Stop consuming foods and drinks that weren’t designed to be eaten.

Firstly, the ingredients on the back of a food label should be the ingredients that you intend on eating.

For example, if a snack bar contains oats, dates, cocoa, etc. all of these you would be happy to eat.

When the list starts moving into xylitol, sorbitol, bulking agents, monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrite, guar gum, carrageenan, sodium benzoate… and other ingredients that sounds like they should be in a chemistry experiment – consume these foods in moderation.

Secondly, become aware of foods that haven’t been prepared in a way that is designed for you to eat.

Highly processed foods such as the bread that you can roll back into dough in your hands, burgers that won’t go off for 6 months, bars that make your throat close up as soon as they hit your mouth… again, practice moderation.

Finally, drinks. Consume drinks in their natural form, or from natural ingredients, where possible: Water, tea, coffee, fresh juice or smoothies, coconut water, you get the picture.

There is likely nothing worse for your gut health than fizzy drinks. Take a step back and look at the liquid in a clear glass and ask yourself, ‘Is this designed to be consumed’, and you will find all the answers you need.

To reiterate, balance and moderation are everything – I myself won’t shy away from a processed meal, alcohol, or one of those bars that I mentioned earlier…

That’s okay, just don’t integrate them into a daily routine. Stick to a foundation of natural foods in the form they are designed to be eaten in.

Author Ben Smith @bensmithlive