your research. Don’t waste your money on worthless gut health products. Make sure you don’t purchase the products that contain the following:
- Petrochemicals: An investigation had found that up to 45% of curcumin samples were made from fossils fuels.
- Artificial colors: Beware of ingredients such as FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C, Blue No. 2, FD&C Green No. 3, FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Yellow No. 6. Many of these dyes are banned in Europe and are believed to cause attention disorders in children.
- Hydrogenated Oils: Transfats and soybean oil have been used as cheap fillers as they extend the shelf life of your vitamins. In this article, 7 out of 10 vitamin D and calcium preparations evaluated contained hydrogenated oils.
- PCBs, lead, and mercury: Omega-3s and essential fatty acids supplements sometimes are often contaminated with environmental toxins like PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), mercury, and lead. Don’t go for the cheap brands and pick brands that have been tested for contaminants.
- Talk or magnesium silicate: Used as an anti-caking agent.
- Titanium dioxide: Titanium dioxide is an FDA approved food coloring agent commonly added to pills to make them white.
- Drugs: What? Well, apparently, 1000 brands of supplements have been found to contain active drugs, believe it or not.
How to Avoid Them
Buy whole food supplements that have been tested. Learn to read labels and research the ingredients on PubMed. Furthermore, check your brands on LabDoor. Labdoor tests various brands of supplements and ranks them. They use the following categories in their rankings: label accuracy, product purity, nutritional value, ingredients safety, and projected efficacy. Just keep in mind that if the brand you are looking up isn’t there, it doesn’t mean it’s not good, it means it hasn’t been tested.
Do You Need Supplements?
As I was researching to write this post, I was surprised at how many health Websites still claim you don’t need supplements. It’s quite obvious to me that our food supply is no longer enough to fill all our nutritional needs. I have seen stories over and over again of people who were suffering from various health symptoms and improved after taking supplements. I even heard stories of blood work showing vitamin and mineral deficiencies that were resolved through the use of supplements.
My Top 5 Recommendations for Gut Health Supplements
A probiotic is the first supplement most people will think about when it comes to healing their gut. For good reason! Your gut bacteria has everything to do with your overall wellbeing. There are many types of bacteria you can purchase in the form of probiotics. It’s a good idea to switch once in a while. Here, I am going to talk about the one probiotic that has changed my health. I recommend you take it regularly and you will see results.
Should your probiotic be refrigerated?
Before we talk about the exact brand I recommend, let’s talk about whether your probiotic should be refrigerated. In many people’s minds, a quality probiotic should be refrigerated. However, freeze-dried organisms packaged in a way to keep moisture out do not need to be refrigerated. Some bacteria, such as Bacillus coagulans, do not require refrigeration.
Probiotic Number One: BiomeMedic
BiomeMedic uses the bacteria Bacillus coagulans. Some research shows that Bacillus coagulans might increase immune system function and decrease harmful bacteria. It’s a multipurpose probiotic that also detoxifies and reduces inflammation.
Have you heard of The Detox Project? The Detox Project tests and certifies various products to ensure they are glyphosate free. It has recognized BiomeMedic as the first and only Gold Standard verified solution for removing glyphosate from the gut. Besides lowering glyphosate levels, BiomeMedic reduces the presence of inflammation marker C-Reactive. You can read the independent study here. I personally had been taking probiotics for over a decade when I started taking BiomeMedic. Within 3 months, I experienced health improvements I had never seen before, the main one being no more sneezing (allergies have always been one of my main health struggles).
2- Green Powder
Everyone knows that probiotics feed your gut bacteria. What not as many people realize is that phytonutrients nourish your gut besides your whole body. Phytonutrients can help promote the growth of beneficial microbial species such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Green Spectrum for Gut Health
My favorite green powder is the Green Spectrum. It includes nutrient-dense sea plants, juiced field grasses and garden vegetables. Among the ingredients:
- Certified organic Alfalfa Leaf Juice: Alfalfa has been shown to help lower cholesterol, and may also have benefits for blood sugar control and relieving symptoms of menopause. Moreover, it is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins C and K, copper, folate, and magnesium.
- Certified organic barley Leaf Juice: Barley leaf juice can help repair damaged cells. Dr. Yasuo Hotta of UCSD has shown in-vitro studies that cells exposed to radiation equal to dozens of x-rays, reversed the damage done to its DNA after being bathed in an extract of green barley juice. Barley leaf juice may also help improve energy levels and keep your organs healthy.
- Certified organic broccoli: Broccoli has powerful anti-cancer properties.
- Certified organic spirulina: Spirulina is perhaps the most phytonutrient-rich of all the sea plants. It supports your immune system.
- Certified organic chlorella: May have anti-cancer properties.
- Certified organic sea kelp: Sea kelp is a natural source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E, as well as minerals including zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, and calcium. It contains the highest natural concentration of calcium of any food, up to 10 times more than milk.
Green powders are an essential gut health product you can start adding to your daily regimen today.
3- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is commonly used for digestive issues. It helps your body absorb nutrients more efficiently. Moreover, it supports a healthy immune function.
Not all Aloe vera is created equal. Not all varieties contain the polysaccharides that are proven to heal. Aloe Digest comes to the rescue. Not only it is a delicious aloe vera mixture, but it contains probiotics, ginger, enzymes, and prebiotics.
Digestive enzymes help your body break down and absorb nutrients. They may also improve your immune function. Nutrient malabsorption can compound gut health issues, so taking digestive enzymes is a smart idea.
Enzyme Advantage is the patented shelf-stable formula that I recommend.
5- Daily Fiber Blend or Psyllium Husk
The importance of feeding your gut good bacteria cannot be overstated. Fiber passes undigested through your system and reaches your large intestines where your beneficial bacteria feast on it. If you research supplements for gut health, you will see that psyllium husk is often mentioned. It serves exactly that purpose.
Daily Fiber Blend
I prefer using my Daily Fiber Blend for many reasons. Not only it tastes amazing, but it naturally increases adiponectin, a hormone that has been found to be more abundant in skinny people. My Daily Fiber Blend is a gluten-free, high-quality fiber source that you can even use in your baking (here’s a recipe).
Diet is the single most important thing you can do to improve your gut health. Eat whole foods, avoid sugar and refined oils. Drink bone broth, eat fiber, and a diet rich in phytonutrients. Supplements for gut health, particularly if they are whole food-based, can support your efforts effectively and make a tremendous difference in your results. When you pick the right supplements for you, make sure they don’t contain additional toxins and fillers. Check for third party lab assessments and look up the ingredients on PubMed.
Gut Health Pack
Get a $50 discount or 25% on your gut health products by contacting me. I will be happy to help you with your gut health journey.