Your gut has trillions of bacteria, also known as the gut microbiome. While tiny, these microorganisms play a vital role in our health. To mention a few benefits, a healthy gut has been shown to improve hormones, the appearance of your skin, and your anxiety levels. However, your gut bacteria are quite susceptible to the things you do daily. Here are some surprising things you didn’t know harm your gut’s health.
1. Not Enough Variety of Foods
Whether you’re following a specific diet, or stay within a certain amount of foods, your limited diet can be harming your gut. A recent study found that children with a more diverse array of foods had better gut health. This is because diets composed mainly of whole foods and fiber contain a wider range of nutrients, unlike a highly-processed diet.
2. Not Sleeping Enough
Lack of sleep does more than mess with our moods and energy. Sleep deprivation is well-known to have links to health issues such as heart disease and obesity. One large study analyzed the short-term effects of sleep deprivation on gut micro biodata. After just two days of sleep deprivation, researchers found noticeable changes in the gut flora.
3. Missing Your Workouts
Many people associate a lack of exercise with weight gain and not with gut health issues. However, inadequate exercise has been linked to a lack of beneficial bacteria in women. Another study looked into the professional athlete’s gut health and found that those who exercised regularly had a higher diversity of microorganisms.
4. Taking Antibiotics
Some people know this one. Others are shocked to learn that antibiotics mess with our gut. Countless studies have found that antibiotics destroy good and bad bacteria. A single dose of antibiotics can cause severe changes in the composition and diversity of your gut flora. The changes are so drastic that it takes at least four weeks for bacteria to return. However, their number doesn’t return to previous levels.
5. Stressing Too Much
It is no surprise that stress isn’t good for our gut health. High levels of stress can have many harmful effects on the body. So far, studies have found that stress can reduce gut flora diversity and mess up your gut’s profile. Other studies also showed a decrease in friendly bacteria after experiencing high levels of stress.
6. Not Taking Prebiotics
Finally, not taking prebiotics is also messing with your gut. Prebiotics are vital to promoting the growth of friendly gut bacteria. In various studies, researchers found that a lack of prebiotics was harmful to overall digestive issues.
Keep an eye open for things harming your gut bacteria. Make a conscious effort to avoid these as much as possible. And remember, keep checking back here for more gut health advice.