Digestive issues can be uncomfortable and even debilitating, affecting everything from what you absorb to how you feel on a daily basis.
It's important to address gut health as soon as symptoms arise and take care of your digestive system as early as possible because it plays such an essential and pivotal role in overall health.
When our digestive system is functioning well, it can help boost our immune system, improve mental health, support energy levels, and promote overall well-being. On the other hand, when our digestive system is compromised, it can lead to a range of health issues, including nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, and chronic disease.
The good news is that there are natural ways to alleviate digestive problems and support gut health, including probiotics and fibre-rich snacks. This article will explore how probiotics, fibre, and other supplements can improve digestive health and offer some suggestions for fibre-rich snacks that can help support gut health.
Probiotics for Digestive Health
Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for our health, particularly the health of our digestive system. These good bacteria live in the gut and help break down food and absorb nutrients. They also help protect the gut from harmful bacteria that can cause infections and inflammation.
Probiotic supplements are an easy way to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Some of the most popular probiotic strains include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These strains are naturally found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. However, it can be challenging to consume enough fermented foods to obtain the desired level of probiotics, which is why supplements can be helpful.
Probiotic supplements can be found in many forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. It is important to choose a high-quality probiotic supplement that contains a variety of probiotic strains to ensure the best results.
Fibre for Digestive Health
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is essential for digestive health. Fibre can't be digested by the body, so it moves through the digestive system, helping to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Fibre also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which can improve overall gut health.
Fibre is found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. It is recommended that adults consume 25-38 grams of fibre per day, depending on age and gender. Unfortunately, many people do not consume enough fibre in their diet, which can lead to digestive problems.
Fibre supplements are an easy way to increase fibre intake. These supplements come in different forms, including powders, capsules, and chewable tablets. When supplementing, it's important to start with a small dose and gradually increase it over time to prevent digestive discomfort.
Fibre-Rich Snacks for Digestive Health
In addition to fibre supplements, there are many fibre-rich foods that can help improve digestive health. Here are some healthy snack options that are high in fibre:
Berries are an excellent source of fibre and antioxidants. One cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fibre, while a cup of blackberries contains 7.6 grams. Berries in general are good sources of fibre and great snack options.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with fibre and healthy fats. Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are all excellent snack options. A quarter-cup of almonds contains 4 grams of fibre, while a tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams.
Vegetables are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Carrots, broccoli, and leafy greens are all high in fibre and make great snacks. Other fibre-rich vegetables include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and artichokes.
A medium-sized avocado contains around 10 grams of fiber, which is a significant amount of the recommended daily intake of fiber. The fiber in avocado is primarily soluble fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and promote feelings of fullness and satiety.
A one-cup serving of cooked beans contains an average of 12-15 grams of fiber, which is around half of the recommended daily intake of fiber for adults. In addition to fiber, beans are also a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and micronutrients such as iron, potassium, and folate.
Hummus is a delicious dip made from chickpeas, which are an excellent source of fibre. Hummus is also high in protein and healthy fats, making it a satisfying snack. Pair hummus with fibre-rich vegetables such as carrots or bell peppers for a nutrient-dense snack.
7. Chia seeds
A one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains around 11 grams of fiber, which is approximately 40% of the recommended daily intake of fiber for adults. The soluble fiber found in chia seeds can help lower cholesterol levels, while the insoluble fiber can help promote healthy bowel movements and reduce the risk of constipation.
8. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble, making them a healthy and nutrient-dense food choice. The antioxidants found in sweet potatoes may also support gut health by promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria (1)(2).
Oats contain primarily soluble fiber, and more specifically a type called beta glucan, which dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance in the digestive system. This type of fiber can help lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve metabolic syndrome.
Lentils contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, which can help you to feel full and normalize bowel movements. It can also help to improve heart, metabolic, digestive and immune function by carrying waste and toxins out of the body.
While probiotics and fibre-rich snacks are excellent ways to support digestive health, there are times when you may need more immediate relief. Digestive bitters and enzymes, can offer fast relief for digestive discomfort.
Digest More Ultra Strength is a digestive enzyme supplement that contains a blend of enzymes, including lipase, amylase, and protease. These enzymes help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, making them easier for the body to digest. Digestive enzyme supplements like Digest More Ultra Strength can be particularly helpful for people with digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and indigestion.
Another option for digestive enzyme support is Flora Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Immediate Relief. This supplement contains a blend of enzymes that help break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It can help to prevent or relieve symptoms related to certain food intolerances such as beans, grains, and dairy, making it an ideal companion for heavy meals or eating out at restaurants.
Digestive issues can be uncomfortable, but there are natural ways to support digestive health. Probiotics and fibre-rich snacks are excellent options for promoting gut health, while digestive enzyme supplements can offer fast relief for digestive discomfort.
Incorporating probiotics and fibre-rich snacks into your diet can help improve digestion and overall gut health. Remember to choose high-quality supplements and start with small doses to avoid digestive discomfort. With the right support, you can overcome digestive issues and enjoy a healthy, happy gut.