Greetings House of Buckle Blog readers! With the ushering in of 2022 many people adopt the "new year, new you" mantra. With enthusiasm high, folks cross into the new year with a list of things they want to improve in their lives. This list is varied for sure, but in most cases, health seems to be the top priority. Gym memberships soar, diets are started and hope springs eternal as thousands vow that "this year will be different"! While getting in shape is wonderful, and I highly recommend regular fitness (even a brisk daily walk of 20 minutes works wonders), it is the foods we eat (or don't eat) that is the key to health (and maintaining a healthy weight). But rather than an in-depth discussion about our diet, I think it is important to start by going down a level and focus on gut health instead. Gut health?
Most folks overlook the gut (also called your microbiome) and that is one of the worst health mistakes you can make. Consider, you can eat all the best food (most of us don't) but if your gut health is bad (spoiler alert, your gut health is probably bad), you won't maximize the nutrients you take in. So lets take a moment and focus on some key things that can improve your gut health, which will help you get more out of the foods you do eat, will improve your mental state, your skin, your immune system, and a host of other things. Let's get into it!
Top Supplements for Digestive Health
The following items are recommendations that will help support your digestive health. Whether you suffer from the occasional stomach discomfort, such as bloating and gas, or you deal with more chronic issues, such as chronic fatigue, celiac disease, irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), etc. some/all of the following supplements may be able to help you!
- Probiotics: And no, Great Value Yogurt doesn't qualify (no offense to Great Value brand). In short, probiotics are good bacteria. These good bacteria compete with the bad bacteria to improve digestion and support immune health. A good probiotic helps digestion, can reduce inflammation, supports our immune system, and can reduce issues like irritable bowl, diarrhea, gas, bloating, etc. There are a host of options here with probiotics for men, women, age, weight loss, energy, etc. There are also refrigerated and non-refrigerated. Bottom line, there are plenty of great options, find the one that fits you best. And make sure and change your probiotic a few times a year, you want to give yourself exposure to different strains. My recommendation is, regardless of which probiotic you select, look for one that is at least in the 10-15 strain range and 25-30 billion cultures. There are plenty of bigger probiotics, but this range provides a good solid daily probiotic.
- Digestive Enzymes: When you take one of these, with a meal of course, they help break down the foods you eat. This results in better absorption of nutrients, more energy, better immune systems, etc. They also can assist with reducing gas/bloating, etc.
- Glutamine: This is an amino acid that is found in the body, naturally. But you can take it in supplement form (capsules, liquid, or powder) to improve gut health and aid in digestion. It does this by providing fuel for the intestinal cells and also helps keep the connections in the intestines strong.
- Fiber: You can increase fiber intake either by taking a supplement (psyllium husk, apple pectin, inulin, etc.) or by increasing foods high in fiber, such as seeds, nuts, wheat bran, flax, apples, carrots, etc. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. If you eat things like oatmeal, barley, flax, apples, oranges, etc. you are taking in soluble fiber, which means it absorbs the water in your food and becomes a gel-like substance, slowing digestion. This can help regulate blood sugars, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, etc. If you take supplements like psyllium husk, apple pectin, or eat foods such as nuts, seeds, wheat bran, etc. then you are taking in insoluble fiber. This type of fiber does not absorb water. Rather, it adds bulk to your stool. It helps to move food through your digestive system quickly and can relieve constipation, etc. In other words, it helps you poop!!
- Zeolite: What?? Yes, Zeolite. Zeolite is a naturally occurring, negatively charged mineral mined from lava rock. Under an electron microscope it has a 3-D honeycomb like structure. As a micronized negatively charged mineral, it moves through the blood stream attracting positively charged toxins (heavy metals, pesticides, molds, etc.). It attracts and traps these toxins. Additionally, ammonia is toxic to our cells. Because zeolite also absorbs ammonia, it is able to reduce the amount of ammonia that is absorbed in your system. As such, zeolite reduces the damage ammonia causes to the intestinal epithelial cells. I highly recommend a zeolite detox at least once a year!
I hope this quick guide provides a valuable resource as you embark on your 2022 New Year, New You!! Thanks for stopping by and remember, your best wealth is your health!!