In the ideal world, you would be able to easily digest food and feel great while doing it. Modern life is not so simple. Due to stress, aging, medication use, poor diets, and heavy training loads many people have compromised gut health. Fortunately, through the use of nutrition and supplements it’s possible to restore gut health and transform your day-to-day experience.
This article will cover recommendations for incorporating supplements into a gut healing protocol.
Why Is Gut Health Important?
The gut does so much more than simply digest food:
Produces immune factors that protect your body from illness
Releases powerful neurotransmitters that regulate mood, appetite, and energy levels.
Kickstarts detoxification and removal of waste products from the body.
What Happens When Things Go Wrong?
A single layer of cells lines the gut. The gut bolstered by mucous and other immune factors to protect your bloodstream from waste products and toxins. The integrity of the gut lining is paramount. Working properly, the gut allows your body to absorb the nutrients, amino acids, and healthy compounds from food. Waste products are kept out and eliminated. A healthy gut does a good job of eliminating all the junk that is harmful to your body.
Things can go wrong easily in modern society. Antibiotics, drug therapies, and high levels of cortisol can break down the cells lining the GI tract. When this happens, the gut becomes more permeable and not as protective, making it more likely that toxins will escape and enter the bloodstream.
When gut health is compromised just about everything can go wrong: Not only will you be running to the bathroom or dealing with unpleasant constipation, an unhealthy gut fuels the growth of inflammatory bacteria that damage the arteries of the heart. Brain transmitters get out of balance, triggering depression, mental health, disorders, and poor cognition. And an unhealthy gut is bad news for any athlete, keeping you from training at your peak and impairing recovery.
Nutrients For A Healthy Gut
Achieving a healthy gut starts with foundational nutrients that everybody needs:
Once you’ve got the basics covered, supplements can help repair your gut lining:
Zinc Carnosine accelerates wound healing and enhances restoration of mucus in the intestines.
L-Glutamine is a fuel source for cells in the gut and supports a healthy mucosal layer. Glutamine repairs gut tissue and enhances immune barrier function of the GI tract.
Glycine is an amino acid that helps repair the gut lining for better absorption of nutrients.
Berberine HCL provides hydrochloric acid that raises stomach acid to ensure food is fully digested before leaving the stomach.
Curcumin counters inflammation in the GI tract and improves stomach acid secretion.
Enzymes, bile, and plant extracts replace what’s naturally missing:
Gentian Root is an herbal bitter that promotes normal release of saliva and stomach acid for digestive support.
Plant Extracts can support healthy GI bacteria and counter inflammation. They also naturally stimulate enzymes involved in digestion and detoxification. Olive Leaf, Aloe Vera Gel, Ginger, Garlic, and Oregano all have promising research in healing the gut.
Digestive Enzymes bolster your body’s natural production of enzymes that play a role in your ability to breakdown food and absorb nutrients. Specific enzymes digest different foods:
Proteases breakdown protein foods while also reducing risk of infection from unwanted bacteria.
Amylases digest carbohydrates and can reduce gut discomfort from consumption of hard-to-digest, high-fiber vegetables, and legumes.
Lipases breakdown fat, supporting absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
How To Develop An Effective Gut Health Protocol
Getting your gut health in tip top shape is no easy feat. For individuals with gut permeability (known as leaky gut), try the Five R Gut Health Protocol to repair your gut and over overcome symptoms. This approach combines diet, lifestyle, and supplementation.
For everyone else, here is an overview of how to design a gut health protocol.
Start with what you are eating:
Remove alcohol, unnecessary medications, added sugar, and processed foods.
Replace refined carbs with whole carbs from vegetables, fruit, grains, and beans.
Eat high-quality organic protein, remembering to chew thoroughly.
Include healthy fat with every meal: nuts, avocado, olive oil, and butter.
Get your foundation nutrients:
- Vitamin D
- Fish Oil
If your stomach acid needs a boost:
Try a hydrochloric acid supplement like Ultra HCL (if you do not have ulcers) to improve digestion.
For digestive support:
Use a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme, such as Enzyme Full Spectrum to supply the enzymes and bile needed to digest protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fibrous vegetables.
Restore gut integrity:
Try a gut repair product such as GI Full Spectrum, that was specifically designed to restore the health of the GI tract.
Repopulate your gut with good gut bacteria:
Take a high-quality probiotic supplement. If you’ve taken antibiotics in the past, using a probiotic that contains S. boulardii is a no-brainer because it is designed to restore bacteria that are abolished during antibiotic use.
Restoring your gut health is probably one of the most important things you can do to feel better on a day-to-day basis. You will get more nutrition from food, your body detoxify faster, and you’ll have higher levels of brain chemicals and hormones that keep you feeling good and performing at your best.