5 Unexpected Ways to Take Care of your Gut
by Zach Moyer, Health Coach and Wellness Coordinator
A healthy gut is the foundation to a healthy life. Over the last few years, research into the field of the gut micro biome has exploded and developing research is showing correlations between gut health, auto-immune disorders, obesity, mental health— just to name a few.
On a more intuitive level, we know that we are what we eat. When we eat real, whole foods we nourish our gut and beneficial bacteria flourish. This allows for healthy digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
From time to time, we intentionally do harm to our good bacteria. After a night or drinking or junk food, we may feel bloated or heavy in our intestinal regions. Our bodies are able to bounce back, but we shouldn’t create any more unintentional disturbances to our gut than absolutely necessary. Here are six unexpected ways you can take care of your gut:
1. Stop using toxic chemical cleaners. — Believe it or not, what you clean your house with, can and does make it into your body! Super toxic all purpose cleaners, for example, when used on your counters can very quickly make its way into your food… and then your gut! Toxic chemicals kill and destroy beneficial bacteria in your gut. This applies to chemicals used to treat produce as well— make sure you’re washing fruits and vegetables with clean water.
2. Don’t swallow your mouthwash! — No one intentionally swallows their mouthwash… but sometimes it can linger and we may unintentionally swallow some. If you use intense or harsh mouthwashes, it can harm your gut biome unnecessary. Opt for natural mouthwashes that aren’t poisonous if you ingest some accidentally.
3. Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. — Western medicine is amazing— thank goodness for the advances in science that allow us to live longer and better! Antibiotics are part of this, when our bodies have bacterial infections, this medication allows us to heal when in the past it was not possible. Work with your doctor and make sure that you are not taking antibiotics for illness that is unrelated to bacterial infections. Next time you have a cold, don’t take your extra pills you have from the last time you have strep. Have the flu? It’s viral- not bacterial and an antibiotic won’t help. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, including beneficial bacteria in your gut. When taken unnecessarily, we kill off the population of essential bacteria, harming our gut heath.
4. Say no to non-organic animal products. — If meat, eggs and dairy are part of your diet, then take extra care to eat USDA Organic products. Key words like pasture raised, free-range, cage-free, grass fed, humanely-raised, vegetarian-fed, antibiotic-free are marketing labels. Conventional animal products are often treated with antibiotics which make their way into the meat, eggs and dairy we eat. This unintentionally causes harm to our gut. When you eat foods with the USDA Organic label, you are opting for animals that were not treated with antibiotics and were raised within acceptable, natural standards. Is it a perfect system? No. But is it better than the alternative— oh yeah.
5. Probably just skip the probiotic yogurts. — It’s true, many yogurt products you see at the grocery store or your friendly frozen yogurt self-serve shop probably do have lots of probiotic cultures. But make sure you look at the ingredients. If the product is riddled with added sugars, any benefit of the probiotic cultures is destroyed. Opt for no-added sugar yogurts naturally lightly sweetened with fruit, honey or stevia instead. There are tons of natural, fermented foods that offer a host of beneficial probiotics you can eat, including probiotic capsules.
At Deep Roots Natural Medicine we’re holistically treating the roots of your health concerns. If you’re feeling driven towards improving your gut health, schedule a consultation with us today! You can never go wrong trusting your gut!