The importance of a healthy gut is no secret anymore. The gut is where the immune system starts and a range of illnesses have been connected to this part of the body. There are certain foods you can increase your intake of to nourish the gut, but here we will dig a little deeper to break down the vitamins that help to protect, heal and support the digestive system.
Found primarily in fatty fish, dairy products, leafy greens and meat, B vitamins help the body create red blood cells and gain energy from food. Digestive health depends on the stomach to function correctly, which in turn requires B vitamins. B vitamins protect the abdomen from distress and ensure the stomach and intestines work.
Iron supports the good bacteria in the gut. A National Center for Biotechnology study found that iron supplementation increased an anti-inflammatory bacterial metabolite and enhanced the number of gut bacteria.
Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties aids digestion by helping the body absorb iron as well as promoting healthy gums and teeth. As well as taking supplements, you can find vitamin C easily in strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli and peppers.
Selenium enhances the gut’s response to inflammation. A lack of selenium has been proven to increase stress and inflammation, leading to potential damage to the lining of the gut which causes leaky gut. Selenium deficiency is also linked to a higher risk of bowel disease.
Healthy levels of vitamin D have been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer, a 2015 study in journal Gut found. This important vitamin aids muscle, nerve and immune system function and helps the body absorb calcium.
Even a mild zinc deficiency can reduce digestive enzyme production, which increases the likelihood of leaky gut. Find zinc naturally in lean beef, lamb, oysters and liver.
A vital mineral for overall health, magnesium minimises inflammation in the gut. Without it, good gut bacteria is exposed to potential harm, and it can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate.