How would you rate your gut health? Consider indigestion, stomach aches, constipation, irregular bowel movements, gas, etc. and then answer how good is your gut? Health is not just about vitals but your gut is also a very important part of overall health. A healthy digestive system can promote overall well-being and keep many health issues at bay. Onlymyhealth focuses on a specific issue every month to create awareness regarding the same and Focus of the Month April is Healthy Living. We conducted a live session with Dr. Rakesh Patel, Sr. Gastroenterologist, Fortis Hospital, Mumbai to gather some information about gut health as it is one highly ignored part of the body that needs equal attention. Scroll down to get all the details.
What is gut health?
It is not just what you eat or what digestive problems you suffer from define gut health but there is a lot more unexplored. “What you eat, how you eat and where you eat determines your personality”. The reason why there are different foods grown and eaten in different regions is because their body requires it. If you interchange diet or have right foods at the wrong environment, it can disturb your gut fauna.
Having a healthy gut is very important for holistic health. There are two intestines in your stomach that perform different functions. They not only cater to proper digestion of food but also sucking all the nutrients from them to supply to the entire body. If your digestive system is hampered, it can affect the entire body leading to many problems. Thus, maintaining gut health is supremely important.
Symptoms of Unhealthy Gut
Our body gives us signals that something is not right or you might have done something wrong. For example, when you overeat or consume unhealthy, junk foods, you will begin to feel it.
- Stomach pain
- Loose motions
- Morning sickness
These are some of the effects that you would feel sooner or later. And not just your stomach but poor gut health reaches out to your entire body hampering your mental health as well. Have you ever felt that an upset stomach makes you cranky and irritated? This is because there is a direct connection between your gut and brain.
How to improve gut health?
If you are suffering from common gut problems, you need to improvise your daily routine. You don’t become obese overnight but it is a long, gradual process that makes you fat, overweight and then obese. Eating on time, doing physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily, giving proper gap between meals are the three fundamentals to good gut health.
Fitness Mantra- Eat light, exercise and enjoy!
Does alcohol disturb gut microbiota?
Yes, absolutely. Alcohol is bad for health and it causes many gut-related problems like:
- Acid reflux
Eventually, alcoholism takes a toll on your body causing liver problems. But there is a catch. Those who consume alcohol once in a while won't suffer any such complications. However, if you drink alcohol regularly, you will go through many health troubles.
How to reset gut health with healthy eating tips
In times when there is easy availability of food through delivery apps at any time of the day, our dietary habits are getting worse day by day. We mostly crave for unhealthy calorific food when we are hungry. Even if you consume a little amount of such foods but on a daily basis, this will cause a cumulative effect leading to digestive problems over time. Thus, healthy eating is the best. You can have a cheat day but once in a blue moon. Here are some healthy eating tips by Dr. Patel:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet to get all the essential nutrients required for growth and development of the body.
- Having a healthy morning meal after a night's rest benefits your intestines and helps it recover.
- Have healthy and wholesome foods in breakfast including fresh fruits, juices, milk, no-oily foods.
- Your diet should contain 30 grams of fat, 1 gram per kg of protein intake. Apart from this, carbs and other nutrients must be taken care of in the diet.
- Add probiotics to your diet as these are your gut's best friends. These promote good bacteria in your stomach to maintain gut microbiota. Have yogurt, buttermilk, kimchi, pickles, etc. that are loaded with probiotics.
- Have a wholesome breakfast, good lunch and light dinner. If you follow this structure, your gut health will remain in its best.
One needs to change their dietary habits as they age. Healthy and balanced eating is the key to good gut health. If you wish to keep digestive problems at bay, focus on your diet, eating patterns and schedule.
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