5 ways to support a healthy gut

If you’ve been staying up to date on nutritional health, you know gut heath is important. But aside from those commercials trying to get you to eat your body weight in yogurt, you might not have any idea how to promote a healthy gut.

Here are five easy ways to improve gut health:

1. Drink up.

Keeping the mucosal lining of the intestines well hydrated is one of the simplest ways to support a healthy gut. Aim for one-half to one ounce of fluid per pound of body weight every day.

2. Move your body.

Exercise can influence the gut microbiome and helps promote the growth of the good bacteria that create butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that helps control inflammation and supports healthy digestion.

3. Load up on fiber.

Eating a balanced diet that includes adequate fiber (30 to 40 grams daily) is essentially food for the good bacteria. The more good bacteria, the more butyrate. Fiber comes from grains (½ cup of quinoa has 5 grams), legumes (½ cup of black beans has 7.5 grams), fruits (an apple has 4 to 5 grams), oatmeal (½ cup of dry oats has 4 grams), and vegetables (10 spears of asparagus has 3 grams). Onnit’s protein bars also provide a convenient source of fiber (11 grams per bar).

4. Don’t forget probiotics.

Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha contain good bacteria to help keep a healthy balance. If these foods don’t whet your appetite, try a supplement like Onnit’s Total Gut Health. It contains everything for overall gut health including prebiotics (the food), probiotics (beneficial good bacteria and yeast), betaine HCL (to support a healthy digestive environment), and digestive enzymes (to help break down and absorb proteins, carbohydrates, and fats).

5. Supplement your glutamine.

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and, along with butyrate, is the preferred source of fuel for the gut. It helps repair interstitial damage, supports the immune system, and improves gut permeability. The body can make glutamine when needed, but sometimes it still isn’t enough, and the need increases for highly active people, stressed individuals, or people who are injured or sick. Onnit’s Glutamine is an easy way to supplement the extra need in your diet.

Looking for more ways to improve your eating habits? Work on your relationship with food.

EXOS believes in using safe, high-quality supplements. That’s why we recommend Onnit foods and supplements.

About the Author

Shannon Ehrhardt

Shannon Ehrhardt, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., C.S.C.S., is a senior performance dietitian at EXOS and has worked in sports performance for over 10 years. With a master's degree in exercise physiology and nutrition, she works with EXOS' nutrition partner Onnit, supporting the performance goals of athletes and working alongside the product development team.

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