The #1 nutrient for your disease-fighting gut

A healthy gut is the foundation of a healthy body — and science proves it…

In just the past few years, we’ve learned that having good bacteria in your gut lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and cancer.

They even play an important role in regulating your weight!

The question is — how do you encourage these disease-fighting gut bacteria to grow and thrive?

Well, truth be told, most people pop a probiotic pill once a day and think that’s all they need to do. But there are other nutrients that are at least as important as probiotics if you want to keep the bacteria in your gut balanced and healthy…

Like omega-3s.

These powerful inflammation-fighters play a crucial role in your gut health too — a role researchers are learning more and more about every day…

Eat omega-3s for a balanced microbiome

Researchers from University of Nottingham and King’s College London recently confirmed that eating more omega-3s gives you better gut health.

In their study, these researchers looked at the omega-3 intake of 876 middle age and elderly women. They determined that women who reported eating more omega-3s and who had higher levels of omega-3s in their blood also had healthier strains of bacteria in their gut and more bacterial diversity.

But why are omega-3s so good for your gut?

Well, according to researchers, the gut benefits of omega-3s may be tied to a healthy compound associated with high omega-3 intake — N-carbamylglutamate (NCG).

NCG has been shown in previous studies to reduce oxidative stress in the guts of animals. Researchers believe omega-3s encourage gut bacteria to produce more NCG, which then creates a healthier gut environment overall.

Is this why the omega-3-rich walnut is the nut that can heal your gut? And why it’s tied to a lower risk of colon cancer? Probably so.

Adding omega-3s to your gut health plan

So if you want to maintain a healthy gut, make sure you complement your daily probiotic pill with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Recommended daily dosages vary…

If you’re a healthy adult, taking between 250 to 500 mg of omega-3 compounds EPA and DHA combined per day is probably about right. If you have health issues, you may want to take more. You can safely take up to 3,000 mg of EPA and DHA combined per day.

Of course, you can also eat lots of healthy foods filled with this essential fat, like:

  • Walnuts
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Flax seeds
  • Anchovy
  • Chia seeds
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Eggs
  • Hemp seeds
  • Cod liver oil
  • Oysters
  • Soybeans
  • Wild rice
  • Grass-fed dairy products

And don’t forget the fiber. Fiber is a critical element in any gut health plan because it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut.

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Sources:

  1. Omega 3 helps the gut stay healthy, study finds — MedicalXpress. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  2. Menni, et al. “Omega-3 fatty acids correlate with gut microbiome diversity and production of N-carbamylglutamate in middle aged and elderly women.” — Scientific Reports, 2017.
  3. B. Shreiner, et al. “The gut microbiome in health and in disease.” — Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Jan. 2015; 31(1): 69–75.
  4. How Much Omega-3 Should You Take Per Day? — Healthline. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fact Sheet for Professionals — National Institutes of Health- Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved September 11, 2017.

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.