Which Probiotic Supplements Are Best
There are thousands of probiotic products on the market, with each company claiming theirs is best. Scan the supplement aisle at your local grocer and youre likely to be overwhelmed with options.
If you decide to take a probiotic supplement, here are four factors to look at when you shop:
The Leaky Gut Diet And Treatment Plan Including Top Gut Foods
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition thats thought to affect millions of people, many of whom dont even know it. The good news is following a leaky gut diet can help overcome this condition.
From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut syndrome only impacts digestive health, but in reality it can lead to many other health conditions. For example, according to recent research, the cause of your food allergies, fatigue, joint pain, thyroid disease and autoimmune conditions may be a leaky gut.
What is the fastest way to treat leaky gut? Following a healing leaky gut syndrome diet is one of the best strategies for getting your body back on track.
In this article, I outline specifically how a leaky gut diet works, so you can break through some of the stubborn health problems youve been struggling with.
Healing Foods: A Wrap
Now that you know what healing foods to add to the menu, are there any foods to avoid? Indeed, there are, including:
- Refined grains like pasta, bread, cereals, and rice
- Added sugars as found in candies, cookies and other baked treats, juices, and soda
- Refined fats such as ultra-refined vegetable oils, shortening, and fried foods
- Farmed fish and conventionally produced meats, dairy, and poultry
- Ultra-processed foods, such as chips, crackers, processed meats, etc.
In addition to eating a nutrient-rich diet, you can help the body heal by ensuring you:
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The Link Between Your Diet And Healthy Digestion
Just like certain foods can hurt your gut, several foods can heal it, too. The right foods create a therapeutic effect for gut health, says Sachs. Thats because certain amino acids from these foods provide fuel for enterocytes, the cells of the intestinal lining. Other foods may provide probiotics, the healthy bacteria that promotes digestion, and prebiotics, fuel for probiotics to grow in the gut.
If your stomach is on the fritz , theres a good chance your gut is in distress. Or, perhaps you already have a diagnosed gut condition such as irritable bowel syndrome and want to prevent flare-ups. Here are some dietitian-approved foods that will restore gut health and ward off unpleasant symptoms that may have you spending too much time in the bathroom.
Get More Sleep And Move Your Body
“Get better sleep” or “exercise more” might sound like tired advice, but improving your sleep hygiene and squeezing in more physical activity are tried and true ways to improve your health, including your gut health.
Getting good sleep is another general piece of wellness advice tied directly to the health of our guts. Specifically, according to Cresci our microbiome adheres to the circadian rhythm, too. And if we’re eating when our gut microbiome isn’t ready, we won’t be set up to properly process the nutrients of our food.
Lacking sleep also triggers an increase in stress and cortisol, which have negative mental and physical impacts.
“There’s a lot going on with the gut-brain interaction, so that signals back to the microbiome, and vice versa,” Cresci said.
Perhaps most fundamentally is the fact that when we’re exhausted, we don’t have the energy to check off many of the things that keep us healthy, including exercising or finding a nutritious meal both of which impact our gut health.
“When you’re sleepy, tired, exhausted, you tend not to do the things we know are good for microbiomes,” Cresci said. “So it kind of perpetuates itself.”
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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Foods To Avoid When In The Gut
Adding gut-healing foods and supplements into your diet is a great place to start, since its a lot easier than subtracting when it comes to dietary change. But removing inflammatory foods is also important to expedite the gut-healing process and to help you put the best foods front and center.
The question of which foods cause problems for you, specifically, is something youll hone over time by paying attention to your body . But there are common allergens and food sensitivities to refer to as a starting point.
Here are the foods that cause people problems most frequently:
- Gluten-containing grains
Completely eliminating all of these foods at once is a big ask for anyone, so start with the foods on this list that are easiest for you to cut back on. With the help of a food journal, youll be more likely to discern which ones cause you problems, and you might find that certain foods, especially on the first list of potential allergens, are tolerable for you within a certain threshold.
Many of our patients have trouble with too much dairy, for example, but find that dairy in moderation, or certain lower-lactose dairy products like hard cheeses, ghee, and butter, dont create any problems for them. For some, however, dairy of any kind causes problems. So its really important for you to get to know your body and how it reacts to certain foods.
Jicama: Also Known As A Mexican Turnip
This fresh, sweet and crunchy root vegetable is power-packed with fiber. One cup of raw jicama chopped up and added to a salad will bring a whopping 6g of fiber to the table 15% of your daily recommended intake.
And jicama is also great for weight loss and blood sugar control. Plus, its high in vitamin C.
This uniquely textured veggie is perfect for salads, smoothies, and stir-fries.
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Foods To Repair Your Gut
Science Based Amy Myers, MD
Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.
Repairing your gut is one of the most important steps to take in your autoimmune journey. It will not only improve your ability to absorb nutrients, it will also support your inflammatory response and immune system. By replacing toxic and inflammatory foods with nutrient-rich options that help proper digestion and absorption, you can drastically improve your nutrient intake and take back control of your health.
There are plenty of gut-repairing foods that you can incorporate into your diet in fun and delicious ways. My cookbook, The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook, features recipes that include a number of these gut-friendly foods, and there are tons of diet-friendly recipes on my blog that are FREE for you to enjoy.
Lets take a look at some of the best foods that you should be eating to help repair your gut.
Flaxseed: A Tiny But Tremendous Seed For Your Gut
Thanks to its wealth of phytonutrient precursors, this powerhouse seed creates the highest content of lignans of all foods used for human consumption. Flaxseed fuels your good gut flora.
These seeds contain soluble fiber and can help improve digestive regularity.
Eat ground flaxseed sprinkled on smoothie bowls or salads. But be sure to choose freshly ground flaxseed or to grind it fresh yourself because whole flax seeds pass through your body without being digested.
Also, know that flaxseed goes rancid quickly. Buying whole seeds and grinding them in small batches yourself as well as storing them in the fridge or freezer is best.
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Gum Arabic: Sap From The Acacia Tree
You may not have heard of this superfood, but its a prebiotic and has a substantial amount of fiber.
A 2008 study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that gum arabic increases good bacterial strains, particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Also known as acacia fiber, you can stir the powder in water and drink it or take it as a supplement.
The Fabulousness Of Fiber: Why Its Critical For Gut Health
While people tend to get up in arms about protein consumption, theres another nutrient thats more worrisome as far as deficiency risk: fiber.
Approximately 97% of Americans get at least the recommended amount of protein. But only about 3% of Americans get the recommended 40 grams of fiber they need per day and fiber is the most crucial ingredient for gut health.
Fiber feeds the good bacteria weve been talking about, so its vital to eat fiber-rich foods as often as possible.
Our microbes extract the fibers energy, nutrients, and vitamins, including short-chain fatty acids, which can improve immune function, decrease inflammation, and protect against obesity.
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Other Tips For Gut Health
In addition to following the eating plan described above, its beneficial to avoid exposure to potential toxins found in to tap water, alcohol, cigarettes, pesticides, NSAID pain-killer medications and antibiotics, all of which can stress the gut. However, always consult with your physician if he or she has prescribed these for you.
Another tip is to consider following an elimination diet at first. Some foods seem to be in a gray area when it comes to worsening or promoting digestive health. For example, some people do better with certain protein foods than others do.
You may be wondering, are eggs bad for leaky gut? What about beans and legumes?
You may choose to eliminate eggs and legumes at first and then to try reintroducing them after several weeks. This can help you uncover whether they are problematic for you or not.
In place of eggs and legumes, try meat, poultry, fish and collagen protein or bone broth protein powder instead.
Reducing intake of FODMAP foods is also recommended as part of an elimination diet, since FODMAP carbohydrates can worsen digestive issues like bloating and gas.
Leaky Gut Diet Meal Ideas
A common step in improving leaky gut symptoms is to make some changes in your diet. Generally, the goal here is to reduce your intake of foods that may be causing inflammation. Switch these foods for healthy, whole foods, and consume a natural diet. Ultimately, shortly after switching your diet to minimize gut inflammation, you may find that your symptoms of leaky gut are improved.
Moreover, here are some leaky gut diet meal ideas that are packed with foods that promote healthy changes in your gut flora.
In the mornings, start your day off right with a smoothie that has been made with dairy alternative milk, chia seeds, and loaded with your favorite fruits.
Some other breakfast ideas are:
- Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit such as blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, and raspberries
- Oatmeal made with dairy free alternatives and topped with blueberries or your favorite fruit. If you dont want to use dairy free milk, try using water.
- Toasted sourdough bread and scrambled eggs
To help keep you full until dinner time, prep a tuna salad that is loaded with greens. Swap your normal salad dressing for a homemade vinaigrette. However, if you fancy a more filling lunch, enjoy a turkey or ham wraps filled with lettuce, and a side of fruit.
For dinner, enjoy grilled fish such as salmon with a side of green salad. Some other meal ideas include:
Learn how to optimize your gut in 5 simple steps with the BIOHM Gut Test.
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How To Achieve A Healthy Microbiome
Diversify, diversify, diversify. Eating balanced amounts of both probiotics and prebiotics can help ensure that you have the right balance of bacteria to keep your gut microbiota healthy. And many factors, including the foods you eat, can impact the type of bacteria found in your digestive tract. Generally speaking, a diverse microbiome equals a healthy microbiome. This is because the more species of bacteria you have, the more health benefits they can support. In fact, several studies show that elderly people possess a more diverse gut microbiota than younger adults. Between long-living Chinese, Japanese, and Italian people, all cohorts revealed diverse and balanced gut microbiota.
Image by Michelle Nash
Diet And Gut Bacteria
Right from the start when we drink either breast milk or baby formula, our diet affects our gut bacteria.
For instance, breastfed babies tend to have better immunity and more diverse gut bacteria than those who are fed formula.
Vegetarian and vegan diets have also been found to be associated with better bacteria diversity than a non-vegetarian diet.
Eating probiotics and prebiotics, such as fermented foods, in appropriate doses have also been seen to cause specific changes in the structure of our gut microbiota and benefit our health.2
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Soothe Your Tummy With Tumeric
Tumeric, a spice loaded with curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties shown to help in a range of conditions triggered by inflammation, including heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease , and even depression, according to a paper published in November 2021 in Drug Design, Development and Therapy. The research also noted that curcumin helps regulate the gut microbiota, bring relief to people with IBD, and reduce inflammation that could likely lead to colon cancer.
Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory that can help soothe the digestive tract when you are suffering from an inflammation-related issue, says Finkel.
Asparagus: A Crisp Spring Veggie That Aids Digestion
Rich in prebiotics, these green stalks are as good for you as they are delicious.
Like dandelion greens, asparagus is also rich in inulin. It can help promote regularity and decrease bloating.
Eat your asparagus steamed, sauteed, roasted, or chopped raw in salads. Or enjoy lightly steamed and chopped asparagus over quinoa or rice, or added to a range of dishes.
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The 13 Best Stomach Healing Foods
What you eat is one of the biggest factors in gut health because it influences which microbes thrive, as well as the integrity of your GI tissue. Anything you consume can either have a nourishing or toxic effect.
In a nutshell, gut-supportive foods are real foods that come from the earth. Plants grown in thriving soil and animals pastured, or caught, in their natural habitats are best for gut health. Humans evolved eating a wild diet, and our guts evolved to handle it best.
Here are the top foods to eat to rewild your diet, support healthy gut bugs, and maintain a healthy intestinal wall.
Eat Foods Rich In Polyphenols
Polyphenols are plant compounds that have many health benefits, including reductions in blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol levels, and oxidative stress .
Human cells cant always digest polyphenols. Because they arent absorbed efficiently, most polyphenols make their way to the colon, where they are digested by gut bacteria (
Polyphenols from cocoa can increase the amount of Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in humans and reduce the quantity of Clostridia .
Furthermore, these changes in the microbiome are associated with lower levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation .
The polyphenols in red wine have similar effects and have even been shown to increase levels of beneficial bacteria in people with metabolic syndrome .
Polyphenols cant be digested efficiently by human cells, but they are efficiently broken down by the gut microbiota. They may improve several health outcomes related to heart disease and inflammation.
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Ways To Heal The Gut: The Ultimate Gut
Tchiki Davis, MA, PhDGot Anxiety? Brain fog? Fatigue? Improving your gut health could be the answer. Our gut health influences everything from our weight, to our mood, to our cognitive ability. It can be the reason for our back pain, the root of our depression, and of course, the cause of our digestive issues. That’s why testing the health of our gut and then healing our gut is absolutely essential for improving our mental and physical health. *This page may include affiliate links that means I earn from qualifying purchases of products.
Taking Probiotic And Prebiotic Supplements
Modern day diets often contain high levels of alcohol, caffeine and sugar, which all take their toll on our healthy gut bacteria. Often the good bacteria are squashed down by our poor diets and this means the harmful species of bacteria take hold creating gut and health issues. A daily biotic supplement along with dietary changes like those suggested above can help replenish the bodys good bacteria that may be lost as a result of lifestyle choices.
Biotic LGG contains two strains of naturally occurring bacteria found in different parts of the gut, both of which are paramount for optimised digestive health. Your bodys own bacteria can also become depleted by external factors such as stress and environmental changes so our LGG Biotic can help to provide a valuable top-up.
Our gut health bundle contains a pack of biotic LGG and a multivitamin that contains all nutrients your body needs to go with your healthy diet. Made to keep your stomach happy and body active, the gut health bundle is perfect for those looking to replenish their body.
Supplements, however, dont replace a healthy diet. You should be including nutrient-dense foods into your diet wherever you can, then taking the supplements alongside.
Start adding the above foods to your diet and reap the benefits, your gut will be thankful and youll feel better for it.
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