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3 Essential Nutrients for Gut Health

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When it comes to nutrition, it’s not simply what you eat but rather what you absorb.  So even if you are eating the best nutrients, if your gut isn’t fully functioning and you aren’t absorbing those nutrients you can still be malnourished.  Factors that can damage your gut lining and flora are:

  • Anti-biotics
  • Stress
  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • NSAIDs
  • Sugar alcohols

Sometimes the symptoms of a weakened gut are obviously related to that area of your body.  These can include:

  • Constipation
  • Loose stools
  • Gas/Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Acid reflux
  • IBS

However, since our digestion is related to our overall health, oftentimes the symptoms can seem unrelated.  The most common symptoms I see in my practice are:

  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Brain fog
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle twitching
  • Allergies

At this point it may feel like everything you do damages your gut and every symptom that you have can be linked back to it!  Although that is an oversimplification, in some ways it is true.

Our gut health is the foundation of our overall health.  It allows us to extract and absorb nutrients, fights infection, houses the majority of our immune system, and gets rid of all the toxic crap we don’t need (literally).

It is important to keep the foundation strong by ideally removing the factors that are causing the problems and adding in nutrients that will help your gut heal and then remain strong.  I have found that there are 3 essential nutrients that are key to your gut health.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in our digestive tract.  There are literally billions of these bacteria and their job is to help us digest food and absorb nutrients.  They also play a key role in our immune system and help synthesize B vitamins.

Overall, the bacteria in our gut are pretty tough and can handle a lot of what we throw at it.  However, things such as high stress and anti-biotics can destroy these bacteria and compromise our gut health.

Food Sources

Food sources of probiotics are typically linked to fermentation.  In other words, food that has undergone fermentation will also be a source of probiotics.  Examples are yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha.  To maintain a healthy gut (i.e. you are not experiencing symptoms) shoot for 1-2 servings of a probiotic rich source per day.

Supplements

If you are symptomatic or aren’t getting enough probiotics through your diet, supplementing is always an option.  Probiotics come in both liquid and capsule form.

If your symptoms are severe or you are coming off a round of anti-biotics I recommend starting with a liquid form.  This will repopulate the bacteria on your entire digestive tract, rather than just your gut.  I really like Bio-K + (they also have a dairy free version here).   Start with ½ a bottle in the AM and ½ a bottle in the PM until you are done with container.  Then you can switch to a capsule form such as PB-8.

l-Glutamine

When our intestinal wall gets irritated it can cause the bonds between the cells to loosen and create small holes.  These holes can allow things into the gut that don’t belong there as well as leak bad bacteria into the rest of the body.  This condition is called leaky gut and cause allergies, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

l-Glutamine is an amino acid that helps seal up those small holes and strengthen your intestinal walls.  It can also help maintain muscle, an added bonus if you are exercising or just want to maintain your lean muscle mass.

Food Sources

l-Glutamine can be found in both plant and animal proteins.  It is also one of the main reasons that bone broth is tied to intestinal health.  Other sources are beef, dairy, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans and lentils.  Shoot for at least 3 servings a day or one source at every meal/snack.

Supplements

When supplementing, my preference is powder form and quality is extremely important.  My favorite is Pure Encapsulations l-Glutamine Powder.  Typically the dose is 3g twice daily.

Magnesium

If I had to pick a favorite mineral, it would definitely be magnesium!  What, you don’t have a favorite mineral?  Magnesium is a relaxer, and you can associate a deficiency in magnesium with anything that you would associate with clenching and tension.  Examples are constipation, muscle twitching, sore muscles and trouble sleeping.

Historically, our fruits and vegetables would absorb magnesium from our soil; we would eat them and then absorb the magnesium ourselves.  Unfortunately most of our crops (even the fancy organic ones) are over cropped so our soils have become deficient in many essential minerals, especially magnesium.

Food Sources

Food sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens, nuts, beans, fish and whole grains.  Although as I said above, many of these sources are not as rich as they used to be so I recommend that this is one mineral that most people supplement with (and it’s not just because it’s my favorite!).

Supplements

When you supplement with magnesium, it is important that calcium (and ideally vitamin D) are also present.  These three nutrients work as a team to help each other absorb.  I really like Rainbow Light because it is a food based supplement so it is easier on your stomach and tends to be more bio-available (meaning your body can actually use it).  If you find that your stools begin to become lose (don’t worry it won’t be an emergency situation), cut the dose in half to allow your body to adapt.  I also recommend taking it at night because it can potentially help you sleep…and who doesn’t need that?!

14 comments
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  2. hey, there my friend welcome my name is dr. Anthony Bal doozy I’m the founder here at the fit
    father project in the current article we’re going to share with you what are probiotics which foods have
    probiotics why you need to even care about probiotics in general now we fully grasp this question from all the guys within our Fit Philo project Brotherhood’s we want to shoot this detailed article
    that covers most of the topics and provides you with a really cool
    diet plan that helps get probiotics in your body and
    supports the growth of the nice gut bacteria so I know you’re gonna learn them ton in this informative article move
    out your pen and paper take some notes and let’s dive on in fit father
    project calm alright so let’s start what are probiotics.

    You’ve probably heard this term being thrown around before on different
    product labels on supplements maybe even by your doctor curious what are they well what probiotics are
    are the good gut bacteria in yeast that live inside our digestive
    tract so it’s really interesting and I like to generally share this
    simple truth is our human bodies are very like tubes we’re tubes so from our mouth to our
    butt our entire digestive tract is a pipe and in an expression that tube that is our digestive system is obviously
    not technically within the human body that whole gut digestive layer is a barrier through which most of the foods we eat in the fluids we drink need certainly to then assimilate
    during that digestive layer into your body and
    to the circulation.

    so I like to use this analogy it’s a lot like you’re driving a vehicle through an underground tunnel
    that goes through like a river or something like that we’ve all
    heard there’s these like river tunnels you drive a vehicle are you currently technically in the river when you’re driving the vehicle the clear answer is no
    you’re not really in the river you’re in the tunnel
    that goes through the river that’s your digestive tract and what lines that whole tube are these good gut bacteria these probiotics and we have a symbiotic relationship with them where
    they get the advantage of once we eat things they get fed and they get
    to cultivate and multiply and be happy and they provide us a
    lot of benefits inturn so definition to start probiotics are the good gut bacteria and
    some yeast but typically bacteria that line our digestive system
    and offer us lots of health benefits I’m going to talk about in another
    now the two common probiotics you may hear about because there’s a great deal of different kinds.

    but the two main big ones the first one is lactobacillus and
    this can be a probiotic species that you will find in a
    lot of dairy products so when you look at a yogurt for instance as a
    food we’re gonna cover that’s probiotics you could see it
    has lactobacillus and it’s X number which will be typically in the billions of
    CF fuze that stands for colony forming units and
    that is like the measure of exactly how many got
    back to how many probiotics have been in a particular product can we eat these if they have a higher bacterial count which means that more of the bacteria are in fact gonna survive our stomach acid and enter into our digestive tract meal to take anger and
    use us and actually survive so we wish higher CFU so lactobacillus is one the other one is Bifidobacterium and this one’s different we’re lactobacillus
    does lots of digestion and break down of certain things Bifidobacterium strictly takes up space.

    I shouldn’t say strictly cuz that some other functions but its main function is clearly occupy space because you’ve probably been aware of different varieties of infections that individuals
    get like e.coli infection Salmonella infections what happens is these bad back bad
    bacteria may take hold inside our intestinal tract nevertheless the Bifidobacterium by the type of taking on so much space crowds out the bad bacteria so makes you more resistant to getting infections
    and we’re gonna get into what are the results whenever we take antibiotics that type of nuke our entire
    intestinal tract and how that opens the entranceway for several of those bad
    bacteria to come in when the Bifidobacterium dies so probiotics are the gut bacteria that live and we’ve lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium but there are countless
    different species and this can be a really new part of
    research that we’re learning more about.

    so what are the benefits well it’s more or less endless anything could and I’m
    almost that is almost an exaggeration but anything good you can imagine together with your health probiotics are more
    or less connected to they’re that important the first thing the assist in digestion once we eat certain foods probiotics help our anatomical bodies break those foods down particularly fiber
    so we could extract nutrients from certain foods and assimilate those and use those for our personal energy functions
    too they are they really help your immune protection system so
    those bacteria the the probiotics they fight the bad
    bacteria and they assist in our immune cells in the
    intestinal tract as you think about it this is the tube that is the central tube of our body so we’re
    exposing that tube to bacteria like stuff constantly when we’re eating things were breathing
    things in we’re drinking bad things so those gut bacteria
    the probiotics are just like a first line of defense so that they
    help your defense mechanisms they’ve also shown to boost memory and cognitive function.

    we’re learning a lot more about what we’re calling the gut brain axis how important the healthiness of your digestive tract
    is for actually affecting your neuro chemistry and a
    lot of people don’t know there are more neurotransmitters things like serotonin dopamine oxytocin etc which
    are manufactured in the digestive system than your actual brain and there
    is a nerve that runs from your own GI tract GI meaning gastrointestinal up
    to your brain called the vagus nerve that the bacteria keep in touch with mental performance via this vagus
    nerve and it’s in crazy new field of research we’re learning so much but
    point being we’ve found that for people to really have a DD ADHD Alzheimer’s a few of these conditions can be improved by taking good probiotics
    and if you’re at a state where you could have some dysbiosis which is a fancy medical
    term for you’ve a bad balance of bad bacteria and good bacteria improving that
    could boost your mood and your memory understand this to probiotics help tremendously with
    weight reduction lean.

    Your kim cheese they’re foods which have good gut bacteria and
    you want to put these into our diet on a typical basis now only
    at the fit fowler project we’ve an incredible free one-day fat
    loss meal plan for men and we recommend you check that
    out if you’re at a place where you wish to start slimming down getting your power up in feeling
    healthier and you intend to figure out how to eat the proper foods that get the good
    gut bacteria into the body with out me like micromanage all these things and
    take fancy supplements and weird stuff we incorporate that to the free 1 day diet plan that’s designed for you there’s links below this short article there’s links in this article associated with this specific
    article so check that out so we want to incorporate these foods but there’s also supplements that we can do so
    if you google probiotics supplements on Amazon or something like this you’re gonna see
    literally hundreds or even tens and thousands of different products because there
    is a big market for these things.

    It’s not always easy to get the best types of food so
    sometimes it’s good to supplement and supplementing does have
    benefits After all if you’re at a point where you actually want to work on having your gut bacteria fixed
    and you know you have some digestive problems and you’re simply
    not feeling good it could be a benefit to get a supplement
    that’s a super high concentration of the to kick-start the
    body in the best direction and you want to be looking for a supplement
    that has the lactobacillus and the Bifidobacterium and it’s more difficult than simply that but the great supplements will have those in but it’s not merely the probiotics themselves we also got to look at this term
    called prebiotic you might have heard that before and what prebiotic is simply means fiber that the
    gut bacteria the probiotics like to eat and thrive on and so certain foods don’t have actual probiotics inside them but they support
    the grill of the gut bacteria that are lives in you and these are called prebiotic fibers.

    So some good examples are bananas that are not very ripe which can be really green the gut bacteria love that the fiber
    from those bananas before they get very sugary Jerusalem
    artichokes onions leeks oatmeal apples these types of foods that have fiber in them are food which our gut bacteria loves so
    we should both incorporate the items like those probiotic containing foods but we also wish to incorporate the
    prebiotics and again the important thing thing here’s that I don’t
    want this to be super complicated for you personally I’d like you
    to have a simple meal plan just like a free one day meal plan it lays all of it out we don’t
    have to take into account it you’re just naturally eating these prebiotic foods and these probiotic foods on a regular basis so that’s what prebiotics are and that is clearly a term you could see so I think it’s crucial that you
    cover next thing what screws up our gut bacteria because
    that’s just like important to talk about as getting the best foods in but
    additionally what screws it up first thing is sugar eating
    a higher sugar diet really screws up all of your digestive
    tract.

    We do so I really hope you found this valuable browse the links to everything
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    and you want this give us a thumbs up let us know we
    put a lot of time and energy and effort into these articles we’d love to get
    your feedback.

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    you within our future articles and all talk for you quickly my friend.

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