28 June 2024 — Wellness

The 6 Habits Destroying Your Gut Health

Ever wonder why your gut feels a bit unsettled? It might be due to lifestyle habits you didn’t even realise were wreaking havoc on your digestive health. Let’s explore the culprits and get you back on track with a healthier gut.


1. Stress Overload

Feeling stressed? Your gut definitely knows it. High stress levels can throw your gut bacteria off balance, leading to digestive issues and discomfort. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, which can cause inflammation and upset the delicate balance of your gut microbiome. It’s time to embrace some zen—think yoga, meditation, or even some peace and quiet with a good book in the sun. Time to relax can do wonders for your gut health and overall well-being.

2. Processed Food 

Processed foods are fast and convenient but can leave your gut bacteria starving for nutrients. These foods often lack the fibre and essential nutrients your gut needs to thrive and are instead packed with additives and preservatives that can harm your gut microbiome. Next time you reach for that bag of chips or a candy bar, consider swapping it for some fresh fruit or veggies. Your gut will thank you for the extra nutrients and fibre.

3. Antibiotic Overuse

Antibiotics can be lifesavers, but don’t discriminate between good and bad bacteria. While they’re busy fighting off harmful infections, they can also wipe out the beneficial bacteria in your gut. This can lead to an imbalance and make your gut more susceptible to future issues. After a course of antibiotics, it’s important to replenish your gut with probiotics—think yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, or a high-quality supplement.

4. Alcohol and Cigarette Indulgence

We all enjoy a good toast now and then, but too much alcohol and smoking can seriously harm your gut lining. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase gut permeability, allowing toxins to pass into the bloodstream. Smoking introduces harmful chemicals that disrupt the gut microbiome and promote inflammation. Moderation is key! Reducing these habits can significantly improve your gut health. Your gut (and the rest of your body) will thank you for it.

5. Sugar Overload

Got a sweet tooth? Your gut’s not a fan. Excessive sugar feeds the bad bacteria and yeast in your gut, leading to an imbalance and digestive issues. High sugar intake can also contribute to inflammation and increase your risk of developing conditions like leaky gut syndrome. Next time you crave something sweet, try reaching for a piece of dark chocolate or a handful of berries instead. These options satisfy your sweet tooth while being much kinder to your gut.

6. Pollution Exposure

Believe it or not, the environment also affects your gut health. Pollutants and toxins in the air can mess with your gut microbiome, reducing its diversity and abundance of beneficial bacteria. While you can’t completely avoid pollution, you can take steps to protect your gut. Eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants can help combat the effects of environmental toxins. Regular exercise also supports overall health and can help mitigate some of the negative impacts of pollution.

Take Action for a Happier Gut

  1. Embrace activities that help you unwind and manage stress.

    Whether through yoga, meditation, or simply spending time in nature, finding ways to relax can greatly benefit your gut health.

     

  2. Fill your plate with nutritious, unprocessed foods.

    Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide the essential nutrients and fibre your gut bacteria need to thrive.

     

  3. Add probiotic-rich foods or supplements to your diet.

    Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are great sources of probiotics that can help maintain a healthy gut balance.

     

  4. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Smoking.

    Your gut will love you for it. Reducing alcohol intake and avoiding smoking can help protect your gut lining and maintain a healthy microbiome.

     

  5. Choose natural sweets over sugary treats.

    Opt for fruits, dark chocolate, or other naturally sweetened options to satisfy your cravings without harming your gut.

     

  6. Exercise helps keep your gut—and you—in top shape.

    Regular physical activity promotes healthy digestion and supports overall well-being.

Bonus Tip: Add INTU Wellness Gut & Skin Rejuvenation to your daily wellness routine for an extra boost. Our formula supports gut and skin health, helping you look and feel your best from the inside out.

Gut health is crucial for overall well-being, so let’s kick these bad habits and embrace a healthier lifestyle together!

Sources
Madison A, Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Stress, depression, diet, and the gut microbiota: human-bacteria interactions at the core of psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition. Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2019 Aug;28:105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.01.011. Epub 2019 Mar 25. PMID: 32395568; PMCID: PMC7213601.

Konstantinidis, T., Tsigalou, C., Karvelas, A., Stavropoulou, E., Voidarou, C., & Bezirtzoglou, E. (2020). Effects of Antibiotics upon the Gut Microbiome: A Review of the Literature. Biomedicines, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8110502

Song, Z., Song, R., Liu, Y., Wu, Z., & Zhang, X. (2023). Effects of ultra-processed foods on the microbiota-gut-brain axis: The bread-and-butter issue. Food Research International, 167, 112730. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2023.112730

Fajstova, A., Galanova, N., Coufal, S., Malkova, J., Kostovcik, M., Cermakova, M., Pelantova, H., Kuzma, M., Sediva, B., Hudcovic, T., Hrncir, T., Tlaskalova-Hogenova, H., Kverka, M., & Kostovcikova, K. (2020). Diet Rich in Simple Sugars Promotes Pro-Inflammatory Response via Gut Microbiota Alteration and TLR4 Signaling. Cells, 9(12). https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9122701

Salim, S. Y., Kaplan, G. G., & Madsen, K. L. (2014). Air pollution effects on the gut microbiota: A link between exposure and inflammatory disease. Gut Microbes, 5(2), 215-219. https://doi.org/10.4161/gmic.27251

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