The saying “You are what you eat.” is very accurate for this post. Why? Because your gut health contributes a lot to your overall health. 70% of the cells that make up your immune system lives in your gut wall! And that 90% of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract?
If you noticed that you have been getting sick a lot lately, feeling lethargic or getting brain fog and the main reason could be that you haven’t been eating well. When your digestive tract is impaired, you are susceptible to a lot of physical ailments.
If you check the label and you find ingredients that you can’t pronounce, it is probably packed with additives, preservatives, chemicals and refined sugars. These can disturb the balance of bacteria in the gut and may lead to inflammation and other digestive disturbances such as constipation, cramps, bloating and weight gain.
Be wary, because not all processed foods are microwaveable meals and other ready meals. Processed food can be any food that has been altered in some way during preparation such as freezing, baking, canning, and drying.
A few examples of common processed foods include:
- Tinner vegetables
- Junk food such as crisps, sausage rolls, instant noodles
- Cakes and biscuits
- Soft drinks
- Bacon, ham, deli meats and hotdogs
However, not all processed foods are unhealthy because other foods need processing to make them suitable for consuming such as pressing seeds in order to make oil. But the majority of them may contain high levels of salt, sugar, and fat.
The world gluten is derived from the Greek word “glue”. If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will. Gluten is a protein that is mostly found in barley, wheat, rye and other grains. It’s a glue-like sticky protein that gives food that chewy and satisfying texture. It can also be very hard to digest that can lead to intolerance. If you have gluten intolerance, your immune system goes into attack mode and can damage your gut wall. It can start triggering other gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, headache, skin rashes, fatigue, and in serious cases, vomiting and severe stomach pain.
Even if you don’t have a severe reaction, gluten could be responsible for your brain fog and lethargy.
Here are some examples of food that contain gluten unless stated otherwise:
- Malt or malt flavoring
- Commercial broths
- Cold cuts
- French fries
- Processed cheese and mayonnaise
- Soy sauce, teriyaki sauces, and salad dressings
- Fruit fillings and puddings
Refined Sugar & Other Artificial Sweeteners
I’ve already made quite an argument about how toxic sugar can be. Artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrups aren’t any different. These types of sugar and sweetening substitutes can encourage an overgrowth of bad bacteria that can cause allergies, inflammatory bowel, leaky gut, thrush, hormone disruption and nutrient depletion. It’s mostly present on junk food, juices, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and condiments.
If you walk into a grocery store, you’ll find this toxic sugary goodness everywhere. Most products that contain them are those that are labeled as “diet” or “reduced sugar”.
It can even be found in some foods that claim to have natural ingredients, like:
- Cookies and muffins.
- Fruit Juices
- Splenda & Equal
- Some yogurts
- Chocolate drinks