5 Best Drinks to Improve Gut Health – Eat This Not That


The balance of bacteria in our gut has a far greater impact than bloating and bathroom issues. It plays a role in almost every part of us, from our immune system functioning and hormone regulation to disease prevention and mental health.

There’s a reason we “follow our instincts” when making certain important decisions. We rely on nerves and neurotransmitters in our digestive tract to recognize these intuitive feelings and transmit them to our brain. Officially called the enteric nervous system, this pathway of nerves and neurons communicate directly with their parents in the brain, which is why the gut is often referred to as our “second brain.”

The gut microbiota that resides in the gastrointestinal tract also regulates the innate and adaptive parts of our immune system, so that immune cells can effectively fight off invading pathogens. But when the homeostasis of the gut microbial community is disrupted, sometimes by poor diet, dysregulation occurs, which can trigger autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

So, a healthy gut means more than regular bowel movements, although those are also important. This means that the good and bad bacteria that make up your microbiota are working well and that you feel good. Toast to your good health with these microbiota-enhancing drinks.

Then, for more gut health tips, check out The #1 Gut Health Vegetable.

Studies suggest that eating foods fermented with live cultures can add “good” bacteria to the microbiome. Kefir, a fermented milk drink with a tangy taste, is one of those powerful probiotics that can help rebalance your microbiome.

“Fermentation makes kefir easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance because bacteria and yeast have already broken down carbohydrates, such as starch and sugar, in the process,” says a dietitian. Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSSDmain author of Nutrition for sport, exercise and health.

Fermentation also produces peptides unique to kefir. “These easily absorbed chains of amino acids may make kefir more ideal for those who have more difficulty digesting protein. For example, people with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, the elderly, and those taking antacids may find it easier to digest the protein in kefir.”

matcha green tea latte

One of the best ways to populate the gut microbiota is to include a wide variety of plant foods and beverages. “Most people don’t think of teas when it comes to variety, but it’s a really easy way to incorporate different plant species into your diet,” says one dietitian. Marie Ruggles, MS, RD, CNauthor of Optimize your immune system.

One of the best (and most studied) teas for gut health is matcha green tea, which contains a high concentration of a powerful polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Other beneficial teas to mix into your tea rotation include black tea, chamomile, holy basil, turmeric/ginger, and pu-erh, a fermented tea. “The compounds in these teas exhibit prebiotic activity, interacting with the gut microbiota to produce beneficial bacteria,” says Ruggles.

Tip: leave to macerate longer. One study found that a 5 minute steep is associated with higher polyphenol content than a one minute steep.

Some people may say, “But I hate the taste of green tea.” Here’s one way to mask the grassy, ​​sometimes bitter flavor of matcha tea: blend green tea into a smoothie with banana, almond milk, and vanilla. Or, mix in pineapple to help offset the bitterness of matcha, suggests Spano. “I would add pure pineapple juice and frozen pineapple and mix.”

kombucha tea

Kombucha is a fizzy tea drink made from the fermentation of a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY, and sugar. “We are seeing emerging research on how kombucha may have antimicrobial effects and possibly impact the gut microbiome,” says Amanda Sauceda, DRwho specializes in gut health nutrition.

In a recent review of 15 studies, researchers found that consuming kombucha reduced the imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut and may be beneficial for the treatment of obesity. The results also suggest that the fermented drink reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.

RELATED: The #1 Best Drink For A Healthier Gut, Says Dietitian

glass of water

Don’t forget water for good gut health. Keep this in mind because if you’re like most people, you don’t drink enough daily. “Water helps get things moving in your digestive system and helps absorb nutrients from your food,” Sauceda explains. It’s also essential because of another important component of a healthy microbiome: fiber.

According to a study conducted in Nutrients. But fiber also draws water into the gut, which can dehydrate you and cause you to be bloated and constipated. “Any time you eat more fiber, make sure you’re always drinking more water,” Sauceda says. “People often miss that.”

bone broth soup

Broth made from simmering the bones and connective tissues of chickens, cattle and other animals has become a popular health elixir due to its concentration of nutritious vitamins and amino acids like glycine, gelatin, glutamine and collagen, which support a healthy gut microbiome. .

Poor gut health can lead to a condition known as ‘leaky gut’, which is characterized by a compromised gut lining that allows unhealthy substances to leak into your bloodstream, triggering inflammation, according to a review in the journal. . Intestine.

“Collagen helps nourish the intestinal lining, and gelatin is able to absorb water and help maintain the layer of mucus that keeps intestinal microbes away from the intestinal lining,” explains Samantha Presicci, MCN, RD, LD, dietitian at Fond Bone Broth. “Glutamine can also help with conditions such as leaky gut by promoting proper digestion of all the food you eat because you are not just what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb. “


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