For runners, our gut biome affects a whole lot more than our digestion. A healthy amount of probiotics in our gut has been associated with improvements in immunity, lung function and calcium absorption. There’s even science showing it impacts our endurance.
We know a healthy microbiome has a positive effect on immunity and inflammation, as well as energy release. This will benefit a runner in both the short and long term, contributing to a better run as well as improved recovery and faster fitness gains.
The microbiome may play a key role in controlling oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, as well as improving energy expenditure, hydration and metabolism during intense exercise, and long runs.
With better immunity, runners are also less likely to suffer from respiratory tract infections, as well as tummy bugs and other GI problems that can trash our training.
Superfoods For Gut Health
The term “superfoods” means different things for different people, it generally describes nutrient-rich foods and ingredients that are considered to be especially supportive of overall health, healthy immune system function and even mental well-being.
Whether we’re talking about certain herbs, berries, leafy greens, fermented foods or bone broth, superfoods for gut health are beneficial because they help to support an overall healthy gut lining and a healthy balance of microbes in the gut. Many people are focusing on foods with antioxidants, amino acids, and essential vitamins and minerals that we must acquire from our diets.
We should focus and appreciate the power of superfoods for gut health, the type of diet with healthy natural foods and these recommended superfoods can help promote healthy digestion, a healthy immune system and much more.
SEVEN TYPES OF FOODS THAT SUPPORT GUT HEALTH:
1. Probiotic/Fermented Foods
Fermented foods, which contain healthy bacteria and other microbes, have long been a part of traditional diets. Examples of such superfoods include yogurt, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut, which have been consumed for thousands of years.
The reason that probiotic foods are superfoods for gut health is because of how they boost the presence of good bacteria in our gut to promote healthy digestion and immune system function.
To consume more probiotics from our diet, we should try adding yogurt or kefir to our smoothies, or sauerkraut to sandwiches and salads.
Another way to boost our probiotic intake is to supplement with soil-based organism (SBO) probiotics that can be taken in capsule form with water each morning. It's one of the most recommended supplements for gut health.
These probiotics are the same types naturally found in fruits and vegetables, they help promote healthy bowel function and help maintain healthy gut microflora. Also, they’re useful for reducing occasional constipation, gas and bloating.
2. Bone Broth
Bone Broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals such as cattle, fish or chicken with herbs and vegetables. This creates a nutrient-filled stock that is full of collagen, amino acids and important minerals.
What makes bone broth a superfood for digestion? The amino acids (the building blocks of protein) found within bone broth help maintain the structure and function of many different body parts, including the lining of our organs and gastrointestinal tract. A strong and healthy gut lining translates to overall healthy gut function, nutrient absorption and even support for a healthy immune system (since the majority of our immune system is located inside our gut).
We can make our own bone broth. Otherwise, Bone Broth Protein powder is a convenient, versatile and easy way to get the benefits of traditionally made bone broth, a faster and easier version.
3. Organic SuperGreens Powder
Leafy greens and herbs are some of the best sources of antioxidants and vitamins like vitamins C, K and A, as well as folate, magnesium and calcium.
It is important to eat greens to help provide us with compounds that promote healthy aging, plus they can help supply us with antioxidants that promote the health of the lining of the digestive tract, support healthy kidney and liver function and provide fibre that feeds probiotics in the gut.
Because eating lots of fresh greens daily isn’t always easy, a powdered green supplement can make it easier.
Organic SuperGreens Powder contains these superfoods for overall health:
Alfalfa grass juice
Probiotics for gut health
These ingredients offer iron, calcium, chlorophyll, fibre and even some fatty acids that contribute to overall healthy connective tissue and a healthy gut lining.
Collagen is an important type of protein, and many people may not be getting enough of from their diets, considering it’s not found in typical protein sources like most cuts of meat.
Including a few servings of collagen-rich foods (like bone broth, cod, eggs and spirulina) and collagen-boosting foods (foods that literally can raise our collagen levels in our body yet don't contain any collagen) in our diet per week or month can help optimize our levels. This in turn is supportive of healthy joints, skin health and gut health.
The easiest way to get more collagen into our body is using collagen powder supplements that provide a more concentrated amount of beneficial amino acids like glycine, proline and arginine.
Collagen supports a healthy gut by promoting a healthy gut lining and by promoting healthy connective tissue, plus it can help support nutrient absorption. It may also help with the absorption of water within the intestines, keeping things moving more freely out of the body to assist in elimination, and support proper hydration.
Collagen protein powder is created from four real food sources: beef, chicken, fish and eggshell membrane. It contains 10 types of collagen to provide many benefits. Protein also promotes healthy hair thickness and growth, improve the appearance of crow’s feet after four weeks, reduces joint discomfort and helps joints recover faster, plus reduces knee stiffness after 1-2 weeks. Collagen type I & III is very efficient to support runner’s joints, bones and muscle health.
Flaxseed is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can help promote a healthy response to inflammation.
Flax, in addition to other seeds like chia and hemp, are also a great source of fiber, which is needed to promote normal elimination and bowel movements and reduce occasional constipation and diarrhea.
Additionally, flax and many other seeds feature nutrients like thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, plus contain a hearty helping of plant-based protein.
We can get the benefits of flaxseed by adding some to homemade baked breakfast meals, oatmeal, granola or smoothies.
Coconut flakes and coconut oil are both high in medium-chain triglycerides, which are beneficial fatty acids that are typically easy to digest and can support gut health.
Coconut oil contains certain antioxidant properties and provides an easy source of fat and energy for the body to absorb and utilize. Coconut flakes/meat/flour on the other hand is high in fibre, which assists in digestion and elimination.
Be sure to use extra virgin coconut oil that has not been refined when cooking and baking. Try coconut flakes or flour in healthy homemade baked goods, granola, or as a coating for meat and fish.
Ginger is an herb from Southeast Asia that has been revered in traditional herbalism for thousands of years, especially when it comes to supporting healthy digestion.
Ginger contains a specific compound called gingerol, which is responsible for its multitude of health benefits, such as helping to soothe the stomach and bolster the appetite. It also contains many antioxidants that can help promote a healthy inflammation response and support healthy immune system function.
Ginger can be used fresh or dried, whether we’re cooking it or having it raw. Try adding some to smoothies, salad dressings, sauces, and stir-fries, or making ginger herbal tea.
Other Superfoods For Digestion And Gut Health:
Foods high in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, mango, kiwi and bell peppers
Salmon and other fatty fish
Healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and avocado
Turmeric, cinnamon, basil and other herbs and spices
Support a Healthy Gut, Good Digestion, Enjoy Good SuperGreen Foods, And Appreciate Better Runs!