If you struggle with gas and bloating, this article is for you.
The holidays are here and many of us have been overindulging in foods that we love. From mom’s famous potatoes to desserts loaded with sugar, saying ‘no thanks’ is unlikely this time of year.
Overindulging in foods that are not part of your typical diet can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like gas and bloating.
Although we look forward to the holidays, many of us dread the heavy feeling in our gut post-holiday feasts.
The good news is that there are natural supplements to support healthier digestion and reduce gas and bloating.
Today I’m sharing my top 3 supplements to keep your gut happy this Christmas season.
Supplement #1 – Probiotic for Gas and Bloating
While many people know that taking probiotics is a good idea with antibiotics, few realize how amazing these gut bugs can be for digestion. Consider taking a probiotic supplement to help with the digestion of food and reduce gas and bloating.
Probiotic supplements come in a range of doses from 1 billion up to 100 billion. Since this time of year, our digestive system needs all the help it can get, consider a high potency probiotic supplement that has 50 billion (or more) live bacteria per capsule.
Probiotics help maintain healthy gut flora and are especially helpful when choosing foods that are difficult to digest.
When it comes to supplements, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Understanding probiotic labels is not always easy.
Three key features to look for include:
- multiple strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium
- a delivery system to ensure bacteria make it to the intestines and don’t get destroyed by stomach acid
- high amounts of live bacteria per capsule (you may not see results if the potency is too low)
Different strains of bacteria have different roles in the body.
If you have smelly gas, opt for a probiotic that contains Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis HN019.
One triple-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial showed that this probiotic strain reduced the frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as flatulence (smelly gas).1
Supplement #2 – Enzymes for Gas and Bloating
Digestive enzymes are important for optimal digestion. They are naturally found in a variety of foods, such as pineapple and papaya.
Unfortunately, the average person is not eating enzyme-rich foods, especially during the colder season.
This time of year we often consume too many overcooked vegetables and comfort foods, which lack enzymes.
Taking a digestive enzyme supplement before meals may help reduce symptoms such as gas and bloating.
When shopping for a digestive enzyme supplement, look for a plant-based, multi-enzyme formula to help break down protein, carbs, and lipids (fats).
Supplement #3 – L-Glutamine
Food sensitivities are on the rise, especially in Canada. During the holiday season, many people find that their symptoms get worse.
If you suspect you’re intolerant to certain foods (e.g. dairy, eggs, and wheat), you may want to seek advice from a naturopathic doctor (ND) and get tested.
The IgG blood test will assess over 120 foods to identify food intolerances.
If the blood test confirms food intolerances, your ND will ask you to avoid certain foods for a period of 1 – 3 months.
In addition to avoiding the reactive foods, there is one key supplement to take, L-Glutamine.
In my clinical practice, I recommend 5000mg of L-Glutamine per day when food sensitivities are identified.
Start 2019 off right with these gut health supplements! Chances are your gut will thank you.
Waller, PA et al (2011). Dose-response effect of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 on whole gut transit time and functional gastrointestinal symptoms in adults. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Sep; 46(9): 1057–1064.