A healthy gut is essential for a sound mind and fit body, and we all try to play our part. Unfortunately, many people sabotage their gut health through actions which they believed would enhance their intestinal health. Don’t make these common mistakes when trying to boost your gastrointestinal health.
Gut Health Mistake #1 Snacking Nonstop
Snacking all day long is bad for many reasons, but it’s especially disastrous for your gut. It gets worse if you are snacking on dairy or grains, foods that agitate the digestive system by fermenting and causing bloat. Your gut needs some time off the work of digestion if it’s going to recover lost microbiota. If you find it difficult to stay off food for four to six hours or overnight, you might be facing an underlying hormonal problem such as leptin or insulin imbalance.
Gut Health Mistake # 2 Excessive Intake of Raw Veggies
While eating plenty of your veggies raw is generally seen as healthy, it can be difficult for a person with a compromised gut to handle that amount of uncooked organic matter. Eating too many raw vegetables with an unhealthy gut can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. It’s advisable to eat more of cooked vegetables if your gut health is subpar, and then include raw veggies into your diet when you notice an improvement in your gut health. You can make things faster by eating fermented veggies such as kimchi to help balance your gut microbiota so you can start enjoying all the raw veggies you like.
Gut Health Mistake #3 Yogurt Intake
While many people believe that yogurts are rich sources of probiotics, this is usually not the case. The majority of the yogurts you see around have extremely low populations of live bacteria but are densely packed with sugar and low-quality milk. Instead of feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut, these yogurts end up increasing the population of sugar-dependent bacteria which further suppresses the growth of gut-healthy microbiome. Rather, increase your intake of fiber by eating veggies such as kale and broccoli, and wholesome foods like brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa. Many people don’t quite believe the power of positive bacteria until they see them in action.
Gut Health Mistake #4 Eating Food that You Are Supposed to Avoid
Some foods help bad bacteria to overpopulate your gut. To get your gut healthy and functional, you need to eliminate processed foods and sugary foods from your diet. But many people can’t stop taking these junk foods but continue to strive for a healthy gut.
Gut Health Mistake # 5 Eating late at night
Eating late at night is much worse then many people realize. Two main reasons are a lack of enzymes and interference with sleep. Nightime for our ancestors meant no more activity, thus our bodies took advantage of this time to rest and heal. When you are digesting food, your body needs to direct a lot of energy to digestion, and this is energy that otherwise would be used for the many important functions that happen with sleep. Additionally, natural enzyme production in the body is lower at night, which means your digestion is naturally compromised at this time. You will notice an improvement of the quality of sleep if you stop eating 2-3 hours before bed. Learn 7 more functional medicine hacks for better sleep here
Gut Health Mistake # 6 Stress Eating
Stress eating occurs when you resort to food to escape a stressful situation. It’s an abnormal situation that elicits an abnormal response from the body. When you stress eat, the body reroutes blood from the digestive system to other parts of the body, slowing down digestion. This leads to fermentation, which causes gas, bloating and disrupts the gut bacteria population. The imbalance in gut bacteria, elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and insulin resistance which occurs as a result of stress eating can lead to leaky gut syndrome. It’s advisable to eat only when you are hungry. If you are stressed, find other creative ways of releasing tension. Food shouldn’t be used as stress therapy.
Gut Health Mistake # 7 Food Combining
Something foreign to many in the Western World is the idea that you shouldn’t eat certain foods together. Science has proven that the body generates different enzymes for different foods. Therefore when you eat very complex meals or incompatible foods, you are stressing your body by demanding it produces multiple enzymes at once. Food Combining can get very complex but we have found that some basic rules may be necessary. Such as fruit, dessert, and sugary items should always be had before the main meal not after. this is because those items digest much faster and if you put them on top of things like meat they sit and ferment and cause discomfort, due to the fact that those foods are not supposed to be in the stomach as long. If you don’t believe me and are feeling daring try eating a meal of nothing but steak, and watermelon. Two foods that on their own many people tolerate, however together I guarantee, you would feel digestive discomfort.
Gut Health Mistake # 8 Cheating on Your Diet Plan
One of the most common mistakes made by people eating for a healthy gut is cheating. Delicious gut-unfriendly foods like sugar-heavy snacks and baked cooked made from white flour can explode the population of yeasts, undermining your gut health and causing disorders such as leaky gut. For instance, if you are following the Ketogenic Diet then you must make a special point never ever to cheat!
And as usual, don’t feel afraid to contact the clinic for a FREE 15-Minute Health Consultation!
Check out these other resources for more info