The human gut microbiome is an extremely complicated and intricate place. As the years go by, we are learning more and more about the importance of the microbiome and our gut health – not only for our stomachs, but also for overall wellness.
We now know that a healthy gut is essential for a healthy body. Our guts help to digest our food and to turn its nutrients into things our bodies can use! The bacteria in our gut microbiome can affect our brains, our heart, our kidneys and even our weight. In fact, in recent research, our immune systems, metabolisms, hormone balance, mood, brain function, and even our genetic expression have all been connected to the health of our gut.
How do I know if I have an unhealthy gut?
Digestive issues such as bloating, gas, heartburn diarrhoea and constipation are the easiest markers of an unhealthy gut, but they aren’t the only ones! Because our gut affects so many of our body’s systems, gut issues could be responsible for any number of non-digestive related symptoms or struggles.
- Food intolerances: Different than a true food allergy, difficulty digesting certain foods or food groups may be the result of a damaged gut.
- Autoimmune issues: Gut irritation is believed to cause systemic inflammation in the body. It may even alter the way our immune systems function. Overactive immune systems and unhealthy guts can often result in autoimmune diseases.
- Skin issues: Skin conditions such an eczema are believed to be symptoms of an unhealthy gut. Chronic acne, dryness or distressed skin can also be an outward working of damage happening on the inside of our bodies.
- Poor sleep: Sleep and gut health are very clearly linked, with modern research highlighting the importance of restful sleep to maintaining a healthy gut. But, given the strong gut-brain, bi-directional communication, it’s likely that the reverse is true as well: an unhealthy gut can also cause sleep issues such as insomnia or poor quality sleep.
- Weight Changes: A change in weight, without a change to diet or exercise routine, may be a sign of an unhealthy gut. Malabsorption of nutrients can lead to unintentional weight loss due to malnutrition or weight gain due to overeating.
If you are experiencing any of the above health issues, please consult your GP. The below tips + tricks are helpful, but they are not intended to take the place of proper medical intervention.
Collagen for Gut Health
As we’ve seen, there are all sorts of expressions of an unhealthy gut. Issues in the microbiome can be caused by many things from increased stress to a poor diet. The tissue in our intestines is so delicate!
The good news is that there are ways that we can help improve our gut health. One of the easiest ways to encourage your gut towards healing is to incorporate collagen into your daily routine.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the most common forms of protein found in the human body. We produce it naturally, and we need it to perform all sorts of our body’s most essential functions. It’s in our bones, our skin, our ligaments, our joints and in our gut.
By adding a collagen supplement into our daily routine, we are able to give our bodies easy access to our naturally decreasing supply of essential amino acids that are needed to build, repair and restore so many parts of our bodies as we age, including out gut.
What is the Best Collagen For Gut Health?
Collagen peptides, or hydrolysed collagen, are an easily digestible, bioavailable form of protein, which is extremely helpful for people with gut issues. Unhealthy guts often struggle to properly absorb nutrients from food sources – especially proteins. Collagen peptides are already broken down to their smallest molecular structure and are ready to be used by the body.
Two of the amino acids found in collagen, glycine and glutamine, may be particularly useful for gut health, as they’re essential elements for rebuilding the tissue that lines our digestive tracts. Glycine, another amino acid, is helpful for taming inflammation, which is especially important for people suffering from inflammatory gut conditions like IBS.
Collagen is so easy to add into any diet and lifestyle routine. A high-quality collagen peptide powder can be stirred directly into hot or cold liquids or foods without any taste or flavour. Simply adding a serving to your coffee, smoothie, soup, etc. can put you on a path towards healing!
5 Additional Tips to Help Support Your Gut
- Remove Inflammatory Foods: If you’re dealing with digestive issues, removing commonly problematic foods for a period of time may help to alleviate your symptoms and give your gut time to heal. There are many different versions of an “elimination” style diet, but most remove the most common allergens such as: gluten, dairy, corn, soy and sugar. Removing these foods can help to reduce overall inflammation in the body and in the gut.
- Incorporate Therapeutic Foods + Supplements: Increasing the amount of “gut friendly” foods in your diet can be as impactful as removing harmful ones. If you’re dealing with a lot of stomach upset, ginger and turmeric are both hugely helpful in settling nausea. Adding fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha can also help repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria. Collagen is easy to add into your routine and is the one of the only supplements that actually aids your gut in repairing itself.
- Introduce Probiotics: An unhealthy gut is often the result of an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. Taking different strains of probiotics can help to repopulate the gut with a healthier balance of helpful critters.
- Lower Stress: Unfortunately, struggling with anxiety or living in a chronic state of stress can trigger our immune system to attack the gut lining. To deal with chronic stress, our bodies often power through our resources of glutamine in an attempt to inhibit stress. However, we also need glutamine as a fuel source and building block for gut cells. Our bodies often can’t cope with the need for both! When we are able to lower stress, our gut is often capable of finding its way back to a level of health.
- Get Better Sleep: Sleep is one of the most healing practices for the human body. It allows for all sorts of essential, restorative functions to occur. If you’re struggling with bad sleep, you’re most likely suffering from poor gut health too. Try altering the temperature in your sleep space, turning off your technology a few hours before bedtime and implementing a night time routine to improve your quality of sleep.
Gut health is essential to living a long and healthy life. Healing your gut can be a long process, but its one that is worth the effort.
Try Edible Health's Gut Health Collagen Powder today!