With all of the hoopla about gut health recently, it’s hard to believe that — not that long ago — the digestive system was looked at as basically one long tube that food passes through, is absorbed in, and is excreted from.
But the “gut microbiome” has changed all that.
When we think that 60 million Americans suffer with heartburn and another 4 million with frequent constipation — we realize that digestive unhealth is rampant.
Fortunately science has been learning more about the human microbiome. For example, we now know that 70 to 80 percent of the immune system is in the gut.
This makes the microbiome critical to both gut health and immunity, two areas that have been challenged during the recent COVID pandemic.
So there’s no better time than right now to be able to address those needs, deficiencies and challenges with dietary supplements.
What’s this about the digestive problem crisis?
In 2002 it was estimated that up to 70 million people in the U.S. were affected by digestive conditions and disease.
In fact, digestive disease is blamed for 191,000 deaths, 10 million hospitalizations, 6 million diagnostic procedures, 50 million office visits, and $107 billion in costs each year.
So there’s no doubt that digestive problems are widespread.
Just take this and don’t worry about it?
We’ve all seen those over-the-counter (OTC) antacid ads over the years, the ones that say if you can’t change your really bad work habits and eating habits, at least you can take an antacid.
These ads encourage overindulgence and poor eating practices; we can only assume to promote sales of over-the-counter heartburn remedies.
But that’s not what we should be doing. We shouldn’t be slapping a bandage on un-health.
Instead, we should aim for health and wellness. We should embrace a lifestyle approach that helps us when we slip up rather than one which cheers on the slipping up as a lifestyle choice.
Plus, we don’t want to wait until digestion is bad before we seek out remedies —being proactive in achieving and maintaining digestive wellness is critical to supporting overall good health.
By the time we notice a real problem, it’s likely that other body systems have already been negatively impacted, too; restoring health at this point can be more difficult.
But diet and lifestyle improvements can get our gut back on track.
Here are five tips that can give us a non-painful “gut punch,” a real boost to gut health and so much more.
1. Take in more amino acids and protein
Consuming more protein actually helps us digest protein more easily, because extra protein enzymes get released and put to work.
Aside from protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, we also need amino acids to feed the gut and rejuvenate the gut lining.
Amino acids are not only needed to maintain the intestinal lining and integrity, but also to support the growth of microorganisms in the gut. In fact, dietary amino acids are the major nutritional fuel of the small intestinal mucosa.
Your intestinal lining in fact uses amino acids to build a strong surface for digestion and absorption. And supplementing with amino acids is the most effective way to heal the gut lining.
Adding a supplement may be best because it is already broken down from protein to its active amino acid form.
Almased is rich in protein — 27 grams per serving — and provides 12 vital gut-health-supportive amino acids.
2. Eat more fermented foods
Fermentation makes foods and nutrients easier to digest and can help us access more of these foods’ nutrients.
Some of the most popular fermented soy foods include miso, natto, pickled tofu, tamari and tempeh.
Fermented soy is especially nutritious because the fermentation process is able to unlock the bioactive peptides and other nutrients that are inside soy.
This is excellent news because these peptides work to improve our satiety (our ability to feel full) by supporting healthy levels of the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin.
Almased is produced using a special natural fermentation process that unlocks these hidden nutrients.
3. Eat less sugar and sweeteners
Gobbling up a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners can cause what’s called “gut dysbiosis,” which is an imbalance of gut bacteria.
The authors of a 2015 study said that the standard Western diet, which is high in sugar and fat, negatively impacts the gut microbiome.
Another study reported that the artificial sweetener aspartame can increase the numbers of some unhealthy bacteria that are linked with metabolic disease, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Research has also shown that use of artificial sweeteners can increase blood sugar levels despite the fact that they’re not actually sugars.
4. Exercise more
Not only does exercise help us to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight, it also helps us to fend off digestive system problems.
Regular exercise may also improve gut health, which may, in turn, help control obesity.
Some research suggests that regular exercisers had a larger variety of gut bacteria than did non-exercisers.
Research shows that Almased helps people lose weight and ward off obesity.
5. Get enough sleep
Getting the right amount of good-quality sleep can lead to improvements in mood, cognitive health and gut health.
Research shows that irregular sleep habits can have negative outcomes for gut bacteria, which may increase the risk of inflammatory conditions.
So there it is. Protein-packed and amino-acid-rich Almased can be a core part of your new gut-friendly diet!