Is there anything more uncomfortable than an upset stomach? Whether you indulged in an office donut too many or worked yourself into a stress-induced stomachache, we all experience occasional digestive issues that range from embarrassing to downright uncomfortable. So, what’s the best way to support a healthy digestive tract and relieve occasional tummy trouble? We asked nutrition expert and diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine Dr. Lisa DeRosimo, MD, MS† how she optimizes digestive health and her tips for choosing the best gut health supplement.
A. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for optimal digestion, but there are 3 things nearly all of us can benefit from: eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and exercising routinely — especially walking. These all improve gut mobility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said 9 out of 10 people don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables, which are excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients that our bodies need to support gut health. Fiber and phytonutrients can help support comfortable digestion and regularity. They also play an important role in the health of your microbiome by supporting a diverse population of healthy gut bacteria and by supporting your immune system, 70% of which lives in your gut.
Not drinking enough water is another issue I often see. Staying hydrated is essential to digestion because it facilitates healthy bowel and kidney movements and helps the body flush toxins. While aiming for 8 glasses of water a day is a popular benchmark, quantity isn’t the only factor in staying hydrated. You need to have proper electrolyte balance. If you’re active, elderly or live in a warm climate, you’re more likely to be missing minerals needed for optimal hydration. Instead of reaching for a sugary electrolyte drink, I recommend Modere Revitalize with 7 essential minerals and a blend of trace minerals, plus fulvic acid from shilajit.*
Finally, movement is essential to digestive health. Unfortunately, those of us who work at a desk all day may be more prone to occasional digestive issues. Aiming for more physical activity like taking a walk on your lunch break or after dinner is a great way to facilitate more comfortable digestion.
A. Getting enough sleep and reducing stress both go a long way in supporting digestive health. When your adrenal system is in overdrive, whether due to too many late nights, occasional anxiety or a combination of both, it increases cortisol in the body, which may result in stomach and/or intestinal discomfort. Sleep and stress levels also play a role in the health of your microbiome. Too little sleep and too much stress can be harmful to the good bacteria your body needs for proper digestion. Fortunately, the right digestive supplements can aid your body’s natural rhythm.*
A. From what I’ve observed in my medical practice, most people benefit from digestive support. If you are experiencing occasional symptoms like nausea, constipation, diarrhea, excessive flatulence and bloating or cramping, a digestive supplement can help. But beyond occasional symptoms, regular support for your gut can optimize it to better digest the foods you eat, absorb essential nutrients and reinforce a healthy gut lining, thereby reducing the likelihood of experiencing discomfort in the first place.*
A. The most important factor in choosing a supplement is to know and trust your manufacturer. Where do they get their ingredients? Does the supplement include a physiologically effective dose shown to deliver results? Are there any clinical studies or scientific research to back a supplement’s claims? And is it formulated to be bioavailable, meaning the body is readily able to absorb the supplement’s ingredients?
A. Here is an overview of the most popular digestive health products, how they work and the benefits they can offer:
FOR PROACTIVE DAILY GUT SUPPORT: PROBIOTICS
Probiotics are naturally found in foods like yogurt, kombucha and kimchi. If you’re looking to add supplements to a digestive health regimen, probiotics are where I would start. Their popularity as a household nutritional supplement has boomed recently, but not all probiotics are equal. Different strains of bacteria offer different benefits, and some are more highly studied than others. What’s more, probiotics require prebiotics to flourish. I recommend looking for these two product categories combined in a single formula like Modere Probiotic with encapsulation technology, to guarantee 5 billion cells reach your gut.*
For rapid results, I recommend going one step further and looking for a formula that combines prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics. Postbiotics are bioactive compounds generated from prebiotics and probiotics during fermentation and support most of the overall health benefits, particularly supporting a healthy gut lining. Having a postbiotic in your gut health formula helps optimize its benefits because you get all three ingredients at once: food for good bacteria, good bacteria strains and the byproduct of good bacteria.*
Modere Axis™ TreBiotic offers all three of these ingredients in its one-of-a-kind Microbiome Matrix™, perfectly paired to not only optimize gut health, but the health of your microbiome, as well as providing support for brain and cognitive health, immune health, energy and overall wellbeing, thanks to its unique NeuroFlora™ Probiotic Complex.*
FOR OPTIMAL DIGESTION OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS: DIGESTIVE ENZYMES
Digestive enzymesare formulated to mimic your body’s natural enzymes to help you break down food.
They can help you absorb more essential nutrients, alleviate occasional heartburn and bloating, and improve digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.*
Many people who have had their gallbladders removed find they need enzymatic support, and there are a handful of conditions like IBS that may also require regular use of digestive enzymes. That said, even healthy individuals may benefit from taking digestive enzymes on an as-needed basis. Your natural digestive enzyme production can diminish as you age, so if you find that foods you once enjoyed now cause an upset stomach, like dairy or certain grains, it could be a sign your body is lacking sufficient enzymes.*
Digestive enzymes are meant to be taken with a meal, typically your largest meal of the day. For occasional use, I recommend taking them when eating foods that may trigger your discomfort. Some formulas, like Modere Digestive Enzymes, contain additional ingredients like ginger and fennel, known to soothe the digestive system. Modere Digestive Enzymes contains 7 different enzymes for a full spectrum of support, so if you’re not sure which foods are causing occasional digestive discomfort, it covers all the bases.*
FOR BETTER BOWEL MOVEMENTS & A FLATTER STOMACH: FIBER
Fiberis naturally obtained from plant based foods, one reason why eating more fruits and vegetables is so important to gut health. It binds with water and presents bulk to the colon; therefore, transit time is quicker and less toxins are absorbed in the gut during digestion. Because so few of us eat enough fruits and vegetables, a fiber supplement like Modere Fiber can go a long way in optimizing digestive health, especially if you experience occasional bloating or constipation. It contains over 20% of the recommended daily value of fiber from psyllium husk, supporting bowel regularity and colon health. What’s more, fiber can help you feel less hungry between meals.*
FOR “5-A-DAY” FRUIT & VEGETABLE BENEFITS: PHYTONUTRIENTS
Phytonutrientsoffer a wide range of benefits that go beyond gut health, but marine and leafy greens and certain phytonutrients from roots and herbs are particularly beneficial to the digestive tract. Phytonutrients from green foods not only provide fiber, but they also promote alkalinity in the body, and gut bacteria love them! Modere Axis™ PhytoGreens offers 27 highly bioavailable and bioactive ingredients for digestive health while Modere Axis™ PhytoGolds further soothes the digestive tract with fermented ginger and fermented turmeric, plus 5 other phytonutrients. You can mix them with water or in a smoothie. I also love to mix PhytoGolds with warm plant-based milk for a soothing golden latte in the evening.*
FOR WHEN YOU NEED TO HIT THE RESET BUTTON: DIGESTIVE CLEANSES
Digestive cleanses come in many varieties. If you’re eating healthy and staying hydrated, your body should be able to naturally cleanse itself, but because so many of us fall short of consistently eating a balanced diet and drinking enough water, digestive cleanses can help detox your intestinal tract. Unfortunately, a lot of cleanses require you to change your daily eating habits, which can be hard on your digestive system and may counteract some of the benefits you’re trying to achieve.
Aloe vera is a natural and gentle way to support intestinal tract cleaning and gut health, particularly if you can find quality, organically sourced ingredients like in Modere Aloe Vera. It also contains naturally occurring electrolytes to support cellular function and hydration. Most aloe supplements come in a liquid, drinkable formula with a daily dosage of 1-2 oz. Better yet, Modere Activate cleanse only needs to be taken for 3 days once a month. With a powdered aloe formula that you mix with a glass of water, Modere Activate is intended to be taken with your usual meals, and it contains apple pectin and dandelion for a more robust detox that also helps support weight management.*
Whether you’re looking for occasional digestive support or daily supplements for optimal gut health, there are plenty of options to help you feel your best. Explore our doctor-recommended lineup and other clean label wellness products at modere.com
†Modere independent representative
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.