What you eat can strongly influence the well-being of your digestive system. Certain eats nurture the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system, permitting you to have the finest digestive well-being. Certain foods may cause an increase of irritation and inflammation in your digestive system, allowing harmful bacteria to be more prevalent than beneficial bacteria.
Everyone’s physical makeup is dissimilar, yet certain foods are more likely to generate digestive problems than others. Here, we will look at a few of the food items that are most unfavorable for good gut health.
Why Does Gut Health Matter?
The state of your digestive system is more essential than you likely realize. It’s even been called the body’s “second brain,” denoting its central role in:
- Nutrient absorption
- Immune system
- Mental health
It is essential to maintain optimal intestinal health.
The 8 Worst Foods for Gut Health
An option to maintain your gut in good shape is to keep away from foods that lead to irritation or make it vulnerable to bad microbes. We assembled this catalogue of the eight most detrimental foods for your digestive system to give you a hand.
1. Highly-Processed Foods
Foods that have been altered from their original unaltered state are referred to as processed foods. Foods that are only slightly altered (like pre-sliced veggies) are normally healthy, however ultra-processed food items are typically loaded with artificial ingredients, preservatives, salt, fat, and sugar, which can cause the growth of dangerous bacteria.
Some examples of highly-processed foods include:
- Soft drinks
- Instant noodles
- Packaged bread
- Hot dogs
- Chicken nuggets
- Breakfast cereal
Preservatives used in highly-processed food keep them edible in grocery stores, however, they may not be good for your digestive system. Using preservatives can bring about gastrointestinal and other issues such as inflammation in the digestive tract, metabolic syndrome, and difficulty with insulin regulation. Moreover, foods that are excessively processed usually have their fiber removed, which is indispensable for your digestive system health. Fiber aids in your digestive process, as well as provides nourishment for beneficial microorganisms in your intestines.
Processed food contains unhelpful additives which can annoy the gut as well as lacking in dietary fiber – it is a situation with no positive benefits.
2. Refined Sugar
Through time, sugar has earned itself a bad reputation — and it is justified. Sugar can have a harmful effect on your immunity, oral hygiene, and intestinal well being.
This sugary foodstuff has been linked to irregularity, distention, abdominal pains, and swelling. Research has revealed that it has an adverse effect on the makeup of your gut microbiome.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Be aware that there are other sweeteners besides processed sugar. An artificial sweetener such as sorbitol or aspartame can be spotted in beverages that contain no calories, sugar-free gum, and protein bars.
If you’re attempting to slim down, these may be interesting to you due to their low caloric content. Despite this, a synthetic sweetener can have a detrimental impact on your intestinal microbial community.
Research has shown that artificial sweeteners may:
- Alter your gut microbial composition.
- Increase your glucose intolerance.
- Raise your risk of metabolic disease.
4. Animal Protein
If you are still hesitant to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, consider the positive impact it may have on your digestive health. Eating large quantities of animal-based proteins can have a negative effect on your gut microbiome.
In modern animal agriculture, many animals are given antibiotics. Approximately four out of five antibiotics purchased in the United States are used for livestock. Eating this meat might mean you are taking in the antibiotics as well. Antibiotics eliminate both the bad and the good bacteria in your digestive tract, including the necessary bacteria that help maintain your health. This kind of meat could alter the balance of microbes in your digestive system and raise your odds of having inflammatory bowel illness.
Many types of animal protein have been linked to detrimental gut impacts, including:
- Red meat
- Farmed fish
5. Dairy Products
Consumption of products from animals can be detrimental to your digestive system, not just meat. Dairy items are especially essential if you don’t deal well with lactose.
Even if you don’t have a sensitivity to dairy products, eating them may change the healthy bacteria levels in your belly in a very short time. This modification has been associated with gastrointestinal illness and irritation. It has also been accepted that the fat which is present in cheese and milk might bring about an enlarged state of inflammation.
Giving up the pretty and photogenic snack boards that people post on Instagram may be difficult, but it could be helpful for your digestion.
Speaking of food intolerances, gluten is a common one. This protein can be located in a variety of grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. As a result, the following foods commonly contain gluten:
Going gluten-free has risen in popularity in recent years. It is not compulsory for everyone to follow a gluten-free diet, however individuals with celiac disease ought to steer clear of gluten at all times. People with celiac disease may experience intestinal inflammation and harm to their digestive tract if they ingest gluten.
Nonetheless, gluten’s damage is not exclusive to those affected with celiac sickness. Evidence exists that numerous individuals who don’t have the illness can experience abdominal discomfort, distention, and exhaustion.
Drinking alcoholic beverages is commonplace in contemporary society, ranging from enjoying a cold brewski after a long day of work to toasting with wine among peers. It is employed as a means to rejoice, interact, and relax. The beverage you consume may be causing more harm to your digestive system than you think.
Alcohol can disrupt your gut in the following ways:
- It may increase inflammation.
- It may alter your gut’s microbiota composition.
- It may lead to an overgrowth of harmful gut bacteria .
- It may increase your gut’s permeability, allowing harmful pathogens to enter your bloodstream.
It is advisable to drink alcohol in moderation, given its potential effects. It would be best to totally remove it from your diet.
8. Fried Foods
Following a night of alcohol consumption, many people have a desire for deep-fried dishes. After a night out, French fries, mozzarella sticks, and fried onions can be especially satisfying.
Delicious though they may be, fried foods are not beneficial to your digestive system. Generally, they have a lot of fat, mostly saturated fats and trans fats. These kinds of fats are known to cause stomach upset.
Eating fried food can increase the chances of experiencing diarrhea, gas, or abdominal discomfort. Eating fatty fried food may not only lead to unpleasant symptoms, but it can also cause an alteration in the composition of your gut bacteria, thus allowing the unhealthy bacteria to take over.
Now that you are aware of the effect that particular foods have on your digestive system, you can make sure you look after it properly. As a result, having a healthier gut will aid in the maintenance of your health and welfare.
5 Lifestyle Habits Destroying Your Gut Health
It is clear that keeping our digestive system functioning optimally is essential for our overall health and well-being. Generally, we don’t take action until something disastrous happens or our digestive system is in very poor condition.
What we do on a regular basis over a long period of time can be more detrimental than a single incident. In other words, our daily actions can also provide protection and strength.
Let’s be sure to understand this… the activities that can cause harm and the ones that can make us healthier are generally within our power to decide.
1. Not Eating a Diverse Range of Foods
Evidence has indicated that consuming a range of whole foods with extensive nutrients can foster different kinds of microorganisms, resulting in a variety of intestinal microbiota. Unfortunately, within the past fifty years, much of the variety in the cuisine of the Western world has diminished. It has been proposed that the majority of food consumed in the Western world is produced from only twelve types of plants and five different animal species.
But, the ‘American Gut Project’ uncovered fascinating effects that different diets can have on the microbiome by looking into regular people. Researchers uncovered that people all over the planet who ate thirty or more different plant-based foods over the course of a week had a larger variety of gut bacteria than those who ate fewer than ten.
Including a wide range of whole foods in your diet is extremely important, as this can prevent a decline in the variety of bacteria living in your gut, which can be detrimental to your health. It is encouraging that one can switch up their diet to alter the makeup of their gut bacteria, and it only requires a few days to make the change.
If you are curious about the “The American Gut Project” or have an interest in learning strategies that will help you diversify your diet, please have a look at our blog post on the subject. We’ve got you covered.
2. Lack of Prebiotics in the Diet
Prebiotics are a type of fibre that cannot be digested, but instead serves as nourishment for beneficial bacteria in the intestine. This provides the necessary energy for the beneficial bacteria to carry out their helpful actions within the body and prosper.
Foods containing significant amounts of fiber and indigestible starches are sources of prebiotics. Foods that are considered to include prebiotics:
- Lentils, chickpeas, beans, and oats
- Bananas, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, and onions
- Nuts and seeds
Not everyone has the ability or the time to get enough of these types of foods. It has been demonstrated that Gut Performance™ contains a superior prebiotic fiber. You need to consume just one serving every day to dramatically enhance your prebiotic consumption.
3. Lack of Regular Physical Activity
Everybody gets occupied, and exercise is frequently viewed as a treat of “my own” time. Typically, it is the first thing to disappear when there is not enough time.
Nevertheless, regular exercise brings about a wealth of advantages for your health, including improved stress management and a diminished chance of developing chronic illness. Research has suggested that it can modify the bacterium in the intestine, thereby enhancing gut wellness.
Research conducted around the globe indicates a more extensive intestinal microflora in professional athletes in comparison to similar people (in terms of body size, age and gender) as part of a control group. We acknowledge that not all people possess the physical capabilities of a sports professional, yet it demonstrates that engaging in physical activity regularly can help to increase the range of bacteria in our bodies.
Research has revealed that individuals who are physically fit typically have a greater quantity of beneficial bacteria linked to metabolic health and defense against obesity.
An investigation was conducted to determine if these adjustments could be assigned to other demographics, utilizing a collection of women recovering from non-metastatic breast cancer.
This group was selected due to the results of the treatment, which decreases metabolic and cardio-respiratory endurance. The investigation implemented a six week exercise program and several indicators for gut health. The scientists determined that those with increased cardio-respiratory health also possessed a wider variety of bacteria in their guts as compared to people with weaker cardio-respiratory health.
It is evident that frequent physical activity boosts the quantity and variety of advantageous gut microbes. But the most important piece of information is that these species of bacteria and the amounts of them are not seen in people who do not exercise.
If you’re interested in learning more about how physical activity impacts the bacteria inside your digestive system, this evidence-based piece provides a straightforward explanation that won’t mislead you. Just click here.
4. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
It’s unfortunate we have to say this, but the fact is that even in small amounts, drinking alcohol has a negative effect on gut health.
Alcohol not only leads to dehydration, but also irritates your digestive system. This inflammation delays normal digestion of food, leading to increased gas and frequently an aching stomach after drinking alcohol. If the consumption is sustained, dysbiosis is the outcome.
But it’s not all bad. Occasionally drinking a glass of red wine can have advantages for your gut microbiome. The presence of polyphenols in this substance has been found to bolster the population of beneficial microorganisms in your digestive system. The key here is moderation.
In general, drinking alcohol, especially frequent and extravagant drinking, can be damaging.
What kind of alcohol consumption is considered less dangerous?
You should limit yourself to no more than two alcoholic beverages per day. It would be beneficial to incorporate 1-2 days with no alcohol each week, and even more if it is possible. If you’re looking for information on average amounts of alcohol and scientific advice on when to stop drinking, check out this link.
5. Cigarette Smoking
It is common knowledge that smoke from tobacco has numerous various elements, some of which have been identified to be connected to cancer. Studies suggest that it can be damaging to almost every organ in the body. It is not uncommon to see a correlation between this and the exacerbation of inflammation of the bowels as well as Crohn’s disease.
How does smoking ruin your gut health?
It can be assumed that the cause is immunodeficiency, lack of oxygen, and a buildup of biofilm on the GI lining as well as beneficial bacteria in the intestines. That sounds incredibly complicated, doesn’t it? But think of what smoking does to your lungs. Put that over the inner lining of your stomach and all the living creatures that live there! You have a visual now…sorry.
The positive news is that it appears that quitting smoking can cause a rise in the variety of gut bacteria within the first three months, which is a sign of a strong stomach. Another good reason to give up the ciggies.