Avoiding Deadly Habits That Can Wreak Havoc on Your Digestive System
The critical role the digestive system plays in our overall wellbeing can never be downplayed.
Regrettably, the digestive system also known as the gastrointestinal system- which performs the breaking down of the food we eat and converting it into the nutrients needed for energy and the support of all our body functions- is accorded less attention and importance than it deserves from us.
The alarming rate at which people(including supposedly educated medical experts) literally “vandalize” their digestive systems calls for serious concern for so many reasons.
Perhaps, the most notorious reason is the health challenges created as a corollary of a ‘vandalized’ gastrointestinal system. And they are quite a handful: cancer, liver problems, peptic ulcers, heartburn, eczema and diarrhea.
If you truly desire getting the best out of your digestive system, you have no choice than to put an immediate stop to these deadly habits
1. Avoid Compromised Foods and Beverages
One of the best ways of wreaking havoc on your digestive system is by consuming food or water/beverages contaminated with bacteria. Your digestive tract which can also be referred to as your gut is home to over 500 species and 3 pounds of bacteria.
Yes, you actually have resident bacteria in your body. But don’t start shivering or get panicky because some of these bacteria are ‘good’ and play an important role in digesting food, regulating hormones, excreting toxins and producing vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your body healthy. Since we have ‘good’ bacteria in the digestive tract, it’s logical we also have ‘bad’ bacteria.
The bacteria found in rotten or contaminated food are predominantly ‘bad’. When you consume compromised food, the population of the ‘bad’ bacteria increases which leads to a dangerous imbalance in the digestive system’s ecosystem.
The ‘bad’ bacteria are notorious for consuming nutrients meant for our bodies like iron and B12, causing damage to the membrane of the small intestine, producing gas which causes abdominal pain and constipation, decrease proper fat absorption and excreting acids which can cause neurological problems.
There’s no way of putting this in a better way: heavy smokers practically ‘vandalize’ their gut each time they smoke.
Smoking severely damages the liver which is a vital organ in your digestive system. The liver’s primary digestive roles are to process the nutrients absorbed from the small intestine for onward delivery to the bloodstream, detoxify harmful chemicals and the secretion of bile into the small intestine for fat digestion.
Once the liver stops functioning properly, your body in unable to get the energy it needs to function and becomes toxic. And naturally, your health takes a turn for the worse.
3. Avoid High The Excessive Intake of High Residue Foods
These are foods that while undergoing digestion, leave a lot of material behind for bacteria to feast on. As the bacteria feed and multiply exponentially, they start fermenting and gut issues are bound to follow.
High-residue foods are sugars that the digestive system finds difficult to digest so they end up feeding bacteria. This creates fungal overgrowth, throwing off the entire balance of the ecosystem in your digestive system.
Bloating, cramping, gas, constipation and diarrhea are some of the problems that can crop up.
Examples of high-residue foods are baked beans, wheat, cabbage, sautéed onions, dairy, sport gels, honey and fruits high in sugar alcohols and fructose such as apples, peaches and citrus fruits.
Reduce the intake of these foods as much as possible to save your gut.
4. Don’t Eat Beyond The Capacity of Your Digestive System
Generally, nutrition experts warn against eating large quantities of food at once in order not to overwhelm the digestive system.
It is recommended that foods containing giant molecules of protein which task the
digestive system should be eaten in moderation at a sitting. Foods such as meat,
eggs and beans fall into this category.
It goes without saying that overworking the digestive system all the time will
weaken your gut and reduce its overall efficiency.
5. Desist From The Overuse of Antibiotics
Antibiotics destroy both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your body.
This can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem which leads to yeast overgrowth
and unchecked toxin production in the digestive tract.
Constipation, diarrhea, allergies, ulcer, blood-clotting problems and absence of gas
are some of the problems that can arise from insufficient gut bacteria.
6. Avoid an Abysmally Low-fiber Diet Regime
Consuming a diet poor in fiber can ultimately lead to a dearth of ‘good’ bacteria in your digestive ecosystem.
The ‘good’ bacteria in your stomach feed on fiber, therefore include a decent amount of fiber containing foods in your diet.
This is needed to maintain a healthy balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your digestive tract.
7. Avoid Raw Meat and Fish
Raw meats and fishes are practically crawling with parasite, yeasts and fungus.
I’ve seen a situation where a butcher in Nigeria loaded a chunk of meat into his mouth and chewed away in a bid to convince his customers(myself inclusive) that he sells healthy meat. That guy’s killing himself bit by bit by ‘vandalizing’ his digestive system.
Stay away from raw meat and fish to save your guy.
8. Avoid Excessive Alcoholic Consumption
Alcohol is a major enemy of your digestive system for several reasons, but just three will be mentioned:
- It disrupts your stomach’s acid-alkaline(pH) balance
- It causes alcohol liver disease
- It leads to obesity because it contains many calories
There’s no better way of putting this: alcohol messes up your digestive system. It triggers your stomach to produce excessive acid which leads to an inflammation of the stomach lining.
Bleeding, heartburn, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and vomiting are some disorders that are natural corollaries of heavy drinking.
This is probably not a more notorious habit that hastens the ‘demolition’ of the digestive system than heavy drinking.
Truth be told, dropping off these habits by those being ‘held hostage’ by the habits takes extraordinary efforts.
Some of the very addictive habits like excessive alcoholic consumption and smoking are ways of life of many people; it will take a conscious efforts and determination from those involved to drop the habits.
But there’s no doubt avoiding these habits which can make one a regular visitor to hospitals and pharmacies, or worse still, a permanent resident of the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital, is worth it and preferable to indulging in these habits that ‘vandalize’ the digestive system.
Every worthy goal in life demands sacrifices to be made. Maintaining good digestive health- as a desirable goal- is not an exception.