By Dr. Phillip Goglia
Processed, refined foods in general will destroy healthy microflora and feed bad bacteria and yeast, so limiting or eliminating these from your diet should be at the top of your list. Following my recently revised nutrition plan is a simple way to automatically reduce your intake of sugar from all sources. Processed foods wreak havoc on your gut in a number of different ways:
• First, they are typically loaded with sugar, and avoiding sugar (particularly fructose) is in my view, based on the evidence, a critical aspect of preventing and/or treating depression. Not only will sugar compromise your beneficial gut bacteria by providing the preferred fuel for pathogenic bacteria, it also contributes to chronic inflammation throughout your body, including your brain.
• Many contain artificial sweeteners and other synthetic additives that can wreak havoc with brain health. In fact, depression and panic attacks are two of the reported side effects of aspartame. Preliminary findings presented at the 65th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology also report that drinking sweetened beverages―whether they’re sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners—is associated with an increased risk of depression.
• Processed foods are also typically loaded with refined grains, which turn into sugar in your body. Wheat in particular has also been implicated in psychiatric problems, from depression to schizophrenia, due to Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA), which has neurotoxic activity.
• The majority of processed foods also contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients (primarily corn and soy), which have been shown to be particularly detrimental to beneficial bacteria. There are several mechanisms of harm at work here. For example:
• Eating genetically engineered Bt corn may turn your intestinal flora into a sort of “living pesticide factory,” essentially manufacturing Bt-toxin from within your digestive system on a continuing basis
• Beneficial gut bacteria are very sensitive to residual glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup). Due to mounting resistance, GE Roundup Ready crops are being drenched with increasing amounts of this toxic herbicide. Studies have already confirmed that glyphosate alters and destroys beneficial gut flora in animals, as evidenced by the increasing instances of lethal botulism in cattle
• Recent research also reveals that your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm, as your gut microbes have the identical pathway used by glyphosate to kill weeds!
Your gut bacteria are also very sensitive to and can be harmed by:
1.- Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotics supplement)
2.- Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered grains, which have also been implicated in the destruction of gut flora
3.- Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water
4.- Antibacterial soap