Food is Medicine Part III: Top Five Gut Health Busters

Nutrition is the first line of defense at Rhett Women’s Center when patients struggle with gut health problems. We believe food is medicine! We believe in listening to our patients and looking at all potential contributing reasons for gut health problems. Sometimes the reasons behind poor digestive health are not related to food sources, supplements or other diagnostic test results. The top five gut health busting culprits to avoid are below.

1. Being Sedentary
Recent studies attribute physical activity to the following health benefits:

  • weight loss
  • lower stress levels
  • reduced risk of chronic disease
  • improved gut health

Regular physical activity promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia. (20)

2. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Chronic alcohol consumption can cause dysbiosis. Good news for red wine drinkers. The polyphenol content of red wine has beneficial effects for moderate red wine drinkers on gut bacteria.

3. Cigarette Smoking
Cigarette smoking is an environmental risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease. Smoking has detrimental effects on nearly even organ in the body. Smoking cessation can improve gut health in as soon as 9 weeks. (20)

4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Your body has its own time-keeping clock, known as your circadian rhythm. The gut also has circadian-like rhythm. When sleep is disrupted, harmful effects on gut bacteria result.

5. A Stressful Lifestyle
In the gut, stress can increase sensitivity, reduce blood flow and alter the gut bacteria (20). Stress increases harmful bacteria like Clostridium and reduces beneficial bacteria like Lactobacilli.

Improve Your Gut Health
To understand better your individual gut health and the balance of good and bad bacteria, please schedule a nutrition consultation or a functional medicine consultation. Our highly trained team of providers is trained to diagnosis and treat common digestive symptoms that disrupt overall health. A healthy gut flora that is high in good bacteria is the catalyst for overall health and wellbeing. Conduct a free online health assessment or book at http://www.rhettwomenscenter.com/functional-medicine/ or book a free “Are We a Good Fit” phone call 843-375-2210.

Try incorporating these quick lifestyle tips:
• Make time for a comprehensive evaluation of your health
• Reset your metabolism and curb unhealthy food addictions with a detox
• Eat more prebiotic foods
• Consume more probiotics in food and add a pharmaceutical grade probiotic supplement
• Reduce or eliminate caffeine
• Exercise regularly
• Create a sleep routine
• Meditate
• Eat foods rich in polyphenols such as blueberries, red wine, dark chocolate and green tea
• Reduce refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed food consumption