Gut function is very complex and requires a number of different nutrients on a regular basis. Like probiotics help to support nutrient absorption, while vitamin C plays a role in promoting healthy immune function, and magnesium assists in muscle function and promoting healthy elimination. It is very important to know the essential nutrients and how they promote a healthy gut. (Also read: Mistakes we make while healing our gut: Nutritionists suggest tips )
Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist, suggested 6 key nutrients for gut healthy on his Instagram.
1. SBO Probiotics
SBO (soil-based organism) probiotics are a particular type of probiotic found in soil that is considered “hardy” and tolerant to the harsh conditions of the stomach. Probiotics support many functions in the gut, including nutrient absorption, a healthy immune system, elimination, digestion and more. Fermented foods are the best sources of probiotics, including yoghurt, kefir, amasi, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut. Most children and adults can benefit from a daily probiotic supplement, often taken in capsule form.
Magnesium is an electrolyte mineral that the body uses for over 300 different functions. This mineral promotes healthy bowel function & supports healthy elimination. The best sources include leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, wheat germ, wheat & oat bran. You can choose to take a daily magnesium supplement, whether in capsule or powder form, or a gut-supporting formula that has magnesium plus other gut supplements.
Collagen is a structural protein that helps to build & promote healthy connective tissues, including those that form the gut lining. Having a healthy gut microbiome means that you’re able to maintain a healthy intestinal barrier. This supports healthy immune function, digestion, nutrient absorption & elimination. The greatest source of Collagen is bone broth. It isn’t widely available in other foods, but consuming a balanced diet with protein & antioxidants helps your body to synthesize its Collagen.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps the body synthesize collagen, which forms connective tissues that promote the health of the gut lining. Vitamin C is an important nutrient you don’t want to lack in order to support digestion & gut health. The best sources of vitamin C include kiwi, citrus fruits, leafy greens like spinach and kale, all types of berries, pineapple, mango, bell peppers and cruciferous veggies like broccoli. You can take a vitamin C supplement with or without food, at any time of day.
Zinc is functionally involved in hundreds of enzymatic functions in the body and is considered an essential mineral that is second only to iron in terms of its concentration. Zinc helps to support a normal intestinal barrier, balanced microbiome and helps break down carbohydrates which supply the body with energy. Zinc is found in red meat, organ meats, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains & dairy products. Prefer enzyme-activated zinc, which is easier to digest & utilize.
6. Vitamin D
Vitamin D supports healthy immune system function and gut integrity. You need enough vitamin D to maintain normal levels of inflammation and for promoting healthy immune defenses. Vitamin D can be found in eggs, fish like salmon & sardines, organ meats, fortified dairy products including milk & cheese, & some mushrooms. Look for a D3 supplement. It is thought to be the more absorbable type of vitamin D compared to D2. You should take vitamin D with a meal because it’s a fat-soluble nutrient.