7 Surprising Drinks That Can Improve Your Gut Health
Gut health can impact so many aspects of your life. If you have poor gut health, you can be more at risk of catching colds, feeling anxious, or suffering from inflammation. Luckily, there are drinks that can help improve your gut health, if you are looking for a quick, go-to solution.
“By consuming gut-healthy foods and drinks, you can reduce inflammation in your gut, say goodbye to digestive symptoms like gas and bloating, and boost your immunity,” nutritionist Lisa Richards, tells Bustle.
She divides gut-friendly drinks into two categories: probiotic drinks and "gut healing" drinks. Probiotic drinks contain the same bacteria that’s naturally found in your stomach, and Richards says can actually “replenish the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut.” She adds that these drinks are “pre-digested” in the fermentation process, meaning that they’re rich in nutrients and easy for your stomach to digest.
The second category is “gut healing" drinks. These beverages often contain amino acids or other compounds that can actually heal gut problems. Richards says these types of drinks are particularly useful for alleviating the discomfort that comes with conditions like IBS or leaky gut.
We all want good stomach health, so here are some of the best drinks to keep your gut healthy and happy, according to experts.
Kombucha has become a phenomenon in recent years, and for good reason.
“It’s rich in antioxidants and contains a variety of healthy bacteria and yeast,” Richards says.
This is a probiotic drink, meaning kombucha's healthy bacteria will help your stomach digest better.
To get the most out of your kombucha, Richards says to always make sure that it is refrigerated and unpasteurized. And don’t get grossed out if you see a stringy substance lingering at the bottom— this is the symbiotic collection of bacteria and yeast and will help your digestion.
Kvass is a fermented drink made from from beets and has been around for hundreds of years. As a probiotic drink, it contains bacteria that will help make your gut healthier. According to Richards, it also is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
3. Milk Kefir
This is another fermented drink that’s been around for centuries. This drink forms when kefir grains are fermented in milk. Similarly to kombucha, milk kefir contains a symbiotic collection of bacteria and yeast that will help replenish the bacteria in your gut.
Richards says it has a similar taste to yogurt, and is relatively easy to make at home.
4. Water Kefir
For those of us who are lactose intolerant, water kefir makes a great alternative to milk kefir. It can be made by combining water, sugar, and fruit.
Richards says that it is “full of probiotic bacteria to boost your immunity and improve your digestion.”
5. Bone Broth
Bone broth is one of the “gut healing” drinks. It contains glutamine, an amino acid that Richards says has been shown to soothe and repair the gut. She especially recommends drinking bone broth if you suffer from conditions that may damage your intestinal membrane, like Candida overgrowth or SIBO.
“Bone broth can help to reduce inflammation in your gut and heal the membrane,” she says.
6. Celery Juice
The health benefits from drinking celery juice are seemingly endless. It’s filled with vitamins A, C, and K, and is an antioxidant. But it also is amazing for reducing gut inflammation.
“It contains a flavanoid named luteolin, which has been proven to inhibit gut inflammation,” Richards says.
7. Aloe Juice
Aloe juice is a natural laxative that can help reduce inflammation and decrease discomfort for people suffering from IBS. However, Richards recommends starting off slow to get the maximum benefits.
“Due to its laxative properties, it can cause some digestive discomfort in those who are not accustomed to it,” she says.
Having a healthier gut doesn't need to be difficult; there are plenty of drinks that contribute to gut health, and it can be as simple as switching up what you drink.