I’ve talked a lot about the importance of maintaining a healthy gut flora because it truly is key for optimal health. Many studies suggest all sorts of illnesses actually “start” in the gut, from weight gain right down to depression.  All kinds of bacteria live in your gut—good and bad—but the “friendly” kind actually helps keep the “unfriendly” population in check. Many modern diets tend to be high in things that aren’t exactly great for gut health. Sugar, for example, is one of the worst offenders, causing harmful bacteria to proliferate in the intestines. We all know that people today consume far much sugar than necessary (actually, refined sugar consumption–no matter the amount–is unnecessary). And when bad bacteria grows too large in number…well, there’s cause for concern. 
How to Protect Gut Health
Maintaining your gut health through supplements–while still consuming an overall healthy diet–is an excellent way to up the ante. You’ve likely heard of probiotics from some of my other posts; these are actually live bacteria that can help with your digestion. Though science has just begun to scratch the surface of the benefits of probiotics, more and more studies suggest definite health perks.  But there are also other things you can take to support gut health. Here are 3 more great supplements you should check out.
Digestive enzymes help break the food you eat into smaller molecules. As you can imagine, this can go along way in helping the digestive process. For example, someone who is lactose intolerant would have a hard time digesting milk sugar. That person could take the enzyme lactase, and eating dairy might become a little easier. But enzymes do a lot more than just help digest food! Some studies suggest proteolytic enzymes can actually reduce irritation in the body.  
Eating antioxidant-rich foods or taking antioxidant supplements are two easy ways to support gut health by reducing gut irritation. One report suggests antioxidant vitamins C and E could even relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.  Blueberries, red berries, nuts, and dark green vegetables are just some of the antioxidant-rich foods you could introduce into your diet.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar, as with all these supplements for gut health, provides beneficial enzymes that may be helpful for digestion. By taking the vinegar, you’re also making conditions friendlier for all those good bacteria. But, remember, in order to get the full effect, you need to make sure that you are using raw apple cider vinegar.
There are so many easy ways that you can support and maintain your gut health. Whether it’s eating healthy, taking probiotics, or even meditation. Cutting out gluten and sugar are also helpful steps you can take to support the health of your gut, and consuming more raw, living foods is also great measures.
Would you take supplements for a healthier gut? Tell us your gut feeling in the comments below.
- Sekirov, I. et al. Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease. Physiological Reviews. 90 (3).
- Foxx-Orenstein, A. E. & Chey, W. D. Manipulation of the Gut Microbiota as a Novel Treatment Strategy for Gastrointestinal Disorders. The American Journal of Gastroenterology Supplements.
- Behnsen, J. et al. Probiotics: Properties, Examples, and Specific Applications. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine.
- Brien, S. et al. Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 1 (3).
- Viswanatha Swamy, A. & Patil, P. A. Effect of Some Clinically Used Proteolytic Enzymes on Inflammation in Rats. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 70 (1).
- Aghdassi, E. et al. Antioxidant vitamin supplementation in Crohn’s disease decreases oxidative stress. a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 98 (2).