Gut health is a hot topic these days and for a good reason; nearly 60 to 70 million people are affected by digestive issues, from bloating to constipation to many others.1 And while there are many factors that influence your gut health, including diet, exercise and genetics, some supplements may also help.
So, if you’re looking to boost your gut health, which ones should you add? Here’s 7 we recommend:
1. Licorice root to support a slew of issues
Whether you love or hate its peculiar taste, licorice is more than just candy. Licorice root comes from the liquorice plant and was traditionally used to treat a slew of issues related to lung, liver, circulatory and kidney conditions.2
Nowadays, licorice is more widely used to help prevent and treat symptoms related to digestive discomfort. It’s thought to help increase mucus that coats the stomach to help soothe and heal the stomach lining. It also may help ease mild symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, according to one study.3
2. L – Glutamine supports your gut barrier
If you’re a fitness guru, you’re probably familiar with glutamine – it’s an amino acid that helps build proteins that play a vital part in many essential functions in your body.
When it comes to your gut, glutamine plays an incredibly important role in repairing and maintaining the gut barrier to prevent unwanted particles from entering and being absorbed into the blood stream.4
L-glutamine is also beneficial for collagen synthesis as it is partly broken down into proline, which is essential for collagen production and enhancing a solid gut lining.5
L-glutamine can also be found in:
3. Ginger for an array of benefits
For generations, ginger has been hailed as your go-to home remedy for all kinds of ailments. From aiding with immunity, bloating, nausea and more – this popular spice and herbal medicine offers an array of health benefits.
Ginger contains a compound called gingerol which can promote healthy digestion by supporting GI motility and helping food move through the digestive tract.
This same compound is also what helps soothe symptoms of occasional nausea or vomiting by supporting digestion and saliva flow.6
4. Peppermint oil soothes your gut
Peppermint not only helps freshen your breath, but it also helps with your digestive tract after meals.
Peppermint oil has also been shown to be helpful for those who suffer from occasional abdominal discomfort, constipation and bloating as it helps relax muscles to alleviate irritation within the GI system.7
The caveat: if you experience heartburn or acid reflux, peppermint oil may not be for you as it also relaxes the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach which may make these symptoms worse.
Peppermint oil can be found in capsules or in a dropper bottle (which would be diluted with water when consumed).
5. Probiotics: live, beneficial micoorganisms
This probably isn’t surprising but adding probiotic-rich foods to your day-to-day routine or trying a probiotic supplement can help promote a healthy gut.
Probiotics are live, beneficial microorganisms that support your health. While there are many different strains of probiotics that help with a variety of symptoms, overall probiotics can help with:
- reducing bloating
- promoting a healthy microbiome8
6. Zinc to reduce bloating
Zinc is an underrated hero when it comes to health. It’s an essential mineral that your body needs to perform many functions, one of them being that it plays a role in hundreds of different enzymatic reactions that support metabolism and digestion.
The role zinc plays in digestion can help lower the risk of bloating and indigestion as it helps with breaking down the food we eat, making it easier to absorb.
Zinc can also help support the lining of your GI tract helping to tighten the tight junctions that help support intestinal permeability keeping unwanted pathogens out of the bloodstream.9
Zinc can be found in:
- dairy products
- red meat
- pumpkin seeds
7. Vitamin D supports the gut microbiota
While this may not be the first vitamin you may think of when looking to support your gut – it’s definitely worth noting.
The sunshine vitamin not only supports with mood, brain and bone health, but one study showed that vitamin D increased the overall diversity of the gut microbiota decreasing the firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio (types of bacteria in the gut).10 Greater gut diversity has been linked to better gut health.
Vitamin D can be found in:
- cod liver oil
- fortified orange juice
What other foods support gut health? Read 10 foods high in fiber.
Holly is a Licensed Registered Dietitian with her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Michigan State University and completed her supervised practice program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Holly’s goal is to inspire and empower others that living a healthy life is not only easy and enjoyable but attainable to all!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.