What Is Gut Health?
This Doctor's Take on Gut Health Might Surprise You
1. Stop Eating Lectin-Laden Foods
Uh, what’s a lectin?you might ask. Lectin-laden foods include “whole grains, beans, nightshades like potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and goji berries, as well as peanuts and cashews, which are actually beans,” Gundry says. Wait, those foods sound healthy, right? According to Gundry, “The lectin proteins in these foods damage the gut wall similar to guided missile attacks!” Drama. “Lectins are the plant defense system against being eaten.Lectins pry open the wall of the gut and can travel throughout the body to our joints, our brain, our blood vessels, and lectins are responsible for the vast majority of our health issues today.”
2. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
This is a tip you’ve likely heard before, but Gundry advises you especially avoid “sucralose (Splenda), which kills friendly gut microbes (your gut buddies).” Artificial sweeteners don’t stop at your microbes; they also “trick the brain, making you gain weight. Your tongue has receptors for sweet, not sugar. Two-thirds of our tongue’s surface area is sweet receptors because, long ago, fruit was only available once a year during summer, and we needed to feast on fruit to fatten up for the winter. The sweet taste hit pleasure receptors in our brain, and did we ever gorge on fruit. But now, anartificial sweetener or even a natural sweetener like stevia tricks our brain into thinking that we are eating sugar and that we should eat more and more!Since sugar never actually arrives in our brain, our brain thinks we have been cheated and makes us look for and eat more food!” Gundry says.
3. Avoid Antibiotics Except for Life-Threatening Infections
4. Avoid Taking NSAIDs Like Nurofen
What’s so harmful about a little Nurofen? According to Gundry, “these compounds destroy the lining of your small intestine, promoting leaky gut.Pharmaceutical companies have known the damage that NSAIDs cause to the gut wall for 50 years, but we couldn’t see that damage with our endoscopes because it was out of reach. However, with “pill” cameras, we now know the destruction that these painkillers cause. In fact, even short-term NSAID use of four days dramatically increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke!” Scary stuff.
5. Take Vitamin D and Fish Oil Supplements
Bonus: Eat or Take Prebiotic Fibre
What’s a prebiotic? “Inulin, chicory, radicchio, okra, Belgian or curly endive, and artichokes” are good examples, Gundry says. “Eat resistant starches like sweet potatoes, yucca, taro root, plantains, green bananas, as well as nuts like walnuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts. These are food for your gut buddies, and without them, the bad bugs take over. And remember: Do not confuse prebiotics with probiotics.Probiotics are good bugs, but prebiotics are the fertiliser that makes the good bugs grow.And believe it or not, like I show inThe Plant Paradox, good bugs [help you lose weight]. Just this week, a double-blind placebo controlled study from Edmonton Canada showed that overweight schoolchildren who were given prebiotics lost weight while the placebo group gained three times as much weight. Moreover, the bugs in the prebiotic group changed to good bugs, while the control group kept having bad bugs,” Gundry says.
Consider our minds officially blown.Did you know any of these gut health tips before? Are you as surprised by Gundry’s take as we are?Let us know, and be sure to talk to your own physician about what nutritional or medical adjustments, if any, are right for you.
Video: 5 tips to keep your gut microbiome healthy | UCLA Health Newsroom
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