The gut is known as your “second brain” with good reason, and taking better care of it will pay big health and happiness rewards
The old saying goes that “you are what you eat”. But a more accurate version would be “you are what you absorb”. The food you eat has an enormous effect on your health and well-being, from how easily you lose or gain weight to your risk of certain illnesses and diseases. A healthy gut depends on good bacteria, a solid lining and a working immune system, and keep all three in good form with these helpful nutrients.
Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential micronutrient which your body uses to build the protective mucous membrane that lines your intestinal tract, providing a first line of defence. The compound is found in eggs, poultry and certain seafood, including shrimp.
Circumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, protects your intestinal walls against the negative effects of a Western diet, helping prevent the proliferation of “bad” bacteria, according to research from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Add turmeric to curries, or sprinkle a teaspoonful over rice or scrambled eggs.
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that plays a prominent role in so many health-boosting functions, including working with probiotics to foster “friendly” bacteria in your gut, according to the journal Lipid Research. Eat more oily fish, nuts and seeds, or take a daily fish oil supplement to top up your levels.
Glutamine is an amino acid with scientific support for reversing excess “intestinal permeability” – or the much-feared leaky gut syndrome, where compounds leak through holes in your gut wall into your bloodstream causing allergies, inflammation and irritation. It’s a popular supplement to reinforce your gut walls, and is found in many protein-rich foods including beef, chicken, fish and eggs, and many vegetables.