Why Our Modern World is Harmful for Gut Health (And What to Do About It!)

The hard truth is that modern diets, high on processed foods grown in nutrient-deficient soil, have depleted our guts. Our microbiome is a dynamic and ever-changing system that functions in step with the natural cycles of the planet. That’s why the so-called “American lifestyle” of eating our favorite fruits and vegetables year-round, and spending all our time in climate-controlled homes and offices puts the health of microbiomes under threat.

How To Support Your Microbiome

If we don’t give our gut the chance to have a seasonal recovery, it can lead to microbial depletion. Studies have even found that the gut microbiomes of U.S. urbanites are approximately 40% less diverse, compared to those of people in hunter-gatherer societies, where modern agriculture hasn’t taken hold. This has also been correlated to an increase in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Modern lifestyles can contribute to the depletion of gut microbiomes in several ways:

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Dietary Changes 

Our overreliance on highly processed foods can negatively impact the diversity and balance of the gut microbiome. This is because diets rich in processed foods may lack the fibers and nutrients needed to support a thriving gut microbiome. These foods often contain additives (i.e.  increased consumption of sugars and artificial flavors and colors) that may have unintended effects on gut health and can limit the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Overuse of Antibiotics

Antibiotics, whether prescribed for medical reasons or are present in the food supply/used in agriculture, can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. Antibiotics may kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria, leading to a less diverse and resilient microbiome.

Chronic Stress

Our fast-paced modern lifestyle is often characterized by high levels of stress. Stress can alter the composition and function of the gut microbiome, potentially favoring the growth of harmful bacteria and compromising overall gut health. That is also why when you experience stress, the body tends to create tension, pausing digestion and leading to diarrhea, nausea, or constipation. 

Lack of Physical Activity

Sedentary lifestyles are associated with alterations in the gut microbiota. Regular physical activity is thought to promote a more diverse and balanced microbiome. It helps the food you're digesting move through the intestines better -- stimulating the gut, increasing intestinal activity and aiding digestive functioning.

Environmental Factors

Exposure to environmental pollutants, pesticides, and other chemicals may have unintended effects on the gut microbiome. These substances can disrupt the delicate balance of microbial communities in the gut.

Hygiene Practices

While proper hygiene is crucial for preventing the spread of infections, excessive use of antibacterial soaps and sanitizers can eliminate both harmful and beneficial bacteria. 

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How To Support Your Microbiome

Thankfully, there's no need to give up city living just yet -- simple, mindful switches are key! A diet rich in whole foods and low in processed foods, alongside taking an activated probiotic once per day, helps restore and maintain microbiome diversity in your gut. To optimize your gut wellness through small daily routines with big impacts, we recommend:

Getting A Good Night’s Rest

Beauty sleep is a very real phenomenon, as sleep is the time when the body repairs itself. Before bed, cozy up with Flora Code’s activated probiotic to maximize these regenerative powers. The immune system is more inactive at night, allowing the bacteria to colonize and provide benefits as you sleep. Avoid sleep deprivation that adds stress to your body and use Circadian rhythms to moderate your sleep patterns

Prioritize Seasonal Produce

It’s not just in your head that watermelons taste better in the summer and apples are so much more delicious in the fall – when produce is in season, they have more nutrients and need fewer pesticides and chemicals to have them ripen. Eating seasonally means to change your diet in accordance with the foods readily available by nature. This encourages us to rotate foods in and out of our diet, just as these natural cycles intended. It also ensures you are eating a diverse diet, which is essential because a wide array of microbes in our gut makes our microbiome more capable and resilient.

Spend Time Outdoors

Being around nature helps to stimulate your immune system (looking at you, pollen), increase the diversity in your microbiome, and decrease your stress levels.

Fiber For The Win

Your gut microbiome’s most beneficial members thrive on fiber. Eating a well-balanced diet rich with fiber to support the microbiome and create a healthy gut environment where probiotics can thrive. Think legumes and vegetables like lentils, edamame, broccoli and chickpeas.

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Daily Activated Probiotic

A wellness reset that delivers lasting benefits is all about implementing routines that you will actually look forward to every day. By simply ingesting Flora Code, you jumpstart our patented activation process with your natural body heat -- effortlessly restoring and maintaining a proper balance of microorganisms present in the gut, while integrating with your existing routines. All that's up to you is to pour, stir and sip once daily.