The Best Supplements for Poor Digestion and Bloating
What Causes Poor Digestion and Bloating?
The western world has recently begun suffering from a rash of various epidemics related to our health. Whether it be the obesity crisis, the sudden emergence of leaky gut syndrome, the exponential rise of Type II diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or other afflictions of our well-being, researchers are scrambling to find a reason for why all of these have become such problems within a single generation.
But if you were to look at the evolution and timeline of humans, there are certain aspects of our diets that are extremely new yet have become a major force in many of our daily lives. Things like fast food, overprocessed food, or even frozen food are extremely new, and have not been interacting with the human gut for very long.
And while researchers seem to be searching for a reason for these various health epidemics, the only research commissioned into the health benefits or detriments of the types of foods listed above is being done by the various companies who profit off of the changing of our food supply.
While we do not have an answer for how to get westerners to move away from unhealthy, non-organic, and highly processed foods, we do have a way to help you naturally defend yourself against some of the ailments that may be caused by them - namely poor digestion and bloating.
How Do I Discover What is Causing My Poor Digestion and Bloating?
Poor digestion and bloating can be the result of a wide variety of different causes, many of which may require a specialist to investigate. Digestion itself is the process by which your body breaks down food and liquids to separate the nutrients that your body needs to continue to operate. While the stomach is often thought of as the place where digestion occurs, the process actually begins as soon as you eat or drink anything.
The process of digestion begins with enzymes in your mouth and throat that help to start breaking down food or liquids that you take in, as they move to your stomach. This very first step may in fact be where your bloating is coming from, as bloating is often caused by excess gas within your stomach or intestinal cavity. Gas is a normal byproduct of healthy digestion, and it occurs as your body breaks down what you’ve eaten. But while this is a normal part of digestion, there are several different steps along with way that could be causing excess gas to the point that you are encountering bloating.
For the very first step, eating or drinking too fast is a common way that excess gas may become stuck in your digestive system. It is normal for gas to attempt to escape your stomach once something starts being digested (think of drinking a soda too quickly or eating a can of beans), but if you are eating too quickly that can also trap excess air along with the food, causing your gut to encounter more air that then gets stuck in the stomach and leads to bloating. This is why your mother always told you to eat slowly!
While gas is a natural byproduct of the human digestive system in action, excess gas (which leads to bloating) can also be a sign that your body is having trouble digesting something. This natural gas is produced by the gut bacteria in your stomach digesting carbohydrates in a process called fermentation, but can lead to larger amounts of gas being produced for a whole host of reasons.
Some of the most likely reasons for these inequities in fermentation and gas production are from malabsorption (your body is having trouble digesting something that you ate), or a food intolerance. Gluten insensitivity has become another major factor in the western diet fairly recently, but the attempts by food manufacturers to put sugar into foods without calling them sugars could be another culprit.
There are now 56 different names used by manufacturers for sugar, some of which are innocently different products entirely which food companies use to try to limit the calories in their food, while others seem to be a bit sneakier. Corn syrup is not a naturally occurring food nor is it something that the human gut has had much time to get used to, but it is now present in so many foods that it is hard to escape.
Your body may be having a hard time digesting some of these various sugars, or you may have an insensitivity to another part of the food that you don’t already know about. If it isn’t the sugars or carbohydrates, there are also various maladies and situations that may cause an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria within your gut biome.
The human gut is full of different types of bacteria, some good and some bad. The good ones are there naturally, and help many of our body’s processes such as digestion. Females have a far larger number of these bacteria within their bodies, because there are certain feminine functions in which these bacteria also assist.
In normal situations, these bacteria are kept in a harmonious balance, in which the good bacteria outweigh the bad ones. Excess stress, certain antibiotics, and other environmental issues may kill off some of the good bacteria in your gut, or help the bad ones to proliferate, which can lead to an imbalance and be the cause of poor digestion or bloating.
Finally, there is a very normal and natural process that may be causing bloating to occur in women. As many as 3 in 4 women experience bloating during their menstrual cycle, as the hormonal changes and increases in estrogen may cause her body to retain water and become bloated. This is also a common complaint of women in perimenopause, and the estrogen receptors in a woman’s gastrointestinal tract may cause her to feel even more bloated than she actually is.
Can Changing My Diet Alone Cure My Digestion and Bloating?
For many of the issues that cause bloating listed above, the simple answer is yes! If the bloating is being caused by your body having trouble digesting something in your diet, it may require a visit to a health specialist or dietician to pinpoint exactly what the culprit is so that you can remove it. If the issue is that you’re eating too fast (a frequent problem with those who live a fast-paced lifestyle and only allow themselves very short times to eat), mindful eating and learning to slow down between bites could help cure the issue.
For many others, the addition of probiotics into the diet has proven to be extremely helpful. As we mentioned above, the human gut is its own biome, full of both good and bad bacteria that can help or harm many of the body’s various processes. There are both prebiotics and probiotics that can help to build the good bacteria and lead to a healthy gut biome.
Fiber is something that westerners don’t tend to have enough of in their diet, and can also help to reduce bloating and cure intermittent constipation if that is an issue for you. Psyllium husks are the main component in fiber additives such as Metamucil, and are also a prebiotic. These can help your bowel movements to be far more regular, and also add prebiotics to your body that can stimulate healthy bacteria growth.
Probiotics will also help to stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria within your gut biome. While probiotics may take a few weeks of regular usage to notice a difference, they can help to reduce a great deal of discomfort caused by bloating and poor digestion. Some probiotics will help your body to digest food better, while others can help to reduce excess gas within your gut.
If you are looking for a dietary change to help reduce your poor digestion and bloating, a probiotic supplement that has a large number of different probiotic strains may be the best all-around cure on the market.
What Are the Best Supplements for Poor Digestion and Bloating?
Green Vibrance by Vibrant Health
If you are looking for a probiotic solution to help strengthen your gut biome, you would be hard-pressed to find a better probiotic supplement than Green Vibrance by Vibrant Health. With over 25 billion CFUs of probiotics in every serving, Green Vibrance packs a lot of probiotic punch. Because these probiotics come from 12 different strains (more than most of the competitors), the supplement also provides a wide range of probiotic support to the various parts of your gut biome. As we mentioned above, different probiotics aid different parts of the digestive process - but by including 12 different strains, Green Vibrance helps to aid your digestion and bloating from multiple angles.
Maximum Vibrance by Vibrant Health
If you are looking for a single product that can help aid poor digestion & bloating and provide all of the plant-based protein that you need for your day, Maximum Vibrance has all of that and more. With the same 25 billion CFUs from 12 different strains of probiotics, Maximum Vibrance also provides 20g of plant-based protein, 4g of fiber, antioxidants and plenty of other benefits derived from grass cereals, and all of the various vitamins and minerals that can help to supercharge a healthy lifestyle. Whatever you are looking for in the health & wellness domain, Maximum Vibrance provides it. Just as with the Green Vibrance listed above, these products from Vibrant Health are certified non-GMO, plant-based, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, and vegan-friendly.
Culturelle Digestive Daily
If you aren’t concerned about all of the other benefits that come from the Vibrant Health products listed above and instead are only looking for a supplement to aid your digestion, Culturelle Digestive Daily is one of the best on the market. As it is aimed purely at aiding healthy digestion, this product only has 10 billion CFUs of a single strain of probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus). This probiotic strain aids digestion, and can even help with diarrhea, IBS or travel constipation-related symptoms.
Elm & Rye Daily Probiotic
If bloating is bothering you and you are only in the market for a supplement to help combat that malady, Elm & Rye Daily Probiotic is an excellent supplement that can focus on alleviating that pain and helping to increase your immune system. This product contains the probiotics strains Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, all of which can help to grow the healthy bacteria within your gut, reduce unwanted bloating, reduce inflammation, and lead to a stronger immune system. While this product doesn’t offer much outside of those benefits, it is one of the best available if bloating is the key issue that you are trying to solve.
We humans have been on this planet for thousands of years, but our modern version of society is still extremely new in the grand scheme of things. Our fast-paced, dual-working household culture that has led to an overreliance on fast food, overprocessed food, and frozen, pre-prepared or microwaveable foods are extremely new to our bodies, and something whose effects we are still trying to monitor and understand.
For many of us, there isn’t really much that we can do about it outside of trying to stay healthy and alleviate symptoms as they occur. Whether you don’t have the time, availability, or money for homecooked, organic meals, sometimes we just have to eat what we can get to keep moving forward in our lives.
Thankfully, there are natural, whole food and organic substitutes and supplements that can help us tip the scales back into our favor for maintaining our health & wellness. Companies like Vibrant Health have brought products to the market that can help to replace all of the vital nutrients that our bodies need, along with some additional helpers such as probiotics and cereal grasses.
If something in your diet has led to poor digestion or excess bloating, probiotics may be just what the doctor ordered to help get your gut back in check and your life back to normal.