Fact or Fad: Healthy Gut Edition

Posted By Author on July 10, 2024

Many fashion trends have made a recent resurgence, going from has-been to hot in the blink of an eye. While some nostalgic trends prove just as successful the second time around, others should remain in the past. 

When it comes to your gut health, though, it’s not always so easy to spot the bad fads. That’s where Charleston GI can help! Our qualified team of gastroenterologists near you not only emphasizes the importance of healthy eating but also creates a comprehensive, customized guide to gut health. You’ll find more details about your gut microbiome, simple food swaps, and more.

Keep reading to learn more, and then schedule an appointment with a Charleston GI doctor today!

How Do I Know If I Have an Unhealthy Gut?

When the bad bacteria in your gut outnumber the good, uncomfortable symptoms often arise. As bad bacteria thrive in their new environment, you may experience these signs of a gut imbalance: 

  • Digestive issues (irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, diarrhea, heartburn) 
  • Sleep difficulties 
  • Skin rashes and allergies 
  • Unexplained mood disorders (anxiety or depression)
  • Unexplained fatigue 
  • Sugar cravings 

While these symptoms may be the signs of an unbalanced gut, they could also indicate a more serious GI tract condition. Schedule an appointment with your Charleston gastroenterology specialist to rule out any underlying conditions that could be to blame.

Is Choosing an Apple Over a Donut Really Going to Make a Difference? 

The track to healthy eating has a different starting line for everyone. Some venture down the path with the intent to lose weight, while others do it to combat high blood pressure or cholesterol. 

No matter your motivation for adopting a healthier lifestyle, choosing the more nutritious option can have a significant impact on different areas of the body – not just your gut. 

Gut Health

A balanced gut microbiome equals a happy and healthy you! Research reveals that the diversity of your gut microbiome can impact everything from your mood to weight loss goals. Probiotic- and prebiotic-rich foods can boost the diversity of your gut, helping to promote good gut health. 

Joint Health 

Joint aches and pains are common, and while underlying conditions are often the cause, nutrition may play a role in the way you feel. For instance, foods containing Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation, helping your joints move with ease over time. 

Brain and Mental Health

Cognition may be connected to the food we eat, with diet impacting our memory and ability to learn. Eating junk food essentially shrinks the brain and causes inflammation throughout the body and brain, which may contribute to mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. 

What’s Hot and What’s Not: Food Swaps for a Healthy Gut 

When it comes to improving your gut health, there are certain foods to incorporate into your diet – and certain ones to avoid. To make it simple, your GI doctors in Charleston, SC have detailed some common food swaps below. Check it out!

What’s Hot 

  • Kefir or plant-based milk 
  • Kombucha, water, or unsweetened seltzers
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Sourdough bread
  • Wholegrain or whole meal pasta and rice
  • Unsalted nuts, seeds and dried fruits 
  • Probiotic yogurt
  • Oats or other whole-grain cereals

What’s Not 

  • Dairy milk 
  • Soda or artificially sweetened drinks
  • White rice and pasta
  • White bread
  • Chips and snack cakes
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Sugary cereals

Swapping junk food for gut-positive choices can go a long way toward building a healthier gut. Our Charleston GI specialists recommend eating a variety of colorful foods at every meal to ensure you’re consuming a diet rich in fiber-packed veggies, fruits, and whole grains. 

Before making drastic changes to your diet, consult one of our gastroenterology specialists at Charleston GI to make sure that a dietary change is right for you and your GI tract based on your specific needs. 

Hard Time Trusting Your Gut? Contact Charleston GI Today! 

Trusting your gut is easier said than done, especially when cravings for a tasty treat strike. Is your body notifying you of a gut imbalance or do you simply have a hankering for something sweet? Trusting your gut and understanding the impact of the food you eat are two critical steps toward a healthier future. 

We have four convenient Charleston area locations to best serve you in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, and Carnes Crossroads.

There’s no referral needed, so schedule your appointment today with Charleston GI!