Gut health

Gut health is so important and affects our bodies in so many ways. Symptoms of poor digestive health can include problems such as stomach discomfort, gas and bloating, heartburn, nausea, constipation and diarrhoea. Overall gut health impacts general wellbeing - it can even affect us mentally as physical symptoms can be very difficult to manage and deal with during day to day life.

As well as ageing, many lifestyle factors can affect gut health such as diet, or stress levels, but supplements can work well alongside a healthy lifestyle in helping to protect the digestive tract and keep your body well balanced, this can help with weight management, blood glucose levels and even your mood.

Here are some of the best supplements for gut health we can recommend…

Fibre Supplements

When we talk about digestive health a lot of people think of fibre, also known as roughage or bulk. Fibre is made up of parts of plant based food that often can’t be completely broken down by digestive enzymes, these indigestible compounds therefore pass relatively unchanged through our stomachs and intestines, helping to keep the

Inulin

 digestive system healthy.

Psyllium Husk

Current government guidelines say our dietary fibre intake should be 30g per day. Most adults are only eating an average of 18g per day. For a lot of us it can be difficult to get enough in the diet through food intake alone, and supplements can help.

InulinInulin is a type of soluble fibre found in foods such as leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, chicory root, bananas and chicory root. It is a prebiotic; this means it helps to feed and support the growth of beneficial bacteria already present in our systems, so improving the balance of intestinal flora for gut health. Inulin is one of the best researched prebiotic fibre ingredients worldwide, and promotes digestive health; helping to improve bowel regularity and relieve constipation.

The white soluble powder has a mild, sweet to neutral taste. It is often best to introduce it to your diet gradually. Starting with a small dose to be sure it is well tolerated, and then gradually increasing this over time to avoid any discomfort.

At Hellenia we stock Orafti® - A registered trademark, meeting the highest quality standards, coming from natural sources, and extracted purely from chicory root; so is 100% vegetable origin.

Psyllium HuskA type of soluble fibre. It is not absorbed by the small intestine. Psyllium husk has laxative effects, it acts like a sponge and absorbs water in your gut to provide bulk and soften the stools, thus helping to improve transit time of waste products through the system, removing toxins and easing constipation.  It can be added to your diet occasionally to ease constipation, or can be added routinely into your diet to promote regularity and overall digestive health. Psyllium is a member of the plant family, Plantaginaceae, which is not related to wheat, so is suitable for those with a wheat intolerance.

Other supplements for gut health

 AcidophilusAcidophilus Probiotics are live microorganisms, often referred to as friendly bacteria; they can especially promote good digestive health. Stress, poor eating habits and antibiotics in food can cause the balance of good to bad bacteria to change and allow the bad bacteria to multiply. When the ratio of good bacteria to bad is lowered then digestive problems can manifest themselves such as bloating, cramps and IBS. Lactobacillus Acidophilus is one of the main residents found in your gut. It ferments sugars into lactic acid, and creates a hostile environment for the bad bacteria which can grow, thereby restoring equilibrium, and maintaining a healthy gut flora. Hellenia Acidophilus capsules also contain 5 other friendly bacteria, as well as FOS to help increase the good bacteria in the colon.

Peppermint Oil Capsules – Many people use peppermint oil as it has been found to be effective as a soothing agent to aid digestion and digestive ailments. Studies have shown that it can be useful as a treatment to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as gas, bloating or abdominal pain. Peppermint oil is thought to work because of the menthol which slightly anaesthetises mucous membranes & the gastrointestinal tract, relaxing muscles in the stomach and digestive tract and reducing spasms. This can help to speed up digestion in the stomach and also improve symptoms such as nausea and indigestion.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is a an age old remedy that people have been taking for thousands of years, traditionally for digestive ailments such as acid reflux, indigestion, bloating and stomach upsets. It is derived from fermented apple juice, which may be helpful to the probiotics in our gut. Apples contain Pectin which is a natural Prebiotic carbohydrate associated with good digestion as it encourages the growth and diversity of good bacteria. Prebiotics help good gut bacteria to thrive. People also believe that taking Apple cider vinegar balances stomach acidity levels to aid digestion.

Given its sour taste, our Apple cider vinegar capsules are a convenient and alternative way to add this supplement into your diet.

 Turmeric - The strongest anti-inflammatory supplement, this root makes for a delicious meal as well as a strong gut.

Turmeric powder

Due to its unique compound, curcumin, turmeric helps relax muscles in the intestines. This allows for food to push through without causing any damage to the wall lining.

 Additionally, turmeric aids in colon health as it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. That’s because curcumin causes homeostasis between gut flora and immune response.  It does this by encouraging the glands on the surface of the colon to regenerate in the presence of leaky gut syndrome.

 Lastly, curcumin also stops enzymes that cause stomach pain. Turmeric accomplishes this by facilitating the secretion of stomach mucous. This mucous acts as a coat of armour against harmful gastric acid.

You can introduce the supplement into your diet in capsule or powder form.

 

In summary the importance of digestive health and how it can affect our bodies should never be underestimated. A healthy stomach and intestinal tract is important to keep the body and immune system working optimally, and the addition of some supplements can go a long way in helping to achieve this.

For further health news and product information visit www.hellenia.co.uk