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Habits that Harm Your Gut Health

By Sara Butler

The health of your gut is really important. In fact, some researchers have called it your “second brain” since it has such a big impact on your overall health, wellness, and functioning. The microbiome in your gut is filled with bacteria that is beneficial to your health but may contribute to disease when things are out of whack. Here are a few habits you may have that can be impacting the health of your gut.

An Unhealthy Diet

How and what you eat has a big influence on the health and balance of your microbiome. If you eat a nutritious diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, then your microbiome will thrive and you’ll feel great. But if you eat a diet full of processed foods high in sugar and fat, then you may feel tired, weak, or sick because your microbiome isn’t doing too hot. Try limited sugar and avoiding processed foods to get your gut in better shape.


When you drink alcohol, it kills the good bacteria living in your gut and makes your gut more acidic, changing your digestive ecosystem. It also encourages an inflammatory response that can cause problems with nutrient absorption. It’s best to limit or eliminate alcohol for the good of your gut.

You’re Too Clean

If you routinely douse yourself in hand sanitizer or use antibacterial handwash regularly, then you might be hurting yourself more than helping. Over-sanitization can cause lack of exposure to things that help to create an immune response and ultimately make you healthier.

You Avoid Fermented Foods

Good bacteria can be found in a few different foods, but some of the best are fermented foods. You need to make sure you’re adding yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, kombucha, or kefir to your diet in order to make your gut bacteria happy.

You’re Stressed Out

When you’re stressed, it impacts your digestive system. The fight or flight response diverts energy to your vital organs and your digestion slows. Stress in the long term can have a huge impact on your gastric secretions and lead to poor health. So look for ways to control your stress.

Taking care of your gut is very important because it impacts your overall health and wellness. Try to break your back habits for the sake of your gut health and you may notice your overall health improves along the way!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbia, S.C.

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