7 things that are harming your good gut bugs
(Some of them might surprise you!)
Today I’m talking about seven things that can harm your good gut bacteria. Some may be obvious, and some may be things you have never even thought of!
- Antibiotics. Whilst they’ve saved so many lives, they are also designed to kill all bacteria – the good guys included. Now, studies show that it takes about two years to recover from one round of antibiotics. And for those who have several round of antibiotics in a year? It can permanently alter your microbiome, with the good guys unable to return to previous population numbers or loss of important species altogether.
- Preservatives. We know that preservatives are used in food to lengthen shelf life, right? They do this by killing off all the bacteria inside the packaged food, so what do you think happens when we also ingest those preservatives? They kill our bacteria too. This poses a problem if we are having processed and packaged foods daily.
- Starvation…of your microbiome. These poor guys need to eat too! And their food source of choice is fibre. Sadly our SAD diet (Standard Australian/American Diet) often leaves our good gut bugs starving as it’s low in fibre and antioxidants (especially polyphenols).
- Alcohol. High consumption of alcohol = low bacterial diversity, and we need diversity for our microbiome to thrive. It only takes 2-3 standard drinks per day for it to negatively affect our gut bacteria.
- Too much exercise. Now movement is obviously very important for our wellbeing but interestingly, active people have less bacteria diversity than more sedentary people.
- Sleep. Not getting enough sleep can not only impact your circadian rhythm and hormone production, but also reduce our good gut bugs too.
- Stress. This one is super important as it has a cascade effect across your whole digestive system, but it really impacts our bacteria. Lessen your stress to give your bacteria a fighting chance.
So there you have it, you now know the top seven killers of your good gut army. Which ones do you need to focus on to help your microbiome flourish?