Choosing a Protein Powder with Ingredients to Promote Gut Health and Healing
An unhealthy gut is not uncommon in modern life, but can be detrimental to your overall health in many ways.
Poor gut health impacts the ability to absorb nutrients from food, hormone levels, immune system function, and even heath of the brain and heart.
Causes of an Unhealthy Gut
There are many facets of daily life that can lead to an unhealthy gut, including:
• High stress levels
• Inadequate sleep
• Overconsuming processed and high-sugar foods
Reoccurring stress, or many different types of stress in the digestive system reduce strength in the intestines – leading to syndromes like leaky gut and a depletion of beneficial gut microbiota, which is essential for digestion and immune function.
Signs of Poor Gut Health
There are several signs and symptoms you may be experiencing if the health of your gut is diminishing, including:
• Upset stomach (Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea)
• Unintentional weight changes
• Sleep disturbances
• Chronic fatigue
• Skin irritation
It’s also thought that intolerances or sensitivities are also signs of an unhealthy gut, caused by poor quality of intestinal microbiota.
Diet to Aid Gut Healing
Along with other lifestyle changes – like managing stress and getting enough sleep – diet is a key factor in improving the health of your gut.
Eating habits, including eating slowly and staying hydrated will provide you with many benefits. Changing your diet will have the most impact on your overall gut health. Prioritize plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber.
Choosing a Protein Powder to Promote Gut Healing
Along with a beneficial diet, you may also be looking for a protein powder that allows you to both build muscle and heal your gut. Look for these main ingredients on the label:
1. Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics both promote health of the gut microbiota.
Probiotics contain live strains of beneficial bacteria, and consuming them can recolonize your gut to improve diversity and strength. They assist in producing enzymes that breakdown invaders – pathogens, toxins, and harmful bacteria – in the intestines.
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds good gut bacteria and boosts growth. Flourishing good bacteria in the gut strengthens the intestinal and immune system systems.
2. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats – like omega-3 fatty acids – fortify the gut by stimulating the production of beneficial enzymes. These enzymes modulate activities of good gut bacteria, promoting intestinal wall repair to reduce the permeability.
3. Easily Digested Proteins
As a central ingredient of protein powder, easily digestible proteins should be a priority. Easy-to-digest proteins – like plant-based proteins – maximize absorption of amino acids into the body, where they are used build protein structures all throughout the body. This includes reinforcing and repairing the intestinal wall.
Protein Powder Ingredients to Avoid
Ingredients that irritate the gut include:
• Processed foods
• High-sugar foods
• Artificial sweeteners
• Dairy compounds
These ingredients increase levels of inflammation, along with triggering uncomfortable digestive symptoms like abdominal cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
Casa de Sante low FODMAP certified protein powders and high protein meal replacements are specially designed to be gut friendly and promote gut healing.
-Allison Lansman, RDN, LD