The cornerstone of a healthy body is a healthy gut. IF your gut microbe is diverse and balanced, almost every other system in the body benefits. However, with an unbalanced gut, it can wreak havoc from your metabolism to your mood.
What we eat plays a critical role in gut health. And there are some foods that have the highest potential of disrupting or damaging your gut microbiome. Here are some of them:
1. Refined Sugar
In this conscious day, we know one thing— sugar is not doing us any favors. And it is especially not helping our guts.
Sugar offers fuel to yeast in the gut that helps it to feed, crowd and overpopulate out the good bacteria that a healthy gut thrives on. As a result, you experience things such as bacterial symbiosis, Candida and SIBO, since they are related to sugar consumption and prone to increase intestinal permeability.
You might have heard at least a single person talking about how gluten is not good for you. For the people who don’t know gluten, it is a type of protein that is found in most grains, including barley, rye, and wheat.
Gluten gives foods a great texture, however it can take a toll on your gut. And although it is true that there are some people who are more sensitive to gluten food than others, studies revealed that even if you are not sensitive to gluten, eating it can have a long term effect on your gut bacteria, that can pretty much affect every other part of your body.
Dairy is not always bad. However, not all dairy is created equal, with most products pasteurized and highly processed.
One of the worst parts of conventional dairy products is the presence of antibiotics. Although antibiotics are a lifesaver, overusing them can cause disaster. While probiotics are good for the gut, antibiotics do the exact opposite and deplete the good bacteria in order to clear out the bad stuff.
And they do not discriminate either, taking small doses of them every day can be a nightmare on your gut’s health.
4. Red Meat
Just like dairy, red meat may encourage the growth of particular bacterial strains which can negatively impact your overall health— from your immune function to your weight to your emotional state.
Another problem is that unless you are getting responsibly-produced and high-quality meat, chances are that it has got some antibiotics in it.
Here’s an interesting fact: 80 percent of antibiotics that are used in the United States are given to livestock.
Although processed food and sugar are in general regarded as unhealthy, soy is usually thought of as beneficial and nutritious.
However, the high levels of processing of today’s soy have completely changed how it affects the body. As a matter of fact, a diet with high amounts of soy can have a damaging impact on your gut microbiome since it has been shown to reduce Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria population which are crucial for a balanced gut.
6. Processed and Fried Foods
You probably know that processed and fried foods are not great for you. But do you even know why?
Well, they work pretty much like sugars— breaking down to components which feed the harmful, less hospitable bacteria and does some good damage on your gut diversity.
And it does not stop in harming your gut health, processed and fried foods also offer a plethora of negative health effects— from heart health to psychological health.
7. Tap Water
Staying hydrated is crucial for good overall health. This is no surprise since our bodies are 55 – 60 percent water.
And while we will never recommend putting down your water glass, it might be better if you make a switch over to filtered water. Although it seems like your tap water is drinkable, it is also treated with a good number of chemicals such as chlorine that can have a negative effect on your gut health.
Don’t forget about the presence of antibiotics and other chemicals, either. When consuming antibiotics, either through a food supply or medicine, they get processed by the body and then released into wastewater that is then sometimes recycled for drinking water.
And although it is processed first before making its way back into your tap, the water may still have antibiotic residue in it that can affect your gut microbiome.
Eggs are not bad. What really matters is how they are produced.
Although eggs that come from chickens that are fed a healthy diet, not dosed up with antibiotics and allowed to roam are usually fine for your health, the standard farm-raised eggs are again not so great.
This comes down again to the risks of getting residual antibiotics through your food. So when looking for eggs, seek out pasture-raised or pastured eggs since they offer plenty of health benefits for your gut and entire body.
9. Farmed Fish
Usually, farmed fish are kept in conditions and fed an unhealthy diet. In order to compensate for the unhealthy diet, people raising fishes usually mix in antibiotics on their food or feed it to them directly. Not only that, they are usually fed with growth hormones as well as genetically modified corns.
Next, you’ll have to worry about mercury. Although there are fishes that you can eat 3 times a week in order to have a fatty acid balance without worrying about mercury levels, farmed fish contain higher levels.
Mercury poisoning causes leaky gut, so make sure that you choose high-quality, wild-caught fishes. And don’t overdo on grouper, yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, and mackerel.
10. GMOs or Genetically-Modified Organisms
In an effort to cultivate crops which are naturally resistant to diseases and pests, scientists created GMOs or genetically-modified organisms. The most common GMOs in the US include corn, soybeans, and wheat.
There’s a number of potential issues with GMOs, including the negative effects of glyphosate, an herbicide that is used to grow GMO foods, has on the gut microbiome.
In addition, other research revealed that it changes the genes of the microbiome and alters their function. GMO foods also significantly reduce the beneficial bacteria population in your gut.