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That teeming world inside your gut profoundly impacts your life. An unhealthy gut leaves you vulnerable to dysfunction, disorders and disease like you can't imagine.
About 70 percent of your immune system resides in your intestines. About three pounds of bacteria (good ones, thank heaven) make their home in there. Or so you hope.
Believe me, you want all three pounds of that healthy bacteria. Otherwise they're being bushwacked by an equal or greater magnitude of unhealthy bacteria, causing imbalance and toxic overgrowth, all of them having their way with you.
Conditions like Crohn's disease, irritable bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome are closely tied to a sick gut. An unhealthy gut is an effective trigger for immune system malfunctions, the genesis of food allergies, and a contributing factor for autoimmune conditions.
Living with leaky gut syndrome is playing with the big guns. It is the outcome of inflammation in the gut, and results in the escape of bacteria, food proteins, and other toxins into your bloodstream.
Leaky gut syndrome hinders your liver and kidneys ability to detoxify. Your immune system, when it's not busy self-abusing in an autoimmune loop, is less able to resist harmful bacteria, metals, parasites, toxic food elements, viruses and yeast.
Nutrients don't get absorbed. You experience painful bloating, cramps and gas.
What does this have to do with processed foods?
Refined carbohydrates are ever-present in processed foods. Caffeine found in chocolate, cocoa, coffee and sodas irritate the gut wall.
Processed foods have had most of their original nutrients processed right out of them. In their place, you'll be on the receiving end of an astonishing variety of additives, preservatives and dyes.
When you eat this stuff it doesn't just stop your hunger. It doesn't just quiet the craving. It becomes a faulty building block for your body.
It blazes a trail in your digestive tract, having an ongoing effect long after your gooey dessert has sated your taste buds.
An unhealthy gut can make you drained, moody and anxious. Concentrating takes a greater effort than it used to.