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The Worst Habit for Gut Health

The Worst Habit for Gut Health

There’s a reason why health experts refer to the gut as the “second brain.” The gut communicates with almost every cell in the body and is connected to virtually every aspect of health, including immunity, cognition, mood, heart health and digestion. With this in mind, the adage “you are what you eat” takes on a whole new meaning.

“Oftentimes, people are disconnected from the importance of gut health and how it influences how we feel on a daily basis,” says integrative medicine practitioner Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC, the author of the upcoming book, Gut Feelings. While there are many factors that impact our gut, including stress, Dr. Cole says that a major one is what we choose to put into our bodies (in other words, what we eat and drink). Every meal, Dr. Cole says, is an opportunity to either support our gut health or negatively impact it. This leads him to call out the top habit commonly destroying so many people’s gut health: eating a diet primarily consisting of the “inflammatory core four.” Curious as to what those four are? Keep reading to find out.

Related: Eat Your Way to a Healthier Gut—Here’s What You Need to Know About Gut Health and Diet

How the “Inflammatory Core Four” Negatively Impact the Gut

Dr. Cole explains that the “inflammatory core four” are ingredients that negatively impact the gut and can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the root cause of all health problems, ranging from the short-term (like digestive issues or acne) to the long-term (such as cancer or cognitive decline). Dr. Cole says that the biggest offenders to the gut are gluten-containing grains, added sugar, industrial seed oils and dairy. He adds that eating a diet primarily full of these ingredients is a common habit—and one that negatively impacts the gut.