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 problems. It plays a role in almost every part of us, from the function of our immune system and hormone regulation to disease prevention and mental health.

There is a reason we “go with our instincts” when making certain important decisions. We rely on the nerves and neurotransmitters along our digestive tract that recognize those feelings of intuition and relay them to our brain. Officially called the enteric nervous system, this pathway of nerves and neurons communicates directly with their relatives in the brain, which is why the gut is often called our “second brain”.

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

Hence, a healthy bowel means more than normal bowel movements, although those are also important. It means that the good and bad bacteria that make up your microbiota are playing well and you feel great. Toast your continued good health with these microbiota-enhancing drinks.

So, for healthier gut tips, check out Vegetable No. 1 for gut health.

Studies suggest that consuming fermented foods with live cultures can add “good” bacteria to the microbiome. Kefir, a fermented milk drink with a spicy taste, is one of those powerful probiotics that can help bring the microbiome back into balance.

“Fermentation makes kefir easier for those who are lactose intolerant to digest because bacteria and yeast have already broken down carbohydrates, such as starch and sugar, in the process,” says the registered dietician. Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSSDlead author of Nutrition for sport, exercise and health.

Fermentation also produces peptides that are unique to kefir. “These easy-to-absorb amino acid chains may make kefir more ideal for those who have difficulty digesting protein. For example, those with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, the elderly, and those taking antacids may find it easier to digest protein. In kefir. “

matcha latte green tea
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One of the best ways to populate the gut microbiota is to include a wide variety of plant-based foods and drinks. “Most people don’t think about teas when it comes to variety, but this is a very easy way to incorporate different plant species into their diet,” says the registered dietician. Marie Ruggles, SM, RD, CNauthor of Optimize your immune system.

One of the best teas for gut health (and the most widely studied) is matcha green tea, which contains a high concentration of a powerful polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Other beneficial teas to mix with the 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: steep for longer. One study found that a 5 minute prep time is associated with a polyphenol content greater than 1 minute of prep.

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

kombucha tea
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Kombucha is a tea-based carbonated drink obtained by fermenting a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY, and sugar. “We are seeing emerging research on how kombucha can have antimicrobial effects and possibly impact the gut microbiome,” he says. Amanda Sauceda, RDspecializing in nutrition for gut health.

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

RELATED: The # 1 Best Drink 1 for a healthier gut, says dietician

glass of water
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Don’t forget water for good gut health. Keep this in mind because, if you’re like most people, you don’t drink enough every day. “Water helps keep things moving through your digestive system and helps absorb nutrients from your food,” says Sauceda. It is also critical due to another important component of a healthy microbiome: fiber.

Dietary fiber is not digested in the small intestine but ferments in the colon and has been shown to modify the microbiota and regulate glucose and fat metabolism in the blood, leading to better health outcomes, according to a study in Nutrients. But fiber also draws water into the intestines, which can dehydrate you and make you bloated and constipated. “Every time you eat more fiber, make sure you drink more and more water,” says Sauceda. “This has often been missed by people.”

bone broth soup
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The broth obtained by simmering the bones and connective tissues of chickens, cattle and other animals has become a popular health elixir thanks to its concentration of nutritious vitamins and amino acids such as 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 lining of the gut that allows unhealthy substances to escape into the 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 mucus layer that keeps gut microbes away from the intestinal lining,” he says. Samantha Presicci, MCN, RD, LD, registered dietician with Fond Bone Broth. “Glutamine can also help with conditions like leaky gut by supporting proper digestion of all the foods you eat, because you are not just what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb.”

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