More often than not, factors in your diet are the primary cause of gut health issues like leaky gut, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, and more. These are things you can control in your life and for the most part a healthy gut-friendly diet can help to prevent more serious issues like autoimmune disease.
If you turn your attention back to Mother Nature and her plentiful garden of healing medicinals, you’ll find little lacking as far as gut health goes. I find that pairing supplements that target intestinal permeability (leaky gut) with gut-friendly foods and other supporting lifestyle habits, can help to reclaim your gut health and say farewell to many chronic symptoms for good.
Things to Consider Before Taking Supplements
I always recommend that you pay attention to how you feel after taking new supplements. This is especially true if you have a leaky gut condition or history of food allergies and reactions. With a problematic leaky gut, some times even foods that are good for you can cause some discomfort. If this happens, reduce the dose or stop taking them all together until your body feels better.
It is always a good idea with new supplements to take it slowly at first and try only a few at a time. This allows you to determine whether you might be experiencing a negative reaction or sensitivity to a specific supplement before adding another. A sound plan of action is to introduce supplements slowly. If you rush into a program full of a dozen or so nutritionals, it may be difficult to know the ones that are working and the ones that aren’t.
I recommend you keep a simple supplement tracker so you can take note of what you are taking, the time of day, how much, and if you have any adverse reactions. This way you can take note of programs and their effectiveness and whether you are seeing improvements.
It’s always best when dealing with dietary changes and nutritional programs to work with a healthcare practitioner with experience in bio-individual nutrition and supplements. I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand a person’s unique biology, health history and current conditions when recommending nutritional therapies whether they are short or long term.
Nutritionals for Gut Health
There are some excellent choices and diversity when it comes to nutritionals to support the gut naturally. I follow some simple guidelines in my gut healing programs…
- Focus on nutritionals that repair and heal the intestinal lining
- Include nutritionals that nourish and balance the internal terrain (that’s your bacteria)
- Ensure nutritionals assist with reducing inflammation
- Don’t forget that nutritionals should help you digest food properly (that helps with absorption in the gut).
Like many nutritionists, I have my favorites that produce sound and true results time and time again with clients.
L-Glutamine – is an amino acid that improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair
Collagen – gives bone, cartilage and tendons their strength and it also contains important amino acids proline and glycine, which are essential building blocks to repair intestinal lining
Zinc – helps with healing the stomach and intestinal lining
Quercetin – is an anti-oxidant that helps restore the tight-junctions in the gut lining
Aloe Vera – is anti-inflammatory and healing to the intestinal lining
Demulcents – these are a type of herb that helps your body produce protective mucus along your intestinal lining:
- Licorice Root
- Slippery Elm
- Marshmallow Root.
Nutritionals That Nourish and Balance The Internal Terrain
Don’t forget to nourish the 10 trillion microbes in your gut with nutritionals like:
Probiotics – live bacteria and yeasts that are important in maintaining optimal digestion. They protect you from infection, harmful parasites, fungi and more. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families are 2 popular strains of probiotics that aid in healing and repairing the gut and microbiome. Yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii is also an important gut-health strain.
Prebiotics – Don’t confuse prebiotics with probiotics—they are two different things. Prebiotics refers to dietary foods and supplements that promote the growth of the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in your gut. These indigestible plant fibers found in foods like jicama, asparagus, leeks, dandelion greens, and seeds like flax and chia, are the perfect foods to feed your gut microbiota.
MCT Oil – a medium chain fatty acid as opposed to other fats that are long chain fatty acids that have the capability to combat harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Anti-Microbials – these include oregano oil, black walnut, wormwood, berberine, and caprylic acid, all of which have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties and often times helpful in treating bacteria and yeast overgrowth and infections.
Nutritionals That Reduce Inflammation
70% of you immune system lives in your gut, so what you feed your gut can also greatly benefit your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Colostrum – this the first few days of breast milk after giving birth. It contains vitamins, minerals, proteins and antibodies and is used for boosting the immune system and healing injuries. It’s also an agent for killing bacteria and fungus.
Curcumin – is an anti-inflammatory herb that helps heal the intestinal lining by decreasing inflammation.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – these include ALA, DHA, and EPA, which have been linked to reducing inflammation.
MCT Oil – in addition to helping with your gut flora, these have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well.
Vitamin D – reduces your risk of infectious and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin D is also a strong anti-microbial agent, allowing you to quickly and effectively fight off invaders.
Nutritionals That Help Digest Food
Most people don’t produce enough stomach acid or enzymes in order to do a good job of digesting and assimilating food. Things like stress, poor chewing, emotions and age, reduce the supply of these important ingredients. Here are a few I recommend:
Betaine HCL – Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is what we call stomach acid and it is needed to breakdown proteins in your food. Many people suffer from low levels of HCL and undigested foods like proteins can irritate the gut lining and make tiny tears in it… eventually leading to a leaky gut condition.
Pancreatic Enzymes – help to digest protein, carbohydrates, and fats. They are important because food that is not digested well irritates the gut lining and can cause an inflammatory response. A good full-spectrum digestive enzyme with all of the following is a great option:
- Amylase- digests carbs
- Lipase- digests fats
- Protease – digests proteins
Recapping Natural Remedies for Healing Your Gut
- Most often it is poor food and dietary choices that are the underlying root cause of many health issues
- You need a combination of digestive enzymes, gut healing and repair nutritionals and probiotics to support a healthy and vital gut
- Work with a trained professional when starting a nutritional regime… what works for your friend’s body… won’t necessarily work for yours
- What you eat directly impacts your immune system… so avoid irritants like common food allergens, toxins, and herbicides/pesticides.
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Disclaimer: the views and nutritional advice expressed in this publication are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical advice. No information provided should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. All information in this publication is for educational purposes only and Aine-Marie and Advesta Health encourages its clients and members to continue to work in a partnership with qualified medical professional. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider or seek medical assistance. Reading, sharing, or downloading this publication does not establish a doctor patient relationship with Aine-Marie or any Advesta Health employee or consultant including any of our licensed health practitioners, coaches, dieticians or nutritionists.