With all the focus on probiotics and supporting your gut health, are you confused? Do you know what will help digest your food better and support the billions of probiotics that aid digestion, produce vitamins, and keep us healthy?
You’re not alone, and a study just came out shows extracts of certain herbs, spices, and fruits and vegetables that can significantly support your gut health in powerful ways.
Why Proper Gut Health Is Vital To Your Overall Health
Everything you eat and drink goes through your gut–the long tube from your mouth all the way through your stomach and intestine to the other end. It’s about a 32′ journey that lets us absorb food and water.
It’s vital to our immune system, with nearly 70% working in your gut.The probiotics that help digest food are your first-line defense for many gastrointestinal illnesses and viruses. A healthy gut absorbs nutrients efficiently, and helps keep your weight under control, and your energy levels high.
Probiotics play a key role. That’s why fermented foods such as yogurts, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are so important. Some studies show fermented foods help everything from weight loss to depression to autoimmune issues and pain.
What Are Plant Extract and What Are They Doing To Your Gut
A recent study looked at extracts from various plants to see what they did to our gut health. In test-tube studies, scientists put together different digestive enzymes and replicated conditions found in our intestine to see what these extracts would do.
It turns out a lot. Many of the extracts, especially from herbs and spices, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, especially those that cause gastrointestinal disorders. Extracts from herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables had an incredible antioxidant capacity and surprised the researchers with just how well they worked.
Interestingly, many helped increase the healthy production of butyrate, a byproduct of fiber digestion that supports healthy brain function and memory, increases metabolism and lowers the risk of various diseases. Any plant that contains high fiber and rosmarinic acid is especially good at producing butyrate is essential for maintaining the health of the beneficial probiotics in our intestines.
Should You Do More Plant Extracts?
No, the one thing the study was clear on is that you shouldn’t replace healthy foods in your diet with extracts. Although the extracts have a lot of potentials, there were some drawbacks. For example, some probiotics benefit from the extracts; others don’t. And the extracts did not contain the fibers, vitamins, or minerals necessary to support long-term health and provide health benefits.
Consuming more herbs and spices and a diet filled with fruits and vegetables is the best way to support your gut health. Naturally getting these compounds from whole foods provides the nutrients that support long-term health. So it’s a good reason to increase fruits and vegetables in your diet.
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3: Pérez-Burillo S, Hinojosa-Nogueira D, Pastoriza S, Rufián-Henares JA. Plant extracts as natural modulators of gut microbiota community structure and functionality. Heliyon. 2020;6(11):e05474.
4: Canani RB, Costanzo MD, Leone L, Pedata M, Meli R, Calignano A. Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. World J Gastroenterol. 2011;17(12):1519-1528.