When you look at the areas of your body that are the most important for preventing disease and ensuring a good quality of life, your brain and heart are up there as the two most important ones. But then it is your gut, which may be a surprise to a lot of people. It is the reason why avoiding bad foods and habits, while adding good habits, is the way to ensure that you are taking care of your body for decades to come.
Here are four habits that are causing serious damage to your gut, even as we speak:
1. Poor Diet
The first and most important culprit is the foods that you put into your body. If you have a poor diet, you are doing serious damage to your gut that may have long term consequences.
If you want to make changes, get rid of processed, fatty and high sugar foods from your diet. These are hard to digest and promote bad bacteria in your body.
Add a lot more leafy greens and other vegetables, while sticking to fruit for your daily sugar intake. Ensure you are also getting enough fiber, as it will make it easier for you to pass stool from your body.
Did you know that alcohol kills good bacteria in your gut? Most people understand that alcohol damages the liver in large quantities, but even a few glasses of wine a day can be causing serious damage to your gut. Even if you do not want to give up alcohol entirely, cutting down to a couple glasses of wine a week is so important.
3. Not Enough Fermentation
If you do not have enough fermented foods in your diet, you are not allowing good bacteria and probiotics to get into your body. It is especially important if you have spent years eating unhealthy items that reduced the number of good bacteria in your body.
Foods that can help in this situation are yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir. Adding these items to your diet most days will help you get more of the good bacteria that you need to maintain a healthy gut.
4. Stress and Sleep
The two seem to go hand in hand for most people. When you do not sleep, you are stressed during the day. If you are stressed out, you may have a hard time getting your seven to eight hours of sleep.
Studies have shown that people who have more stress can suffer problems in the digestive tract. Lack of sleep also stops the buildup of good bacteria in your body. If you care about your gut and overall health, it is time to cut down on stressful activities and get more sleep during the week!