Warning signs of an unhealthy gut

Unhealthy guts are a result of built-up toxins.

Gabriela Gardner, clinical dietitian with the Ertan Digestive Disease Center at Memorial Hermann and UT Health, said “toxins” is really just a term implying processed, high in fat or high-sugar foods.

“That can lead to all these changes between the good and the bad bacteria,” Gardner said.

She said unbalanced bacteria in your gut could lead to inflammation which causes bloating, gas, diarrhea and headaches. Some research looks at an unhealthy gut possibly leading to skin problems, poor concentration and depression too.

To recover from the symptoms of an unhealthy gut, Garnder said to eat more foods with fiber and antioxidants.

“What I have here is called kefir. It's a probiotic, natural probiotic, it's a cultured milk and you can see it's a little bit bubbly. It has a bubbly consistency and that's because all that live cultures are still there,” she explained.

She said (sugar free) cultured drinks, like kefir, found in the yogurt and milk aisle, help restore good bacteria. While pairing this with protein and high-fiber foods like pistachios, almonds, chia seeds and anti-inflammatories like black pepper or flaxseeds, your gut can recover.

Then, drink water, water, water.

“So that your body is able to, you know, flush, get rid of everything that the fiber is cleaning,” Gardner said.

Also, reach for something like raspberries to add to any meal. Gardner said just one cup of raspberries have more fiber than any other fruit.

The biggest take away is that adding these things and eliminating high fat foods and processed sugar from your diet will naturally detoxify your gut and you'll feel the difference.