There’s been a lot in the news about gut health and the importance of supporting a healthy gut biome lately. It seems like hardly a week goes by when we don’t learn something new about how our digestion effects almost every aspect of our health from mood to chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
If you’ve been following our advice, you may have already started taking a prebiotic and probiotic. And perhaps you’ve started to avoid taking antibiotics when they aren’t necessary.
Support better gut health by dropping these foods
If so, you’ve already done a lot to encourage a healthy gut. And you’re surely already reaping the rewards.
But chances are there’s even more you could be doing to support a balanced belly, such as paying closer attention to what you’re putting on your plate. Following are five foods that could be destroying your gut health.
You already know eating a lot of sugar is bad for your health. That’s not news. But it’s not just your weight you need to consider. Eating too much sugar could also be destroying your gut health.
Sugar triggers unhealthy inflammation in your gut. But even worse, it can bump your belly bugs out of balance. You see, it’s not just good bacteria that call your gut home. Around 15 percent of your gut bugs are bad guys that can make you sick.
Typically, the good bugs far outweigh the bad ones, so they aren’t a problem. But when you load up on sugar, the bad bacteria feed on it, become more aggressive and multiply. And when that bacteria balance shifts it can start to affect your overall health.
Slash the added sugars from your diet to stop giving the bad bacteria the upper hand.
2. High fructose corn syrup:
If you haven’t already it’s time to eliminate high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from your diet. There’s not one single good thing to say about this nutritional nightmare. And you can add destroying your gut health to its long list of sins.
As another form of sugar, HFCS is bad for the same reasons ordinary white sugar is. But this sickening syrup doesn’t just feed bad bacteria as common sugar does. It also slows the production of the hormones that tell you you’re full, and can trigger cravings that cause you to want to eat more of it.
You end up in a cycle that’s hard to break, and one that wreaks havoc with your gut health.
3. Tap water:
As strange as it sounds, ordinary tap water isn’t the best for your gut health. Left untreated, tap water would contain bacteria, germs and viruses that would make you ill. So the government decided to add chlorine to the water supply to help kill off these nasty bugs.
The treatment works. But it leaves behind residual chlorine in our drinking water. And, of course, the chemical doesn’t know the difference between the bad bacteria it’s supposed to be killing in the water, and your good gut bacteria.
So like a bull in a china shop the chlorine goes smashing through whatever bugs lay in its path. Eventually this can mess with your gut health, throwing off your belly bug balance and making you ill.
Carbon water filters that you can attach to your tap, or pitchers with carbon filters, can help reduce the chlorine in your drinking water. But if your budget allows for it you may also want to consider using a reverse osmosis (RO) filtering system. RO systems will remove the chlorine and tackle other harmful contaminants such as arsenic and chromium-6 too.
Carrageenan is used to thicken products like ice cream and sour cream. It’s made from seaweed. So on the surface it sounds harmless, or even healthy. It’s widely used in our food supply, even in organic foods. But it turns out it could be helping to destroy your gut health.
The trouble is animal studies show carrageenan triggers unhealthy gut inflammation. And experts say the thickener’s sulfate content can have negative effects on the microflora in our guts.
The good news is if a product contains carrageenan it will always be on the ingredients label. To reduce your exposure read labels carefully and choose brands that use safer alternatives such as guar gum or carob bean gum.
Okay, we’re cheating a bit here. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) aren’t technically a food. But they are a menace to your gut health. And since so many folks pop NSAIDs like breath mints, we’ve decided to include them on our list anyway.
We’ve been warning you about the negative side effects of NSAIDs for years now. But their detrimental effect on your gut health should be at the top of the long list of reasons to avoid this family of pain relievers.
NSAIDs work by blocking the inflammation that’s behind your pain. The trouble is inflammation isn’t always the enemy. Our bodies use it to trigger repairs and healing. But since an NSAID can’t distinguish between healthy and unhealthy inflammation it knocks all of it out. And research shows the result can be a damaged and leaky gut.
Try replacing NSAIDs with a natural pain reliever like massage or supplements such as MSM, UC-II, turmeric or ginger. Check out our special report 6 natural pain relief solutions to get you back in the action for some more ideas.
A balanced happy gut is critical for overall good health. Eliminate these five gut health destroying foods from your menu today.