Digestive health is critical to the health of your whole body – from your brain to your skin, your immunity to your weight. And of course, not forgetting digestive symptoms themselves – bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, acid reflux, indigestion…
But what can you do every day to support your digestive health?
This article focuses on what NOT TO EAT if you want to maintain a healthy gut. Here are the seven main culprits:
1. Sugar – excessive amounts of sugar feed the bad bacteria in your gut and can create an imbalance known as dysbiosis. This can lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and food intolerances.
Beware of sugar in sauces (eg. ketchup) and so-called healthy snack bars and foods.
2. Artificial sweeteners – we have included artificial sweeteners separate to sugar as many people believe they are a good substitute, particularly when are trying to lose weight. In reality, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose also feed our bad bacteria and can directly irritate the gut lining.
3. Saturated and trans-fats – Saturated fats and trans-fats are often added to processed foods to make them more shelf-stable and transportable. Diets that are high in saturated and trans-fats have been closely related to obesity, metabolic syndrome and gastrointestinal diseases, so limiting consumption of these fats is recommended.
4. Processed foods – processed foods contain refined carbohydrates and man-made ingredients and additives that also act as food for the bad bacteria in our gut and potentially lead to dysbiosis. Most processed foods also contain significant amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners and saturated and trans-fats.
5. Allergens – wheat (gluten), dairy, soy and eggs are the main allergenic foods that people react to, but everybody is different and experiences different symptoms and reactions. If you are suffering from digestive symptoms, it is useful to keep a record of what you are eating and to make note of any symptoms – you can then reduce or eliminate those foods from your diet.
6. Alcohol – excessive alcohol consumption can affect both the gut lining and the gut microbiome and as a result our overall digestive function. Alcohol also impacts the liver as it needs to be detoxified and removed from the body – excess alcohol can seriously impact our detoxification capacity, but even low alcohol intake will divert our normal detoxification processes to removing the alcohol rather than detoxifying hormones and other toxins.
7. Medications – obviously not foods, but medications can have a serious impact on our gut health. Antibiotics are the most talked about medication, as they destroy all the bacteria in our gut and this can lead to an imbalanced microbiome, but other medications may also cause gut symptoms, affect bowel function and impact our appetite.
Want to know more?
Pro-Ven Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth proven research.
ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107