Did you know that some common foods damage and inflame your gut, prolonging your struggles with IBS?
- Refined products. These are “are food artifacts”. That is they’re not really food at all, only calories. Let’s take sugar. It comes from sugar cane which in nature contains nutrients like chromium and B vitamins. These nutrients helped the body cope with the natural sugars in there. Take sugar cane to the factory, get rid of the fibre and nutrients and you’re left with table sugar. White or brown it’s still depleted in nutrients. Your body has to draw nutrients away from other important functions to metabolise the sugar. Functions like keeping your mind calm (B vitamins and magnesium), or bowel healthy (folate, zinc, selenium, vitamin C) may suffer. Refined prsoducts feed pro-inflammatory bacteria in your gut. Refined foods include most wheat, pasta and sweet products as well as ready meals and things in packets with long lists of ingredients.
- Gluten. Gluten is a collection of proteins found in grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley. Humans can’t properly digest gluten so traditional ways of preparing grains like wheat evolved. Sourdough fermentation removes over 99% of the gluten from grains. This is why many people notice sourdough bread is easier on their system than yeast or soda bread. I ask all patients with digestive issues to lighten the gluten load by doing some very simple swaps in how they shop. Beware though, many “gluten-free” products are highly refined and can make matters worse!
- Low-calorie or sugar-free products. These will often contain aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose. These chemicals alter your gut bacteria in favour of the “bad guys” that inflame you and prevent normal digestion.
It’s amazing how even a few simple changes can impact how you feel…
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