The importance of a healthy gut is no secret anymore. The gut is where the immune system starts, and a range of illnesses have been connected to this part of the body. There are certain foods you can increase your intake of to nourish the gut, but here we will dig a little deeper to break down the vitamins that help to protect, heal, and support the digestive system. A healthy gut means you can digest food without any discomfort, but a healthy gut isn’t as common as you may think. In fact, an estimated 70 million people in the U.S. struggle with digestive diseases, and even more people have imbalanced bacteria.
Here are 7 vitamins that help keep your gut in good shape!
Found primarily in fatty fish, dairy products, leafy greens, and meat, Vitamin B helps the body create red blood cells and gain energy from food. Digestive health depends on the stomach to function correctly, which in turn requires Vitamin B. Vitamin B protects the abdomen from distress and ensures the stomach and intestines work properly.
Glutamine is an amino acid that helps protect the mucous membrane of the esophagus and intestines. L-Glutamine can also boost immune cell activity in the gut, helping prevent infection and inflammation, as well as soothing the intestinal tissue.
A 2019 study published in Redox Biology found that Vitamin C can be used to improve your gut barrier function, which helps your body absorb nutrients and protects you from certain toxins. Along with improving your gut barrier, Vitamin C has been known to help balance out the good and bad bacteria inside your gut. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties aid digestion by helping the body absorb Iron as well as promoting healthy gums and teeth. As well as taking supplements, you can find Vitamin C easily in strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, and peppers.
Selenium enhances the gut’s response to inflammation. A deficiency in Selenium can increase inflammation and oxidative stress in the gut. This can result in damage to the intestinal lining and is a possible contributor to a leaky gut. Selenium deficiency is also linked to a higher risk of bowel disease.
Vitamin D influences the function of the ‘gatekeeper’ system in the gut. Deficiency of Vitamin D has been associated with a leaky gut. Also, several studies show that Vitamin D supplementation increases the overall diversity of the gut microbiome.
Even a mild Zinc deficiency can reduce digestive enzyme production, which increases the likelihood of leaky gut. Find Zinc naturally in lean beef, lamb, oysters, and liver.
A vital mineral for overall health, Magnesium minimizes inflammation in the gut. Without it, good gut bacteria is exposed to potential harm. In fact, one study found that Magnesium deficiency can alter the bacteria colonies in the gut. It should be noted here: because the recommended daily intake of Magnesium is so high, most people don’t get enough in their diet. This means that if you’re suffering from a digestive issue (like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and many others), your symptoms may improve with a higher daily intake of Magnesium.