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Surprising Things That Lead to Poor Gut Health

gut health

Your gut is much more than just a mechanism of eliminating food waste from your body. It contains billions of tiny organisms called bacteria that help maintain a healthy balance all over your body. When the good bacteria are depleted, it can cause the bad stuff to overrun your body and cause a host of health problems. The Gut Authority has put together this list of 7 things that can cause poor gut health. So start making healthy changes today. 

1. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Did you know that your gut is known as your second brain? Much like the brain in your head, your gut has its own circadian rhythm. This is developed through a routine of sleep and wake periods. 

Prolonged sleep deprivation and eating late can all disrupt this fragile circadian rhythm in your gut. Short periods of sleep deprivation have a subtle change to your gut flora. However, not getting enough sleep for a long period of time can have a dramatic impact on your gut health.  

2. Not Eating A Varied Diet

A healthy gut has a wide variety of friendly bacteria. If you don’t have this diverse gut bacteria, then your body will take much longer to recover from invaders such as bad bacteria and viruses. In order to have a varied, large population of friendly gut bacteria, you need to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. 

The foods you eat actually feed these bacteria. Just like you need nutritious foods to thrive, they also need a variety of nutritious foods to grow and be healthy. Most Americans eat a limited diet filled with fast foods, processed foods or per-packaged foods lacking in essential nutrients. That is why it’s important to be intentional about eating a variety of plant-based foods, cold water fresh caught fish, and grass fed and finished meats. 

3. Not Getting Enough Prebiotics

Probiotics are bacteria that support a good balance of healthy gut bacteria. The stuff in the foods you eat that feeds your good gut bacteria, is referred to as “prebiotics”. Prebiotics come from plant fibers and mostly pass through the gut undigested as they feed your probiotics. Foods that are rich in prebiotics include:

  • Bananas
  • Nuts
  • Asparagus
  • Leeks and onions
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Green, leafy vegetables

Prebiotics are also important to help reduce inflammation, reduce your risk of colon cancer, and increase your energy levels.

4. Eating Too Much Sugar

Excessive sugar intake can decrease the amount of beneficial bacteria found in the gut. Further, it can act as a food source for the bad organisms found in your gut. This decrease in good bacteria can cause sugar cravings, which then makes the problem worse and becomes a vicious cycle. High fructose corn syrup has also been shown to increase inflammation levels all over the body. 

5. Consuming Excessive Amounts of Alcohol

Consuming large amounts of alcohol can become toxic to your gut health. Prolonged use of excessive amounts of alcohol has been shown to cause an imbalance in your gut bacteria.

However, drinking a small amount of red wine each day has been known to increase your good gut bacteria. This is probably due to the fact that red wine contains something called polyphenols, which is broken down and becomes food for your good gut bacteria. 

6. Inactive Lifestyle

Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise activity per day can have a dramatic impact on your gut health. It increases the levels of your friendly gut bacteria and also encourages production of your fighter cells. These fighter cells are responsible for fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses that enter your gut. 

Higher intensity activities also encourage production of butyrate, which helps ward off colon cancer and increases your energy levels. Leading an active lifestyle also encourages a diversity of gut bacteria. Even if you aren’t able to do intense exercise, leading a more active lifestyle by walking, gardening or swimming can help your gut flora. 

7. Prolonged Stress

Periods of stress can be harmful to your gut because it causes a decrease in your good gut bacteria and an increase in bad gut bacteria. Prolonged stress also decreases the variety of healthy gut flora. The good news is that your gut will return to normal rather quickly after lowering the amount of stress. 

The Gut Authority Can Help You

If you’ve been having health problems, then it might be time to address your gut health. Poor gut health can cause problems all over your body. The team here at The Gut Authority will take the time to fully address all of your issues and work with you to come up with a plan to help you out. Give us a call today so we can get started!

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