6 Foods Experts Say You Should Cut Out For 2 Weeks For Better Digestion And Gut Health

Your gut health plays a bigger role in your overall wellness than you may think, which is why it’s so important to ensure that your digestive system is thriving as much as possible if you want everything else to stay running smoothly. Unfortunately for many of us, “thriving” is one of the last words we’d use to describe the health of our gut. Luckily, there are a few changes you can make to your diet to help get things back on track—in fact, you may want to cut out certain inflammatory foods for up to two weeks in order to reset your gut microbiome and give your gut health the boost it needs. These foods include sugar, starchy vegetables, dairy, and more.

To learn more about 6 gut-damaging foods you can take a break from in order to cleanse your body, we spoke to nutritionist Lisa Richards, creator of The Candida Diet. Find all of her expert insight below!

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woman pouring sugar packet into coffee

1. Sugar

Bad news for those of us with a sweet tooth: As Richards says, “Sugar, specifically refined sugar, can disrupt gut health by feeding bad gut bacteria and leading to overgrowth. This can lead to a serious imbalance in good gut to keep it healthy and work properly.” For this reason, cutting refined sugar out for two weeks may help get your gut back on track. She suggests replacing it with natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, honey, and erythritol.

halved sweet potatoes

2. Starchy vegetables

Of course, vegetables can be great for your overall health. However, Richard warns that too much fiber from the starchy varieties may contribute to gut issues like gas and bloating. “As the gut bacteria work to break down fiber it produces gas as a byproduct,” she tells us. “If you are experiencing poor gut health or issues it can be helpful to cut out these types of vegetables for a couple of weeks. This the gut to rest and reset to baseline as you replace them with non-starchy vegetables that do not produce as much gas.” Common culprits include corn, potatoes, green beans, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. Richards recommends switching these out for carrots, greens, okra mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, broccoli cauliflower, and asparagus.

3. Dairy

As much as we love cheese, it’s important to remember that can be detrimental to the health of your dairy system. “Dairy is highly inflammatory and produces mucus, which can be harmful to gut health,” Richards notes, explaining that the inflammation can lead to gut dysbiosis, pain, and discomfort. “Cutting dairy out for two weeks will allow you to determine whether it is the culprit of your gut health concerns,” she says. Luckily, there are plenty of dairy-free options, such as soy, oat, and almond!

people cheering glasses of wine and beers

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can take a toll on your body for many reasons, but you should be especially wary of it if you’re trying to get a healthier gut. “The gut’s microbiome can be negatively impacted by alcohol intake, and more so for sugar or wheat based alcoholic beverages,” Lisa points out. “Alcohol is inflammatory and damaging to the gut’s barrier. It can also lead to gut dysbiosis by preventing the growth of good bacteria.” To keep these issues at bay, she recommends cutting alcohol out for at least two weeks, which will allow your gut to heal and lower the rate of inflammation. Time to break out the mocktails!

bowl of fruit


5. Cut down on fruit

While you don’t need to cut fruit out altogether (after all, it’s great for you overall!), Richards explains that “there can be too much of a good thing.” As she tells us, “the types of carbs found in fruit can cause gut irritation and bloating if consumed in large quantities.” For this reason, “it can be helpful to significantly reduce the amount of fruit you consume in a day while your gut rests and resets.” However, it’s still important to eat fresh produce! She suggests maintaining a diet rich with non-starchy vegetables and low-fructose fruits like bananas, strawberries, and avocados.

woman putting two slices of bread in toaster

6. Grains with gluten

While not everyone has an issue with gluten, it’s possible you have an intolerance without knowing it. “For those with an intolerance or allergy [gluten] can cause the gut to become inflamed among many other issues,” Richards says. “Cutting out grains that contain gluten can be beneficial for your gut health for a short period of time. This is especially true of refined varieties like breads and pastas.” Noted!

While this all may seem like a lot to quit cold turkey, keep in mind that your gut plays a major role in your overall health. If you frequently experience digestive issues and aren’t sure where to begin looking for a solution, allowing your gut to reset by cutting these foods out can be a huge help. Plus, as you integrate these foods back into your diet after your cleanse, it’s likely you’ll be able to find the root of the issue—and you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier body in no time!


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