Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Celiacs can experience a vast array of symptoms, including GI issues, brain fog, mood swings, and joint pain. Celiac Disease is often associated with “leaky gut” and those of us with Celiac Disease are commonly told by doctors that we need to undo the damage gluten has wrecked on the villi that line our small intestines and help our body absorb nutrients. It is because of this weakened ability to absorb nutrients that we need to begin healing our gut. Living a gluten-free lifestyle is “medicine” for those with Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, but is there more we can be doing to help heal our gut?
Celiacs and Gut Bacteria
Your large and small intestines are a breeding ground for both good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria are defenders of your immune system, help produce non-essential vitamins, and keep the lining of your intestines strong. The goal is to have more good than bad bacteria in your gut. When there’s more bad bacteria in your intestines, you can experience symptoms such as constipation, excessive gas, diarrhea, and even bad breath (side note: the later is something my dog had until we started giving him kefir everyday!) Sounds very familiar to what a lot of Celiacs experience when consuming gluten!
2 Ways Celiacs Can Heal Their Gut
The first way Celiacs can heal their gut is the most natural way to ingest the benefits of probiotic bacteria and that’s by eating fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, komboucha, kefir, tempeh, pickles (the real kind; not most store-brand), and kimchi. Personally, yogurt is my favorite way to ingest probiotics! But I sometimes wonder if pairing it with dairy can cancel out the positive effects (there isn’t enough research at this time to support my suspicions one way or the other.)
The second way Celiacs can heal their gut is by taking a supplement in a capsul pill like Silver Fern Ultimate Probiotic Supplement Vegicaps, powder, or drink mix like WAI Prebiotic & Probiotic Drink Mix. The current marketplace is filled with questionable supplements and pills, which I believe is the main reason most health professionals recommend the foods I listed above as your best option to support gut health. In fact,I often turn down requests to review and/or promote supplemental “health” products on Below the Fork because I think they’re a scam. However, I felt very differently with Silver Fern Brand!
WAI Prebiotic & Probiotic Drink Mix
This post is sponsored by Silver Fern Brand. I received compensation and free product. The opinions expressed here are completely my own. All product links are affiliate.
As someone with Celiac Disease, I know how important it is that my gut flora is all happy and balanced. I had never tried taking a probiotics or prebiotic in powder form before. Previously when I had tried a probiotic capsul pill, it needed to live in the refrigerator so I kept forgetting to take it. That’s why I was so very excited to try out Silver Fern Brand! The capsuls don’t need to be refrigerated and the WAI Prebiotic & Probiotic Drink Mix is a tasty way to ingest good bacteria while increasing my hydration…which is always a struggle for me.
According to Silverfernbrand.com, WAI Prebiotic & Probiotic Drink Mix features a “unique blend [that] encourages nutrient absorption, supports healthy metabolism, and aids in immunity support…[it also] converts fiber into fat busting compounds known as short hair fatty acids, has 5 billion CFU probiotic blend, reduces hunger, and reduces gas and bloating.”
I am MOST impressed with the quality of ingredients and NO added sugars. Since I had no prior experience with this type of drink mix, I perused the Whole Body section of my local Whole Foods Market, and didn’t see one drink mix product that could also say they had no added sugar. All other brands had questionable ingredients as well. In fact, I picked up a packet of another brand’s probiotic drink mix and one of the ingredients was sugar! Which is particularly scary because sugar is known to hurt gut health.
In my 6 sticks of Pina Colada flavored drink mix, only the following ingredients:
- Krakatoa (contains natural prebiotic fiber, tagatose, stevia extract, monk fruit extract, and natural favor)
- Natural cranberry and raspberry flavor
- Bacillus Subtilis HU58
- Bacillus Coagulans HC
There are also a lot of really yummy flavors including:
- Peach mango
- Cran raspberry
- Blackberry pomegranate
- Strawberry kiwi
- Pina Colada
- Strawberry mango
Celiacs: Your Gut Health is Important!
One of the best ways to restore your balance of good bacteria in your gut after years of damage, is to eat more natural fermented foods. If that is a struggle, then definitely consider a supplement like WAI Prebiotic & Probiotic Drink Mix. It’s delicious, an easy way to increase your water intake, and a very clean alternative to sauerkraut and yogurt! Benefits you’ll enjoy, according to Dr. David Williams, include:
- Improved mood and mental health
- Banish persistent bad breath
- Improve your oral health
- Fight fatigue
- Boost weight loss
- Stop cravings for foods you don’t really want
- Improve your immune health
- Improve cholesterol levels
- Eliminate acid reflux
- Support vaginal health
Have you tried a prebiotic and/or probiotic supplement before? Let me know in the comments below!
Post was originally published on August 22, 2016 and updated on August 7, 2017.