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How to Avoid These Gut Irritants

hippie tips Jun 21, 2022

How many people do you know that suffer from digestive issues? 

I know SO many and I was one of them for a long time.

Bloating, gassiness, indigestion, constipation, and countless other symptoms show up in our lives and many of us don't know understand the cause or a possible solution that doesn't include a pill or chemical concoction promising to make the symptom go away. 

I want to share with you one of the most common things people consume in packaged foods/drinks that may seem healthy but unfortunately aren't. 

Tell me, do you know about the different types and uses of gums in food? 


Well, the majority of us don't. 

I want to dive into gums a little here because they can be hard to avoid as many gums have names that sound potentially harmless. 

I'll also explain why eliminating or reducing these additives is best for your health, especially your gut. 

If you've been following me for a while, then you know I'm obsessed about gut health. 

The fact is that the state of our gut directly reflects the state of our health. 

So if you have a healthy gut, then you are going to feel healthy, energetic, and amazing. 

If our gut is leaky then it's allowing toxins, pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and fungi into our blood stream.

If this is happening, then we're most likely struggling with anxiety, depression, bad moods, major inflammation, joint pain, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and/or a plethora of other health issues. 

Here's the thing, I try not to focus too much on what I need to avoid to be healthy and instead focus on all the glorious foods that Mother Nature provides that nourishes me and keeps me feeling fucking amazing. 

The thing is, we need to know what's in our food to make informed decisions. 

Food companies are extremely manipulative and spend millions of dollars to trick you into thinking their food is healthy and delicious, when it's actually horrible for you. 

The fact is when you mix a bunch of ingredients together, it requires food companies to invent ways to keep that concoction tasting good. 

Without food additives, their product would literally be inedible. 

Think about that. 

These food-like products aren't food anymore since they must have different chemicals to keep it stable. 

Gums do a multitude of things like: 

  1. Add desirable texture
  2. Add shelf life
  3. Thicken, stabilize, and emulsify food-like products 

Gums damage the body, especially the gut. 

So let's learn how we can avoid them. 

First, here is the list the most popular gum additives: 

  1. Carrageenan
  2. Xanthan
  3. Guar
  4. Locus Bean (aka. carob)
  5. Gellan 
  6. Cellulose
  7. Tara (the most new gum to come to market)

Want to learn more about each one? Read this article

These gums primarily come from plants and bacterial fermentation and are derived or extracted in a lab.  

Here's the kicker... 

All gum additives appear to powerfully influence the makeup of our gut bacteria! 

It turns out that they are major gut irritants and can cause gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, colitis-like disease, and wreaks the mucus barrier and lining of our gut. 

You see, we have a one-cell thick gut lining that keeps all the stuff we don't want in our blood stream out! 

YES, it's super thin and this is why is VITAL we keep it healthy and doing it's job. 

When we eat things like gums, gluten, GMO's, conventional dairy, and other gut irritants, the irritants in these foods slice open our gut lining. 

It's usually no big deal since our gut lining heals within days, but if we are ALWAYS consuming these irritants, then our gut is always compromised. 

Gums are also considered ANTINUTRIENTS because they mess with the absorption of important minerals in our bodies. 

So even if you give your body the nutrients it needs, if you are consuming gums then they can block you from ever absorbing them! 

The truth of the matter, is if it's made in a lab, we shouldn't be eating it! Period. 

So what are the most common "healthy" foods that contain gums? 

  • Nut and seed milks
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Yogurts & Sour Cream
  • Infant Formula
  • "Nutritional" Shakes 
  • Supplements
  • Cosmetics 
  • Pretty much all packaged goods. 

The worst gum of them all, according to research is.... DRUM ROLL... 

Carrageenan gum. 

Most people thought it was safe since it's extracted from red seaweed but Studies showed that it's toxic to the digestive tract and may be responsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and even color cancer. (Source

So how can we avoid gums? 

Well first and foremost, ALWAYS read ingredient lists, especially when the food package looks healthy AND makes health claims like: "Fat Free", "Sugar Free", "Gluten-Free", "Cholesterol Free", etc. 

Anything with the word gum after it, is a no-go. 

Remember, it's not about perfection! 

The best advice I can give when you are working to switch your food and products towards better options is always focus on what you use EVERYDAY first! 

What are you consuming day-in-and-day-out? 

Those are the first things to investigate AND begin looking for better and healthier alternatives. 

We can't change everything overnight. 

It takes time, so give yourself grace. 


With love and gratitude,  

Becky Wells 
The Hippie Moms, LLC
The Hippie Moms Podcast

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