A healthy gut biome is essential to overall health - for optimal digestion, a healthy immune system, and even for mental health.1 Maintaining a healthy gut biome in today’s busy world can be challenging, so this article will present the 7 best gut supplements to keep you healthy.
What is the Gut?
When people use the term “gut”, they are generally referring to more than just our stomach, but the whole digestive system, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. The digestion of food begins as we chew and each step in the process of digestion (esophogus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine) plays a different role in breaking down our food into the nutrients that we can absorb.
A healthy digestive system is also home to many beneficial bacteria that assist with nutrient absorption and our overall health.2 A healthy gut supports:
- Optimal digestion1
- Our immune system to keep us from getting sick3
- Better mental health1
- Reduced levels of inflammation2
- Healthy bones3
Gut health can also be linked to performance!
7 Best Gut Supplements
There are several types of supplements that you can use to support your gut health.
Probiotics: “good bacteria” in simple terms, probiotics (and their precursor form ‘prebiotics’) support the growth and maintenance of healthy bacteria in our gut. They can help with daily digestion and support the overall health of the gut.4
L-glutamine: this amino acid has many benefits, but one of which is supporting gut health. L-glutamine can help balance the bacteria in your gut, regulate inflammation, and support a healthy gut mucosal wall.5
Psyllium husk: psyllium husk is a common ingredient in fiber supplements that our body cannot digest; however, this source of fiber has been found to help regulate bacteria levels in the gut and support regular digestion.6
Fish oil supplements: there is research supporting how polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega 3s in fish oil support optimal gut microbiome health.7
Phytonutrients: the unique nutrients that we get from plants like fruits and vegetables have been shown to have important roles in gut health even beyond the benefits of fiber. Taking a greens supplement can help provide a dose of the plant powered phytonutrients to help support your gut and overall health. 7
Ginger: ginger is a powerful food that has been used for centuries in many cultures, and has recently been found to play a role in the regulation of bacteria levels in the gut. While more research is needed, it looks like ginger also plays a role in gut health.8
Artichokes: packed with fiber, artichokes are a nutrient dense plant that has also been linked in early studies with supporting healthy bacteria levels in the gut. While more research is needed, artichoke derived supplements seem promising to support gut health.9
Take Home Message
While good digestion is important, gut health means so much more than just absorption of our food. Supporting your gut with supplements like probiotics, fish oil, and psyllium can help maximize the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut and improve your mental health, immune system, and bones at the same time.
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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
- Logsdon, A. F., Erickson, M. A., Rhea, E. M., Salameh, T. S., & Banks, W. A. (2018). Gut reactions: How the blood–brain barrier connects the microbiome and the brain. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 243(2), 159-165.
- Shanahan, F., Ghosh, T. S., & O’Toole, P. W. (2021). The healthy microbiome—what is the definition of a healthy gut microbiome?. Gastroenterology, 160(2), 483-494.
- Weaver, C. M. (2015). Diet, gut microbiome, and bone health. Current osteoporosis reports, 13(2), 125-130.
- Tuohy, K. M., Probert, H. M., Smejkal, C. W., & Gibson, G. R. (2003). Using probiotics and prebiotics to improve gut health. Drug discovery today, 8(15), 692-700.
- Deters, B. J., & Saleem, M. (2021). The role of glutamine in supporting gut health and neuropsychiatric factors. Food Science and Human Wellness, 10(2), 149-154.
- Yang, C., Liu, S., Li, H., Bai, X., Shan, S., Gao, P., & Dong, X. (2021). The effects of psyllium husk on gut microbiota composition and function in chronically constipated women of reproductive age using 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis. Aging (Albany NY), 13(11), 15366.
- Laparra, J. M., & Sanz, Y. (2010). Interactions of gut microbiota with functional food components and nutraceuticals. Pharmacological research, 61(3), 219-225.
- Wang, X., Zhang, D., Jiang, H., Zhang, S., Pang, X., Gao, S., … & Li, Y. L. (2020). Gut microbiota variation with short-term intake of ginger juice on human health. Frontiers in microbiology, 11, 2453.
- Fissore, E. N., Santo Domingo, C., Gerschenson, L. N., & Giannuzzi, L. (2015). A study of the effect of dietary fiber fractions obtained from artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus) on the growth of intestinal bacteria associated with health. Food & function, 6(5), 1667-1674.
Claire is a Registered Dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a board-certified Health and Wellness Coach through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.
Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claire’s ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.
Claire is also a certified indoor cycling instructor and loves the mental and physical boost she gets from regular runs and yoga classes. When she’s not keeping fit herself, she’s cheering on her hometown’s sports teams in Pittsburgh, or cooking for her family in the kitchen.
Find out more about Claire’s experience here.