In recent years, the importance of gut health and its impact on overall health has become increasingly supported by research. Gut health affects your digestion, hormones, and immunity. In fact, 80% of your immune system is in the gut and 95% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in the gut. For this reason, it’s important to keep your gut healthy and to do that requires facts in the sea of potential misinformation that characterizes online spaces. Here are common myths about the gut that have been debunked.
You should poop daily
This is one of the most common gut health myths. You do not have to poop daily. Anywhere from three times a day to three times a week is considered normal. Frequency varies from person to person. It can be affected by a variety of factors including diet, hydration levels, age, and stress. If you notice any sudden changes though you can consult your doctor.
What Your Poop Says About Your Health
Fibre causes stomach problems
Fibre is essential for gut health especially because it bulks up stool and keeps things moving along, promoting regular bowel movements. The problem comes in when someone suddenly starts eating a high amount of fibre when they weren’t before. This change can cause bloating and cramping which is why you should slowly increase your fibre intake to avoid discomfort.
Spicy foods cause ulcers
Have you heard the one about spicy foods causing ulcers? Research shows that spicy foods do not cause ulcers. In fact, the active ingredient in chilli may help prevent and heal ulcers. Ulcers are caused by bacterial infections like Helicobacter pylori. They are also not caused by stress which is an equally pervasive myth. Spicy foods may cause slight discomfort in people with ulcers but as they say, correlation does not equal causation. Hope that finally lays that gut health myth to rest.
Health: H. Pylori – Symptoms, Treatment And Management
Gluten is bad for gut health
Gluten-free diets are all the rage presently as are diets based on the elimination of certain food groups. Elimination diets are almost always a mistake. Gut health is more about adding things to your diet rather than removing things unless you have medically been advised to do so. Gluten should be avoided by people with celiac disease or wheat allergies, not everyone. People on gluten-free diets are likely to get insufficient nutrients, especially folic acid, fibre, selenium and B12. Whole grains are prebiotic foods that are beneficial to gut bacteria.
It’s as simple as taking probiotics
Probiotics are often touted as the solution to gut health, but they are only one part of it. Yes, probiotics are good for gut bacteria, but other factors also count in improving gut health. Diet and lifestyle play a key role.
You do not need colonic irrigation or whatever other procedure to clean your colon. There is zero scientific evidence backing up the claim that colon cleansing can improve gut health or overall health. Your liver and kidney do a good enough job of cleaning and detoxing, no other procedure is needed. In fact, colonic irrigation is a risky procedure in which a small mistake can lead to bloating, stomach pain, infection and even a punctured bowel. A colon cleanse may offer temporary relief if you’re suffering from constipation, but the true focus should be on identifying and addressing the root cause of your constipation.
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