Healthy Gut has lot of healthy benefits. We have trillions of bacteria living in our gut both good and bad. Good bacteria have shown to improve heart health, mental health (moods - anxiety, depression). If we feed these bacteria with the right food, they support our immune system contributing to over all health. These good bacteria in gut plays a critical role in digestion, they help in assimilating nutrients from food you eat, they regulate metabolism, even produce small amount of essential vitamins and healthy fatty acids.
Our 80% of the immunity starts in the gut, quality of hair, skin, inability to lose weight, diabetes, auto immune disorders, allergies, bloating, acidity, IBS, colon cancer and most of the chronic diseases are related to disrupted Gut flora. Gut microbiome plays a very important role in your health.
To improve our Gut Flora:
1. We need to eat variety of plant based foods. We need to include fresh fruits and vegetables, dals, legumes, pulses, lentils and whole grains.
2. Eat more fibre: Good Bacteria do us good. We should feed them well. We should include real roughage (made of real dietary fibre) in fruits and vegetables.
3. Avoid packed and processed foods, excess caffeine, refined flours, junk food, too much sugar- they all feed bad bacteria in our gut and the imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in intestine contribute to chronic diseases.
4. Eat both pre-probiotic foods. Both are important for gut health. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast which are good for healthy gut while prebiotic food promotes good bacteria in the gut. Raw onion, giner, garlic, bananas, apples, oats, flax seeds and all food rich in dietary fibre are good pre-biotic foods.
5. Include Fermented Food: Various plant based fermented foods like dhokla, idli, dosas, kanji, butter-milk, pickles in oil, paneer, curd are good fermented foods that can improve your gut flora. Some other options are khimchi, kombucha, kefir, saverkraunt, miso, pickled gherkins, preserved olives.
6. Sedentary LifeStyle: Healthy gut needs movement for blood circulation. If you are not exercising, blood does not reach all cells. Sitting is the new smoking, it is important to exercise and stay active throughout the day.
7. Eat your meal on time: Body has a CARCADIAN RHYTHM, the more you work with body's natural rhythm, the more efficient it works for you.
8. Anxiety, stress has direct impact on gut health. When you are nervous, there are butterflies in your stomach. Gut is the second brain of the body. Practice YOGA and PRANAYAMA and MEDITATION to keep your body calm and relaxed.
9. Chew your food slowly for better digestion, digestion begins in the mouth when food mixes with digestive enzymes in Saliva. All those who eat fast, eat more and put extra burden on their gut. If your digestion is not proper you will never be able to absorb and assimilate nutrition and food.
10. Keep Hydrated: Drink at least 3 litre of water every day. One of the major cause of constipation is low water intake. Avoid water with meals as it will dilute the digestive juices.
Diet and Gut are very closely linked. A healthy diet positively impacts your Gut and boost your immunity and overall health.
" Healthy Body and Mind starts with a strong Gut " - Dt. Alka Gangwani