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Hormone doctor shares 3 things he avoids for healthy gut flora — Best Life

Hormone doctor shares 3 things he avoids for healthy gut flora — Best Life

Did you know that the gut microbiome contains over 100 trillion microbes, made up of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses, all of which influence how our bodies function and respond to stress, certain foods and even some medications? “There is now so much attention and research into the microbiome and gut health that experts often refer to it as the ‘second brain,’” Registered Dietitian Kristian KirkpatrickRD, at the Cleveland Clinic.

RELATED: Doctors Share 9 Signs Your Poop Is ‘Healthy’ — And What to Do If It’s Not.

According to Max NieuwdorpPhD, endocrinologist and researcher, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome has many additional benefits, including healthy hormone balance. In his most recent book, The power of hormonesNieuwdorp explains that gut microbes play a crucial role in the release and production of various hormones, which in turn influence many of our daily processes, such as metabolism and mood. And that’s why he recently shared three things you should avoid to keep your gut health in check.

“The microbiome can really talk to the body by producing specific compounds from the diet that are good or bad for you,” Nieuwdorp told Business Insider. Those compounds can have a positive or negative impact on hormone function. That’s why Nieuwdorp is super specific about what he puts in his body.

One food group Nieuwdorp likes to avoid for optimal gut health is red meat. In his Business Insider interview, he explained that red meat changes the composition of the gut microbiome by producing “dangerous” metabolites during the digestion process.

“I try not to eat meat every day,” he said.

While protein is good for you, building a meal plan centered around red meat can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and colorectal cancer, according to Scripps Health. Red meat is also high in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium.

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Nieuwdorp also avoids ultra-processed foods, such as sweetened breakfast cereals, processed meats, soda, and some ready-made frozen meals. Instead, he prioritizes fresh foods that don’t contain preservatives or additives.

“Ultra-processed foods contain high amounts of saturated and trans fat, added sugar, salt and food additives that have serious consequences for gut and physical health,” says gastroenterologist Preeya GoyalMD, explained in an interview with PIH Health. She added that consuming ultra-processed foods can also be detrimental to brain function.

Finally, Nieuwdorp avoids taking antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. “They cause dysbiosis in the gut,” he said.

Dysbiosis refers to a lack of diversity in microorganisms, Cleveland Clinic explains. This imbalance can leave us “vulnerable to infections from bacteria that live inside and outside our bodies,” their experts explain. “It can also interfere with other important services that our microbiomes normally provide for us.”

An unbalanced intestinal flora can also have a negative impact on our hormones.

We provide the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health authorities, but our content is not intended to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to medications you are taking or other health questions you may have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.