You are what you eat, right? Not really. Here's what you need to know.
Gut Health First
One of the biggest dietary mistake lifters make is not putting their gut health first. The old adage of "you are what you eat" is absolutely incorrect! It should be "you are what you can digest and assimilate efficiently." Boom. Easy. Now let's take a closer look.
It's About More Than Macros, Bro
This isn't a sexy topic or one that most athletes, powerlifters, or bodybuilders pay attention to because the focus for so long has been about macronutrients. But it really doesn't matter how dialed in your macros are if your body can't use them efficiently.
Everything from a nutritional standpoint starts in the gut. The gut contains somewhere around 100 trillion organisms. This is why an "if it fits your macros" approach has shortcomings. Just because you can fit refined food into your diet doesn't mean it's as good as one that creates a healthy environment for said food to be processed optimally.
Starving bad bacteria, feeding good bacteria, and establishing healthy gut flora is imperative. A very easy way to ensure you're taking steps to create such an environment is to reduce refined, sugary, and overly processed foods, and include some fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. Foods like steamed spinach and ginger will also help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
When you add all those things up, you're now working with a healthy digestive system that will promote fantastic nutrient assimilation and a stronger immune system.