For many busy adults, eating out, drive-thru pickups, and food delivery have replaced healthy, wholesome dinners. Very few people have the time or energy to plan out balanced meals. Picking up fried chicken or cheeseburgers seems like a quick fix now. However, over time, it can take a toll on your health.
Indigestion, obesity, high cholesterol, and heartburn are just a few repercussions of a poor diet. As people age, they produce fewer enzymes that help the stomach break down food. This causes nausea, bloating, cramps, and plenty of other serious medical issues.
Portion control and clean eating are the best way to keep your digestive system working well. However, sometimes we do need some help achieving dietary goals. Here are four supplements that can offer beneficial digestive support and health benefits.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
When you eat something, it moves through your gastrointestinal (GI) tract as it digests. This system absorbs nutrients as food moves through the body, primarily in the small intestine. Since many modern meals are heavy on protein and carbohydrates, fiber, which helps move things along, is often lacking. That’s where many digestive problems begin.
Studies show that if you have apple cider vinegar (ACV) with your meal, it can delay gastric emptying. This way your body has more time to break down the food. Improving gut health is just one of the many benefits that comes with ACV consumption. According to numogummies.com, ACV can help with mood, immunity, energy, and appetite control.
While ACV has many advantages, many people find it hard to enjoy because of its strong smell and taste. That’s why some people have switched to the convenience of ACV gummies instead. They provide the benefits of the vinegar, but it’s in an easier to consume form. They taste better and are more convenient while on-the-go when compared to the liquid.
Probiotics are another great supplement to consider for improving your overall health. They are microorganisms that can improve your gut health. They work by helping the body better absorb nutrients. They provide good bacteria that can help your digestive system. They also can keep bad bacteria away and help those suffering from constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. You can find probiotics naturally in some yogurts, buttermilk, and fermented foods like kombucha.
If swallowing a pill is easier for you to stomach, you can also find probiotic supplements. Try to choose one that doesn’t have artificial additives. It should also contain a resistant starch, which is like fuel for the probiotic strain. A good probiotic has live cultures. Some may need to be refrigerated to get the best results.
Talk to your healthcare provider to see which type of probiotic is best for you. It is important to note that probiotics should be eaten before or with a meal. They are not a quick fix if you feel bloated after eating. They are usually taken daily, as they pass through the body quickly.
Another way to help with regularity is by adding more fiber to your diet. It helps the digestive system by sweeping out the waste and keeping the digestive tract clean. Fiber is often a prebiotic, which feeds the gut good bacteria. It also helps ferment food faster, so it does not spend as much time in your digestive system.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. The former dissolves in water and helps regulate digestion by removing any water from the stool. The latter does not dissolve in water. Instead, it adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass.
The Mayo Clinic recommends women to have at least 21 grams of fiber daily, while men should aim for at least 30 grams. If you’re unable to meet that goal with the foods you choose, fiber supplements can be a big help. You can take the supplements in the form of pills or powders. Mix the powder in your favorite beverage or even yogurt, and it can be a delicious way to improve gut health.
4. Peppermint Oil
In addition to pills and powders, you can also consider the benefits of plants, specifically in an oil form. Some studies have shown that people find gastrointestinal relief by using peppermint oil. It has a pleasant scent that can reduce spasms. It can also reduce stress, which is linked to flaring digestive issues.
Peppermint oil can be diffused as an essential oil, used as nasal drops, or consumed as capsules. It can help with cramping and flatulence, as it relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract. It can also relieve symptoms associated with IBS. Peppermint tea is another way to get the benefits of this supplement. Just a few drops in hot water with ginger or lemon can help alleviate digestive issues.
However, make sure to start off with small quantities and monitor for any side effects. Always discuss with a doctor if you experience any discomfort. Note, it’s also important to discuss side effects with a medical professional because this supplement may interact with some medications.
Don’t Forget Your Diet
While many supplements can give you the extra boost, your diet should be your body’s primary source of necessary nutrients. Many fruits like pineapple, papaya, and mangoes are known to be great for gut health. If you are pressed for time, enjoy these fruits in a smoothie. Toss peeled (or frozen) chunks of fruit into a blender with some yogurt to enjoy a nutritious drink without artificial colors and preservatives.
Freshly grated ginger in tea also has several digestive benefits. Ginger works by blocking the production of certain digestive enzymes that can reduce symptoms of acid reflux and other digestive issues. And last but not the least, never underestimate the power of hydration! One cannot reap the benefits of supplements and healthy foods without drinking enough water.
Following a balanced diet and adding necessary supplements can help improve your gut health, but be careful. Don’t add too many new supplements at once. Give your body time to react, and soon, you’ll figure out what works best for you.