The gut is the gastrointestinal tract or GI tract which is a long and twisting hollow tube that transfers food to the organs of digestion. Our gastrointestinal tract is composed of mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. The other organs that are involve in the digestive system are liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
The gut is home to trillions of microbes, with a thousand of different strains of bacteria having a wide range of roles in keeping our body's immune system and metabolism healthy.
According to BMC Immunology, impaired gut microbes which not only can cause gut diseases but also linked to metabolic disorders like diabetes and even brain dysfunction.
What are the Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Gut?
1. Sugar - According to this study high sugar diet can lead to constipation and negatively affect the overall gut function.
2. Processed Foods - with our busy lifestlyle today it's very hard to avoid processed foods because they are convenient and cheap. Unfortunately processed foods can be bad for our gut health since according to a study published by Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition "large amounts of processed foods might create an imbalance in the gut system by affecting gut bacteria and their metabolism." Another study shows that dietary emulsifiers has a negative impact on the gut microbiota of mouse that can lead to colitis and metabolic syndrome.
3. Artificial Sweeteners - these are commonly use in sodas, pastry and food and popular among or dieters and diabetics, since it has low caloric content. Unfortunately based on this study artificial sweeteners can be the cause of glucose intolerance and metabolic disease by bringing changes in the gut microbiota.
4. Red Meat - too bad for the Keto diet fanatics red meat rich diet is bad for the health and is linked to obesity, diabetes, and cancer. In an article on the National Institutes of Health website, a study has found an enzyme present in gut bacteria that releases an inflammation-causing carbohydrate from meat called N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc).
Another study from the Circulation Research shows a diet rich in red meat may increase the risk of heart disease by causing the production of certain metabolites in the gut.
5. Genetically modified foods - these are foods produced from genetically engineered living organism meaning they have undergone some changes in their DNA through genetic engineering. Most common genetically modified foods are Canola, Corn, Soy, Alfalfa, Sugar Beet, and Potato. In the United States, genetically modified crops are very common about 93% of the corn and soy planted in the United States is genetically modified in some way according to this article. This journal from Current Microbiology said that eating too much GMO foods can bring down the population of the beneficial bacteria living in the gut.
6. Antibiotics - it is well-known that taking antibiotics can mess up your gut bacteria that can lead to adverse health effects like diarrhea, leaky gut, Candida, and dysbiosis.
How do you get a healthy gut?
1. Eat Food that are high in Fiber - food rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains help the gastrointestinal tract move the food and avoid constipation.
2. Avoid eating Fatty Foods - it can slow down the digestive process and can give you constipation.
3. Drink plenty of water - it is good for your gut since it makes your feces softer and bulkier making it easier to expel.
4. Getting enough sleep - poor sleep quality can negatively affect your gut health.
5. Manage stress - if you're getting stress a lot can also affect your gut. Relaxing, exercise regularly, meditation and having fun with family and friends can lessen stress level.
6. Take a prebiotic or probiotic supplement - boosting your gut health by taking prebiotic or probiotic supplement is a good way to promote healthy microbiome in your gut than can also improve you overall health. Taking prebiotic or probiotic supplement can repopulate your healthy gut bacteria. Prebiotics gives food to your good bacteria living in your gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria.