What’s one of the most common complaints you hear these days? “I’m tired.” You’ve probably said it yourself recently, or thought it as you nodded off at your desk during your afternoon slump. From a low energy level to “brain fog” to true autoimmune issues such as chronic fatigue syndrome, lack of energy is a big problem in today’s world.
Proper sleep is crucial, but it’s not the only answer. And you’ve probably already figured out that more caffeine isn’t going to fix this problem. So what works? Surprisingly, your digestion plays a key role in ensuring steady energy and overcoming fatigue.
When we think of digestion we think of the stomach, but it’s only one of the organs involved. Digestion also includes essential functions of the liver, gut and even the immune system — and our ability to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat affects every one of our bodily systems. In fact, poor gut health can even cause or exacerbate skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema!
Digestion and Energy Levels
A diet that’s high in processed foods, sugars and unhealthy fats, and low in fiber and whole foods, provides the gut with just the right environment for the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow.
What you eat, your lifestyle, and even the medications you take also have a lot of influence on your energy levels and cognitive ability:
- Chronic inflammation is a major cause of both fatigue and “brain fog,” so it’s important to eat anti-inflammatory foods such as whole grains, sprouts, leafy green veggies and healthy fats such as olive oil, while avoiding processed foods with unhealthy fats.
- Many medications can interfere with digestion and thus with nutrient absorption and energy levels, such as antibiotics, antacids, steroids and others.
- A zinc deficiency can cause problems with digestive enzyme function, which also prevents you from getting all the energy-boosting nutrients from your food.
- Stress can also have an impact on your digestion, creating too much acid and changing the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
While it’s important to eat healthy, anti-inflammatory foods, the best diet in the world can’t overcome fatigue unless your digestion works the way it should.
Probiotics For Gut Health and Better Digestion
Probiotics can help support your digestive health and help you absorb more of the energy-boosting nutrients you need to function well, mentally and physically. Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial to their host — in this case, by aiding digestion and helping prevent the growth of harmful yeast.
Studies have shown that including probiotic bacteria in your diet can help you reduce the side effects of taking antibiotics, boost your immune system, improve your tolerance of lactose and possibly even reduce the development of allergies in children.
Best Sources of Probiotics
You can find probiotics in many different foods, like certain yogurts and other fermented dairy foods — just look for the terms Lactobacillusor Bifidobacterium (two of the most common probiotic bacteria) and words like “live, active cultures” on the packaging.
You can also find beneficial bacteria in surprising food sources like dark chocolate, sourdough bread, miso soup, sauerkraut and raw green peas!
You might wonder if you’re getting enough probiotics from food alone. That’s when a supplement can help. Look for one that has billions of viable cells that can survive both stomach acid and extreme changes in environment. Ultra Probiotic Formula and Super Probiotics are both excellent additions to a healthy diet that supports a healthy gut.
Change your gut health, and you’ll feel the difference in your energy level!
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