Your Go-to Guide for Natural Gut Health Remedies

Your Go-to Guide for Natural Gut Health Remedies

Trillions of microorganisms live in the gut and play vital roles in many areas of health, including digestion, metabolism, and immunity. Inflammation, autoimmune illnesses, hormone imbalances, skin ailments, and mental disorders can all be exacerbated by an unhealthy gut. 

Maintaining a healthy gut is essential for overall health.

What is Gut Health?

Gut health is defined as the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract as well as the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract lining. A healthy gut has a diversified microbiome dominated by beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, the synthesis of vitamins and minerals, and the control of infections. 

In the meanwhile, a healthy gut lining acts as a barrier, allowing only well-digested meals and nutrients to enter the circulation.

Signs of Poor Gut Health

  • Digestive Discomfort: Consistent bloating, gas, and irregular bowel movements might indicate digestive difficulties.
  • Food Intolerances: Food intolerances are the development of sensitivity to specific foods, particularly those that were previously accepted.
  • Low Energy Levels: An unhealthy stomach may be related to chronic weariness and a lack of vigor.
  • Mood Swings: Because the stomach and brain are interrelated, abnormalities in either can lead to mood swings.
  • Skin Issues: Acne and eczema are two skin conditions that may be connected to gut health.
  • Weakened Immunity: Poor gut function can lead to frequent infections.

Natural Remedies for a Healthy Gut

Natural Remedies for a Healthy Gut

Diet

A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber can aid with gut health. Here are some crucial meals to concentrate on:

Anti-inflammatory foods

Anti-inflammatory foods aid in the reduction of inflammation in the gut lining. Good alternatives include:

  • Spinach, kale, and collard greens are examples of leafy greens.
  • Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are examples of fatty fish.
  • Walnuts and almonds are examples of nuts.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Blueberries and strawberries are examples of berries.
  • Grass tea
  • Ginger and turmeric

Inflammation can be reduced by eating enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber while reducing saturated fats, processed foods, and added sweets.

Probiotic foods

Probiotic foods include helpful living bacteria that aid in the colonization of your microbiome. Try eating:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi with sauerkraut.
  • Miso
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh

Look for companies with living dynamic cultures.

Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when taken, can give health advantages. Probiotic strains that have received the most attention include:

Lactobacillus: This strain helps with digestion, and lactose intolerance, and may enhance immunity. Lactobacillus is found in yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods.

Bifidobacterium: This probiotic aids in the regulation of inflammation in the gut and improves the function of the intestinal barrier. It may also assist in alleviating IBS symptoms. Yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods are excellent sources.

Saccharomyces boulardii: This yeast probiotic aids in the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-related diarrhea. It may also help with the symptoms of IBS, Crohn’s disease, and colitis.

Streptococcus thermophilus: Found in yogurt starters, this strain aids in the breakdown of lactose. It may also help to avoid diarrhea and alleviate the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Prebiotic foods

Prebiotics serve as fuel for probiotics, allowing them to grow. Prebiotic-rich foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Apples
  • Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are examples of legumes
Bananas

Types of Prebiotics

  • Chicory root, onion, garlic, asparagus, and other plants contain inulin. As a supplement, inulin is widely extracted and added to meals. It promotes the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria species.
  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are found in foods such as onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, and others. FOS supplements also increase the development of Bifidobacteria.
  • GOS: Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are typically generated from lactose in milk. GOS feeds beneficial gut flora such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
  • Resistant starch: Found in grains, seeds, legumes, unripe bananas, and cooked and cooled potatoes. Resistant starch acts as a prebiotic by resisting digestion.
  • Arabinoxylan: Found in wheat bran, it promotes Bifidobacteria while suppressing potentially dangerous bacteria.
  • IPE (inulin-propionate ester): A substance formed by esterifying inulin with propionic acid. IPE promotes propionate synthesis, which aids metabolism.

Fiber

Fiber nourishes the beneficial microorganisms in your digestive tract. Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber each day by eating foods such as:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Legumes

This food plan is an excellent foundation for intestinal health.

Herbal Remedies for Nurturing Gut Health

Herbal treatments made from plants are excellent natural solutions for enhancing intestinal health. The following are some of the most helpful herbs:

Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory characteristics that can help relieve gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, gas, bloating, and indigestion. Gingerol, the primary bioactive molecule in ginger, has potent antioxidant properties that promote intestinal health. The peppery root can be eaten raw, boiled, soaked in tea, or supplemented.

Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has the potential to decrease intestinal inflammation and enhance digestion. Turmeric also activates the gallbladder, which increases gastrointestinal motility. Turmeric can be taken in pill form, made into tea, added to food, or as a tincture.

Garlic

Garlic has antimicrobial properties and includes the prebiotic inulin, which helps probiotics grow. It protects against harmful bacteria overgrowth and alleviates digestive disorders such as bloating and diarrhea. For optimal effect, consume garlic cloves raw or crushed/minced and added to meals. There are also high-quality aged garlic extract pills available.

Licorice

Licorice root has anti-inflammatory and calming qualities that coat and protect the gastrointestinal system. Glycyrrhizin, a triterpenoid found in the plant, can help heal ulcers, enhance nutrient absorption, and reduce stomach inflammation. Licorice tea, powdered root, and concentrated extract are all available.

Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root’s mucilage produces a protective barrier over the stomach lining, decreasing inflammation and calming discomfort. Marshmallow root powder can be used as a supplement in capsule form, boiled into tea, or mixed into shakes and smoothies. 

Heartburn, acid reflux, and inflammatory bowel illnesses such as Crohn’s and colitis are all relieved by the demulcent qualities.

Bone Broth

Bone Broth

Because of its rich collagen and vitamin content, bone broth has become a popular gut health cure. Bone broth’s collagen and amino acids can help reinforce the mucosal lining of the gut, lowering inflammation and aiding in the healing of the leaky gut.

Benefits of Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in our bodies, accounting for 75-80% of our skin. It is essential for the health of the tissues in our digestive tract. When we consume bone broth, the collagen breaks down into amino acids, which are absorbed in the stomach and utilized to heal damaged tissue. This helps to strengthen the gut lining’s integrity and minimize intestinal permeability.

Healing Compounds in Bone Broth

In addition to collagen, bone broth provides easily absorbed elements such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It also includes chondroitin sulfates and glucosamine, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in the relief of joint discomfort. The amino acids proline and glycine contained in bone broth aid in connective tissue repair and inflammation reduction.

Reduce Stress

Stress has a significant influence on gut health and inflammation. When we are stressed, our bodies produce stress hormones such as cortisol, which can cause inflammation throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal tract. 

Chronic stress causes chronic inflammation in the gut, which can damage the lining, disrupt the gut flora, and lead to gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

It is critical to find techniques to relax and decompress to protect the stomach against stress-induced inflammation. Among the most effective relaxing techniques are:

Breathing exercise: Slow, deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and can lower cortisol levels. Concentrate on your breathing by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

Meditation and mindfulness: Practices such as meditation, yoga, and guided imagery can assist to counteract the stress reaction in the mind and body. Even 5-10 minutes each day might have an impact.

Moderate activity: Such as walking, aids in the removal of stress hormones and neurochemicals. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Sleep: Adequate, high-quality sleep helps the body to heal and reset stressed systems. Maintain excellent sleeping hygiene.

Spending time with loved ones helps to alleviate loneliness and anxiety. Share your emotions with those you can trust.

Spending time outside, away from digital gadgets, may help restore calm and perspective. Take a walk, eat a picnic, or simply sit outside.

Learning stress management techniques and practicing relaxation are proven methods for reducing gastrointestinal inflammation. You can improve overall digestive health by reducing the impact of stress on the stomach.

Exercise

For various reasons, exercise is particularly helpful to gut health.

Constipation can be avoided by engaging in regular physical exercise. Exercise causes the abdominal muscles to contract and massage the colon, helping feces to pass through the intestines smoothly. 

Exercise also helps to reduce stress, which is advantageous because persistent stress can damage the gut lining and disturb the gut microbiota. Endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, are released during physical exercise and help reduce anxiety and despair. Stress reduction promotes intestinal health.

Physical activity also improves blood flow and circulation, giving more oxygen and nutrients to the GI tract to promote healing and optimal performance.

Exercise also helps to reduce stress

The following are some of the finest forms of exercise for gut health:

  • Walking is gentle on the joints while getting the body moving. Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise every day.
  • Gentle yoga postures massage the belly and relieve tension. Hold abdominal-squeezing positions.
  • Aerobic exercise stimulates the heart and blood flow. Swim, cycle, or run for 20-30 minutes 3-5 days a week.
  • Squats, crunches, and planks develop abdominal muscles, which improve digestion. It is adequate to work 2-3 days every week.
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) – Peristalsis is stimulated by short bursts of intensive activity. Intervals of 10-30 seconds are recommended.

Consistent exercise has several advantages for gut health, ranging from constipation relief to increased microbial variety. It is best to do a balance of aerobic, strength, and flexibility workouts. Even minor action daily has a major influence.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy gut. Sleep deprivation has been shown in studies to affect the gut flora, increase intestinal permeability, and contribute to inflammation.

Melatonin is produced by our bodies as we sleep. Melatonin regulates the intestinal lining and protects the body from free radicals. Inadequate sleep can disrupt our circadian pattern, lowering melatonin levels and jeopardizing intestinal health.

Sleep loss causes the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. Prolonged cortisol elevation can have a deleterious influence on gut barrier function and beneficial gut microorganisms.

Make sleep a priority by following these sleep hygiene tips:

  • Maintain a consistent sleep routine, even on weekends. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Make your sleeping environment cold, dark, and quiet. Consider utilizing blackout curtains, a white noise machine, and a comfy mattress and pillows.
  • Before going to bed, avoid bright lights and screens. Melatonin synthesis can be suppressed by the blue light emitted.
  • Relax with a pre-bedtime routine that includes mild yoga stretches, reading, or taking a bath.
  • Avoid large meals, coffee, and alcohol near bedtime.
  • Reduce anxiousness and racing thoughts before bedtime by writing or meditating.
  • Getting 7-9 hours of excellent sleep every night aids in the nourishment of healthy gut flora, the improvement of gut barrier integrity and function, and the reduction of inflammation. Make getting enough sleep a priority for your overall health.

Conclusion

Start with food by boosting fiber consumption through vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Avoid sweets and processed meals, which can disturb the gut microbiota. To restore beneficial gut flora, use probiotic and prebiotic supplements. Natural probiotics may be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32887946/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/diet-disease-and-the-microbiome-2021042122400

https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325293

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31434172/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30267869/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627858/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22314561/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6779243/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357536/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6748614/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8618064/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9787832/

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being