The Big Seven Gut Disruptors Transcribed (Click the picture to watch the video!)
Today I'm talking about the BIG seven! Seven things that Americans are exposed to on a daily or weekly basis that negatively impact the gut. We're going over these seven gut disruptors and how you can minimize your exposure to them!
70 million American's suffer from a gut disease, ranging from IBS to celiac disease. We also know that many of our chronic diseases or issues that we experience on a daily basis that we think are normal are things that can be tracked back to the gut. From sleep issues, skin issues, low energy, allergies, even obesity- they all start in the gut, making it so important to nurture your gut bacteria. So today we are covering seven things that negatively impact the gut and how to minimize your contact with them.
Gut Disruptor #1: Antibiotic Use
The average American uses antibiotics 4-5 times throughout the year. This is excessive and they aren't always necessary. Antibiotics are really good at their job. They're supposed to come into our bodies, kill bad bacteria and make us feel better. Unfortunately, as they're killing off the bad bacteria, they also kill off the good bacteria.
We know the number one predictor of a healthy gut is a diverse amount of bacteria, so we really don't want this good bacteria killed off. If we're constantly wiping all that bacteria out, unfortunately, our gut isn't going to be healthy.
Gut Disruptor #2: Antibacterial Soap and Harsh Cleaning Products
Just like antibiotics, antibacterial soap cleans off all of the bacteria that we're exposed to. This keeps our gut from getting all of that good bacteria, and our body stops learning how to fight the bad bacteria, negatively affecting our immune system.
We also don't want super harsh chemicals in our cleaning products. Again, it's cleaning off all bacteria, good and bad, leaving none for our gut. Some people are starting to believe that the rise in allergies has to do with the invention of dishwashers. This process that sanitizes and kills all of the germs that we could potentially come in contact with is negatively affecting our gut microbiome, making our bodies unable to handle typical environmental factors.
Be leery of anti-bacterial soaps and super harsh cleaning products.
Gut Disruptor #3: Stress
Americans live in this state of low grade stress. We experience low grade stress on a daily basis.
When we experience stress, our body emits a hormone called cortisol. Way back in the day, cortisol was really helpful. If we came into contact with a sabertooth tiger, our bodily systems would shut down, keeping us from digesting, having to go to the bathroom, and all these important things that we can't focus on when we're trying to run for our lives.
When we live in a constant state of stress, our body is constantly emitting cortisol and we aren't able to digest the way that our body is supposed to. If we aren't digesting our food properly and going to the bathroom regularly, our gut is negatively impacted.
Gut Disruptor #4: Processed Foods
We know that getting a diverse amount of bacteria into your body is important. We get bacteria from soluble fiber. Processed food is devoid of most soluble fibers and nourishing bacteria. The more processed food you eat, the less healthy your gut will be.
Gut Disruptor #5: Processed Meat
Again with the antibiotics. Processed meat is exposed to hormones and antibiotics. Whatever those cows or pigs are eating, you are ingesting as well. When you eat meat that has been exposed to antibiotics, you're taking in those antibiotics. We know antibiotics kill all the good bacteria so eliminating processed meat from your diet is important.
Gut Disruptor #6: Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are known to induce glucose intolerance. This disrupts the way that our body takes in and absorbs nutrients. They really knock our gut out of balance and should not be consumed regularly.
Gut Disruptor #7: NSAIDS
NSAIDS are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Think medicine you can get over the counter like Ibuprofen and allergy medications. When used consistently, these drugs can lead to digestive distress and chronic diseases like IBS and leaky gut. Leaky gut affects the way our body absorbs nutrients that come into our body, creating even bigger issues. IBS creates serious digestive issues and distress. Use NSAIDS with caution.
Now that you know the biggest seven gut disruptors, here are some things that you can do to minimize your exposure to them!
First, limit your antibiotic exposure. Sometimes antibiotics are important and necessary. They can be a really wonderful tool, but if you don't have to take them, don't. For most of us, our body naturally wants to heal itself, it just needs the time and opportunity. So if you are in a situation where you're feeling crummy but you don't have to take an antibiotic, rest up, and let your body heal itself.
Another way to minimize antibiotic exposure is to make sure that you're taking care of yourself. Get good sleep, eat healthy food, have lemon water in the morning to support your immune system, and be sure to rest when your body needs it. Protect yourself from situations where you might need antibiotics.
Next, make sure you're eating real food instead of processed food. Load up on plants! We know plants have all of that good gut bacteria with the soluble fiber, so make sure you're eating mostly plants. Head to my blog for some soluble fiber rich, real food recipes!
Getting natural cleaning products into your home is also important. Head to ewg.org to get information on high quality and low chemical cleaning products. Additionally, stay away from anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer. Regular soap will do the trick.
As far as meat consumption goes, stay away from anything that has been exposed to antibiotics and hormones. That means most lunch meat and anything that isn't certified organic. Instead, boil some organic chicken at the beginning of the week for sandwiches or make sure you know the ranch you are getting your meat from. This will help with sustainable ranching practices and your gut will be better for it! If you aren't into researching ranches yet, be sure to either get certified organic meat or at LEAST antibiotic + hormone free, grass fed and grass finished meat.
Instead of using artificial sweeteners, opt for raw honey, which actually has some wonderful healing affects for the body, or pure maple syrup. Even granulated sugar is a better option than the artificial stuff. Your body will recognize it as a real sugar source and won't have the crazy cravings for more sugar.
Last but not least, managing your stress is so important for your gut. It's also important for every other aspect of your life- feeling good, being happy, digestion, sleep, all the good things. Make sure that you're doing something every day to manage your stress. Find something that you love to do, whether that's a workout, meditation, gardening, walking your dogs, or anything that makes you feel good.
January Gut Health Group!
If you think you could use some more information about how to support your gut and get it and the rest of your body functioning properly, join me and 9 other people this January for my Gut Health Group!
Head to northwesthealthcoaching.com and subscribe to the site so you can stay up-to-date with sign up info, when we are starting, and to snag your spot. We will be diving into all things gut- prebiotics, probiotics, how to choose the probiotic that is right for you, gut healing foods, recipes to support gut health, and so much more!
I hope you will join me in January!