Digestive issues can both cause and be exacerbated by other health problems, which is why it’s important to optimize your gut health. A healthy gut can have a surprising impact on your overall well-being, from enhancing your immune system to boosting your mood.
Of course, if you have a chronic condition, it’s even more important to prioritize your gut health. For example, if you have ulcerative colitis, or you use a colostomy bag or ConvaTec ostomy supplies, you’ll want to do everything you can to improve your symptoms and maximize nutrient absorption. By working with your doctor, you can discover the vitamins and supplements that work best for you.
For inspiration, take a look at the most important vitamins for gut health:
Without sufficient amounts of selenium, your digestive system can experience high levels of stress and inflammation. In some cases, a lack of selenium can even increase your risk of developing leaky gut syndrome and bowel disease. Found in seafood, organ meats, and Brazil nuts, you can increase your selenium intake by eating these foods or take a daily supplement to boost your levels.
Zinc plays a crucial role in the production of digestive enzymes. Without enough zinc, your body will create digestive enzymes at a reduced rate, which may mean that you don’t have enough for your digestive system to function effectively. In the digestive system, enzymes break macromolecules down so that they can be absorbed by the body and converted into usable building blocks.
By increasing your intake of zinc-rich foods, like oysters, beans, nuts, poultry, dairy, and whole grains, or taking a regular supplement, you can ensure your body has an optimum amount of zinc to facilitate digestive enzyme production.
Known for its immune-boosting properties, vitamin C also enhances digestion by improving the body’s ability to absorb iron. Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, and bell peppers are all great sources of vitamin C, but taking a daily vitamin can be an easier way to ensure you have sufficient amounts to optimize gut health.
There is a whole range of B vitamins, and they all have a positive impact on your digestive system. B vitamins help the stomach to function, which, in turn, improves gut health. You’ll find B vitamins in dairy products, like cheese and milk, as well as meat, fish, and leafy green vegetables. Deficiencies in specific B vitamins, such as vitamin B12, are common, so it’s worth making an appointment with your doctor to get your levels checked.
Vitamin D supports nerve, muscle, and immune system function, which is why it’s so important to keep your levels within an optimal range. As the digestive system relies on your muscles and nerves to function properly, you’ll need a healthy amount of vitamin D to achieve gut health. In addition to spending a few minutes each day in the sun, you can increase your vitamin D intake by incorporating more fatty fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified cereal into your diet.
Maintaining Gut Health
Vitamins and supplements can be a simple and stress-free way to improve and maintain gut health. By checking with your doctor or pharmacist first and exploring which supplements can work best for you, you’ll find the right range of nutritional support to enhance your gut health on a long-term basis.