Your gut is full of bacteria and other microorganisms – and that’s a good thing. They help break down the food we eat and provide our bodies with the nutrients it needs.
Fun fact – did you know that your digestive tract (everything from your mouth to your anus) is considered the outside of your body?
To make the most out of the healthy foods you eat, particularly green leafy vegetables and the nutrients they provide, you need a healthy gut biome. You need plenty of good bacteria that help break down these types of foods and allow the nutrients to enter the cells of your body.
The problem with sugar
That’s where sugar comes into play. Sugars, particularly fructose and sucrose can cause the wrong type of bacteria to grow and flourish. This in turn overcrowds the good bacteria you need to break down healthy food. Cutting back on the sugar and processed foods you eat will help you restore balance to your gut microbiome and give the good guys a chance to help you stay healthy.
Sugar also causes inflammation, throughout the body, and especially in the gut. Inflammation can prevent the proper processing of nutrients and cause all sorts of digestive issues.
Another big problem with an imbalance in the gut is that having too many of the wrong kind of microorganisms will in turn make you crave more sugar and processed foods. When you have a large colony of bacteria in your gut that crave those foods and thrive on them, it’s not surprising that you crave them more. This starts a vicious cycle that’s hard to break out of, but you can do it.
Start by cutting back on sugary foods and processed food in general as much as you can. Cut out sugary drinks, particularly fizzy drinks and anything with high-fructose corn syrup. Replace it with fresh fruits and vegetables. Take a good probiotic and include fermented foods like yogurt, cheese, pickles and sauerkraut to name a few. Restore balance to your gut and with it you will help restore health to your body.
This has benefits outside the gut as well. By reducing the amount of sugar you eat, you reduce your chance of getting diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer. Cancer cells thrive on sugar as well and you don’t want to feed them if you can avoid it.
Sugar is addictive and it’s not easy to cut back or cut as much of it out of your diet as possible. But it’s well worth it in the end. You won’t believe how much better you’ll feel once you get over those pesky sugar cravings.