These 2 Morning Habits Are Actually So Bad For Your Gut Health, Experts Say

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Four people stir iced coffee with straws
When it comes to your health (and especially your weight), it's almost impossible to overstate the importance of your gut. Your gut microbiome can affect or affect your overall well-being, which is why it's important to make sure your digestive system stays happy and healthy. That can mean many different things - from taking a probiotic supplement every day to cutting out certain foods, it's about incorporating healthy habits into your everyday life. And it's also about kicking unhealthy habits to the curb. In fact, there are two breakfast habits you may be guilty of that could be affecting your gut health.
To learn more about the worst morning habits for your gut, we spoke to Meg Gerber, functional medicine nutritionist. She told us that skipping breakfast altogether or swapping breakfast for coffee is a total no-go. Read on to learn more about how these mistakes can lead to an unhealthy gut!
1. Skip breakfast
If you're trying to lose weight, you might think that skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories and speed up your progress. However, Gerber says eating breakfast every morning is vital to your overall health, especially when it comes to your gut. "It's important that we make time for breakfast as it helps us manage our stress levels and break our nightly fasts," she explains. Otherwise, "repeatedly skipping meals or undereating can lead to poorly controlled blood sugar." What does this mean for our gut? "If we don't eat our breakfast, our body registers it as unsafe and therefore doesn't prioritize gut repair, optimal digestion and the release of health hormones," she warns. "By not eating, it turns down metabolism to protect itself and can cause sluggish digestion." Written down! Because of this, you should always find time for a quick breakfast to keep things running smoothly.
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2. Drink coffee on an empty stomach
Even worse than skipping breakfast is swapping it for a coffee. Although you might think that having some caffeine in the morning is better than not drinking at all, Gerber says drinking coffee on an empty stomach can have serious consequences for your health. "Eating food to break our fast is so important — drinking coffee before eating can cause us more stress since most of us are already stressed," she says. “More caffeine can add fuel to the fire and put a heavy strain on our bodies. This is especially noticeable in people who are genetically slow caffeine metabolizers.” And ultimately, all that stress can take its toll on your gut. So if you do want a cup of coffee in the morning (which many of us do!), make sure you pair it with a nutritious breakfast. That extra bit of time you take to eat something will pay off in the long run!
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