If you read anything health related at all, you have probably read or heard about the importance of gut health.
So, how is your gut? So many people don’t realize that your immune system relies heavily on your gut.
Of course, we all know a healthy immune system keeps us healthy by fighting off illnesses (hello
COVID-19?), bacteria, and toxins in general.
Thankfully, your immune system is always on patrol — when your gut is healthy, your good bacteria will kill bad bacteria before it makes you sick.
Your gut “microbiome” contains trillions of bacteria — the good and the bad. When the
bad outnumbers the good kind, the result is inflammation.
All of that being said, what are the most common things that negatively affect your gut?
One of the worst good-bacteria-killing-culprits are antibiotics and other medications. Imagine
You get sick and take an antibiotic, but the very thing that helps heal you, kills lots of your good gut bacteria. We will talk about how you can combat this in a few minutes.
Another thing that wreaks havoc on your gut is processed food and sugar.
Let’s face it, processed food is not real food. It is loaded with additives, preservatives, food dyes, and plenty of chemicals. Speaking of chemicals, pesticides such as glyphosate are terrible for your gut health.
If you are thinking, “Well, I don’t eat pesticides,” then think again. Conventional foods such as wheat, vegetables and fruit, are usually sprayed with glyphosate or other pesticides. This is why you should choose organic foods whenever possible.
Environmental toxins such as harsh household cleaners are also terrible for your gut — killing good bacteria all the while. Choose natural cleaners whenever possible. A great all-purpose cleaner is straight-up white vinegar.
Stress and anxiety are also terrible for your gut and overall well-being. A sedentary lifestyle has also been shown to negatively impact your gut health.
Lastly, lack of sleep and poor sleep, in general, are terrible for your immune system. Most of us don’t get enough sleep in the first place.
Most sleep experts say strive to get 8 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night. Invest in the best mattress you can afford — ditto sheets and pillows. This really does make a difference!
Also, keep your room on the cool side and definitely make sure you turn off your electronic devices. Also, make sure your bedroom is super dark.
So, now you know the importance of a healthy gut and what factors contribute to an unhealthy gut. What can you do to boost your overall gut health?
First, take a high-quality probiotic. This is especially important if you have been on antibiotics or take other medications. In addition, take a high-quality prebiotic.
Concentrate on eating a healthy diet, full of quality fruits and vegetables, preferably organic. When it comes to meat, choose grass-fed beef, pastured pork, free-range chicken, and wild-caught seafood. Ditch highly processed foods and choose real, whole foods.
Foods that promise to help heal your gut and keep it healthy include sauerkraut (the fermented kind), kombucha, plain yogurt with live cultures from grass-fed cows (read the label), raw cheeses, raw apple cider vinegar (use in salad dressings or dilute in water and
drink), fermented pickles, brine-cured olives, miso (made with fermented soybeans), and kimchi — a fermented Korean cabbage dish made with spices, garlic, ginger, onions and fish sauce.
So, what can you expect when you have a healthy gut? Lots of good things. Improved digestion, tons of energy, healthier skin, fewer illnesses. I want all of our readers to be healthy — having a healthy gut goes a long way when it comes to your overall health.
Adlen Robinson is an award-winning columnist and author of “Organic Food and Kitchen Matters.” You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.