In a perfect world we would all have known more about the beneficial microbes in and on our body and how to look after them. We would know how to feed them, and we would be reaping the amazing health they help us achieve.
Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in, and many of us live with results of poor gut management and the symptoms that go with it – gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, and inflammation.
Poor gut health is a complex issues, and is being linked as a factor to every other health condition. No matter what health condition you may have, being nice to your gut microbes should be part of any plan for repair and recovery.
Causes of Poor Digestion and Gut Health Issues
- Refined and processed foods: They do not feed the microbes properly so that they can thrive and protect us.
- Antibiotics: They deplete both good and bad bacteria and for some reason, the bad recover faster from antibiotic use than the good.
- Other Medications: Corticosteroids, birth control pills, aspirin, ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) interfere with the mucus lining – the home of the good bacteria where they reproduce.
- Stress: In today’s world, we run around like crazy with too many activities and responsibilities and it’s taking its toll. Amongst many other things, excess stress depletes good bacteria levels. In return, too much bad bacteria stimulates cortisol production, our main stress hormone.
- Poor Sleeping Habits: Our gut bacteria sleep when we sleep, and just one night of no sleep can lower the quality and quantity of our gut microbes. Think about what it must mean when poor- quality sleep occurs night after night for many years.
Bad Digestive Habits: Chewing food properly is key to digesting good food properly. Chewing stimulates antimicrobial saliva, which helps to keep the bad bacteria levels low. Additionally, chewing slows you down – eating too quickly often leads to reflux and other discomforts.
- Exercise: Too little or too much doesn’t help us maintain our good bacteria levels. Moderate exercise on a regular basis is the best option.
Learning to support your gut and the beneficial bacteria that live there is the best thing you can do for your health.
The good news is that feeding the gut with foods can be fun. Good bacteria love fruits, grains, legumes, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Beneficial fats found in butter, olive oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, avocado oil, and coconut oil provide nutrients that nourish the gut and, of course, protein is always needed to build a healthy home for the bacteria.
Good gut health relies heavily on what you put into your body. What you eat makes a difference.