From kimchi and sauerkraut to kombucha and kefir, the link between certain foods and gut health is a pretty hot topic these days — and this wellness trend is much more than just a gut feeling: People all over the globe have become increasingly interested in the gut microbiome. Your gut health is crucial for a strong immune system and overall health, and the right healthy diet can fuel a healthy gut.
In fact, according to a recent study, the US digestive health market has tripled in size within the past decade and is predicted to reach a whopping $5.7B USD by 2024. We know *mind blown*
For many folks looking to achieve optimum gut health, prebiotic and probiotic supplements are KING — but did you know that you can support a healthy and happy digestive system by nixing certain foods from your diet (and including others)?
Yup, it’s true — and we’ll tell you all about it. Read on to get the scoop on the worst foods for gut health. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Why Is Gut Health So Important Anyway?
Simply put, gut health is central to the trillions of microorganisms that reside within your digestive tract. These itty-bitty organisms make up what’s known as the gut microbiome — AKA, an intricate blend of bacteria, fungi, viruses, yeast, and other microbes.
When your delicate microbiome is in tip-top shape, it keeps a healthy balance of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. However, this balance can quickly get thrown out of whack due to a number of different factors, such as lifestyle, medication, and of course, diet.
What Are the Signs of Poor Gut Health?
Whether it’s from a diet high in sugar or chronic stress, an unhealthy gut can manifest in many uncomfortable ways. When your gut flora balance is thrown off, harmful bacteria may thrive and lead to unpleasant symptoms. Here are some of the top warning signs that your gut health might be lacking:
- You struggle with constipation
- You’re no stranger to belly bloat
- You have constant GI discomfort
- You’ve been especially gassy
- You can’t seem to focus
- Your skin is dull
- You keep getting sick
- You’re feeling blue or down in the dumps
If you’re worried that you may have a gut imbalance, take a deep breath — everything will be A-OK! More often than not, dietary changes can rebuild a healthy gut microbiome.
You can also take a probiotic supplement like Gut Feelings Probiotics to support complete gut health and immunity. This pre-, pro-, and postbiotic blend promotes balance to optimize and calm a healthy and happy gut in just one capsule a day.*
Gut Feelings Probiotics®
What Foods Are Bad for Gut Health?
By now, you likely understand that the foods you fill up on play a key role in the health of your gut. After all, your stomach is a pretty large part of your digestive system, so it only makes sense that it’s directly impacted by the foods you eat.
That said, while prebiotic- and probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, leafy greens, and miso are known to promote healthier digestion, some foods are notorious for wreaking havoc on the gut. And when your gut isn’t happy, uncomfortable gastrointestinal issues are sure to follow suit.
So, what foods are bad for gut health, you ask? Here are 3 of them:
If you have a sweet tooth, you might be inclined to opt for a low-cal artificial sweetener in lieu of the real stuff, but whatever you do — don’t. According to recent research, these sugar substitutes can pass through the body undigested, which can negatively affect the delicate microflora in your gut.
But that’s not all; some fake sugars — like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin — may be associated with harmful gut bugs, namely E.coli and E. faecalis, that can add to the “bad” gut bug population when consumed.
Do you like to get “bad and boozy” on the reg? Are you constantly struggling with digestive issues or food intolerances? Nope, it’s not a coincidence — research suggests that drinking alcohol in excess is associated with dysbiosis, which happens when gut bacteria become imbalanced.
Dysbiosis is associated with a number of less-than-favorable health issues, such as:
- Acid reflux
- Mood swings
Women can also experience vaginal infections when bad bacteria run amok. This is especially frustrating for those who deal with these painful infections chronically. Thankfully, a vaginal probiotic like Good Girl Probiotics just might be able to help. Simply take two capsules every day to maintain excellent vaginal flora while balancing pH and bacteria.*
Good Girl Probiotics®
To be clear, not all processed foods are dubbed “unhealthy.” In fact, many foods have to be processed in some way, shape, or form to make them digestible or safe to consume. But as a general rule of thumb: The more processed a food is, the less healthy it is for you — and your gut.
Highly-processed foods can contain large amounts of refined carbs, artificial ingredients, chemicals, and saturated fats, which can all harm your gut microbiome in more ways than one.
So to keep your gut microbes happy and well-fed, reach for delicious and nutritious foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed. Trust us; your gut will thank you later!
What Foods Support a Healthy Gut?
When it boils down to cultivating a healthy and happy gut microbiota, don’t focus on filling your plate with only one thing.
Why? Because diversity is key! Here are some of the best foods for gut health and digestion:
- Fermented foods like tempeh, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fermented veggies (AKA pickled)
- Prebiotic foods like whole grains
By steering clear of processed and artificial junk, you can provide a healthy environment for the trillions of good bacteria that work hard to keep you feeling your best. Load up on lean protein, leafy greens, fresh fruits, and whole grains to support good gut health and beneficial bacteria, and be sure to drink plenty of H2O to keep dehydration at bay.
A Final Word
Nurturing the friendly bacteria in your gut by sticking to a clean diet can help keep your gut health in check — but thanks to hidden sugars and artificial ingredients lurking in popular foods, this is often easier said than done.
Fortunately, a high-quality probiotic supplement — like Gut Feelings Probiotics — just might be what your body needs to promote balance. This innovative gut lovin’ formula works to support healthy digestion and function. Simply take one capsule a day to balance, optimize, and support a calm digestive system and healthy bacteria.
At Love Wellness, were on a mission to create natural solutions for natural problems that actually work. We've got you covered whether you’re looking to calm an angry gut, soothe menstrual cramps, or support a better mood.
Check us out today to discover clean products, and remember — with us, you’re never alone.