4 common mistakes you’re making when trying to heal your gut
Bloating, indigestion, irritable bowel, feeling sluggish and lethargic, mood swings and poor concentration…
For 50% of Australians experiencing gut health issues, these symptoms are all too familiar!
There is no underestimating the importance of looking after your gut health – especially when you consider that the gut actually lies at the core of your overall health and can have an impact on the radiance of your skin and strength of your immune system, to the health of your digestive system and balance of your hormones and mood.
With so many trending ‘gut health remedies’ being shared online and across social media, we may think we know what to do when it comes to resetting our gut. However, there are a few common mistakes that many people unknowingly fall into the trap of and end up harming their gut health further.
Below, I have shared four of the most common mistakes people are making when trying to heal their gut and how to fix them.
Mistake 1: You take Apple Cider religiously before your lunch and dinner to “boost” digestive enzymes
Whilst Apple Cider has some phenomenal properties, including being alkalizing and helping to stimulate the production of stomach acid to facilitate the digestion of fats and proteins, it can actually make you extra bloated and puffy if your gut is out of balance.
Gut dysbiosis means that there is an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. If your gut bacteria is out of balance, drinking apple cider vinegar may aggravate fermentation of sugar/yeast and actually encourage bad bacteria to flourish causing bloating, indigestion and cramping.
I recommend that you avoid all fermented foods until you work on healing your gut lining and reducing bacterial overgrowth. One of the keys to doing this is weeding out bad gut bacteria with herbs such as Calendula, Oregon grape and Nlack Walnut hull. You can encourage the healing of your gut lining with herbs like Slippery Elm, Licorice and Marshmallow along with nutrients such as Glutamine.
Work to shift excess toxins with Diatomaceous Earth and balance gut bacteria with polyphenol-rich superfoods, magic compounds which have an ability to starve off unwelcome microbes in your gut. You will find Polyphenols along with Diatomaceous Earth, Black Walnut hull and Licorice extracts in our Skin + Gut Renew Powder.
Mistake 2: You are taking your daily intake of fibre via psyllium husks or psyllium supplements
Psyllium is a soluble source of fiber designed to assist in supplementing fibre levels and improving digestion and promoting regular bowel movements. It may actually lead to severe constipation if you are not supplementing with adequate water.
Formation of gas in the intestine is the most common side effect of psyllium. The gas is a result of the interaction between beneficial bacteria present in the intestine and the soluble fibre. Rather than supplementing with one source of plant-based fibre, I recommend getting your recommended daily intake (25 g for men 30 g for women) from a variety of plant-based foods such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, whole grains such as oats, fruits (in particular kiwis and pears) along with vegetables.
This variety of plant-based fibre ensures you are feeding your gut microbes with a diverse diet which they absolutely love. They thrive on a diet of varied plant-based vegetables and will reward you by ensuring your digestion is kept in check, and your good and bad gut microbes are balanced.
Mistake 3: You are intermittent fasting for 14 hours every day
Whilst intermittent fasting has its place in encouraging longevity and a promoting a healthy weight, prolonged fasting can in fact lead to an increase in circulating stress hormones, including cortisol. Our body may as a result shift precious resources from our immune system, hormone creation and connective tissue repair in favour of cortisol production.
This nutrient depleting exercise can impact our skin, hair and hormone balance whilst also shifting our body to ‘starvation’ or preservation mode, which may make weight loss challenging. I recommend practicing intermittent fasting or reduced calorie days 1-2 days a week, or practicing a shorter intermittent fast of 10-12 hours which is not as taxing on the body.
Mistake 4: You are drinking kombucha every day as you have heard it is great for gut health
You may have been told that kombucha is a fantastic drink to promote a healthy gut. But, did you know that kombucha is made with a wild and unpredictable ferment?
Wild ferments are uncontrolled and unregulated which means that whilst most people can receive a benefit from them, some people can actually experience adverse side effects and cannot tolerate some of the micro-organisms and yeast that may be appearing in a wild ferment. This is especially true if you are battling candida overgrowth, “leaky gut” or IBS.
Also important to note is the fact that kombucha contains tea which is fermented with sugar – whilst a lot of this is fermented and hence disappears, a significant amount of sugar is left unfermented which is not great when it comes to balancing good bacteria. We recommend encouraging the growth of good bacteria with fibre and gut supportive nutrients (which can be found in our Skin + Gun Renew Powder) rather than focusing on drinks like Kombucha.
Inner Essentials - Skin + Gut Renew Powder
The Edible Beauty Inner Essentials - Skin + Gut Renew Powder is a naturopathic formula containing a combination of nutrients, along with herbs traditionally used in Western herbal medicine designed to support healthy gastrointestinal immune function and skin health. With key actives of Protease to support digestion, L-Glutamine to maintain and support healthy gastrointestinal immune function and Vitamin C as a key skin nutrient.