Incorporate Gut-Supporting Nutrients

Incorporate Gut-Supporting Nutrients

Certain nutrients may help support your digestive tract.

Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that may improve digestive health when taken as supplements.

These healthy bacteria assist in digestion by breaking down indigestible fibers that can otherwise cause gas and bloating.

Studies have shown that probiotics may improve symptoms of bloating, gas and pain in people with IBS (43Trusted Source).

What’s more, they may improve symptoms of constipation and diarrhea (44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source).

Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and miso, as well as yogurts that have live and active cultures.

They’re also available in capsule form. A good general probiotic supplement will contain a mix of strains including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Glutamine
Glutamine is an amino acid that supports gut health. It has been shown to reduce intestinal permeability (leaky gut) in people who are critically ill (46Trusted Source).

You can increase your glutamine levels by eating foods such as turkey, soybeans, eggs and almonds (47Trusted Source).

Glutamine can also be taken in supplement form, but talk to your healthcare practitioner first to ensure that it’s an appropriate treatment strategy for you.

Zinc
Zinc is a mineral that is critical for a healthy gut, and a deficiency can lead to various gastrointestinal disorders (48Trusted Source).

Supplementing with zinc has been shown to be beneficial in treating diarrhea, colitis, leaky gut and other digestive issues (48Trusted Source).

The recommended daily intake (RDI) for zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men.

Foods high in zinc include shellfish, beef and sunflower seeds (49Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Certain nutrients are necessary for a healthy digestive tract. Ensuring that your body gets enough probiotics, glutamine and zinc may improve your digestion.
The Bottom Line
Simple diet and lifestyle changes may help improve your digestion if you experience occasional, frequent or chronic digestive symptoms.

Eating a whole-foods diet high in fiber, healthy fat and nutrients is the first step toward good digestion.

Practices such as mindful eating, stress reduction and exercise can also be beneficial.

Finally, ditching bad habits that may affect your digestion — such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and late-night eating — may help relieve symptoms as well.

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