"Every disease starts in the gut, but can end in the gut too"
Did you know that our gut is a 9m long organ having 800-900 folds and contains millions of bacteria in it? Maintaining a healthy gut is very important for overall well-being. The gut plays a vital role in digestion and absorption of nutrients and is a home for billions of good bacteria that support various functions of the body. In this blog we'll see the best ways to improve gut health naturally and provide insights into the foods that promote a healthy gut. So let's start walking on a road to digestive well-being.
Meaning and Importance of Gut Health.
Before going deeper into the topic, we must have a clarification of the gut. The gut is also known as the gastrointestinal region, which is a complex system consisting of organs that are responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients. The organs that are included in the gut are the food pipe, abdomen, small and large intestine. The gut is home to billions of microorganisms that collectively are called gut microbiota. This diverse group of bacteria, viruses plays an important role in maintaining and improving gut health.
Importance of Gut Health
As we all know a healthy gut is crucial for overall well-being. A healthy gut helps in digestion and nutrients absorption, it also helps to regulate the immune system and supports mental health. A healthy gut microbiota promotes the production of essential vitamins, strengthens the intestinal barrier, and prevents harmful pathogens from entering and living in the gut. Whereas a non healthy gut microbiota is a cause of various health problems like digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases and even with some mental health conditions.
Factors Affecting Gut Health
There are several factors that influence overall gut health. First of all Diet plays a significant role, with certain foods like curd that improves gut health. Stress, lack of sleep and a poor lifestyle impacts the gut negatively. The use of antibiotics and other medications also affect gut health. Environmental factors also play a key role, pollution, dust can severely affect our gut in a negative way.
How to Improve Gut Health Naturally?
Studies suggest that poor health has a direct relation with poor gut health. So it is very important to improve gut health. Here are the natural ways that'll help to improve gut health naturally:
1. Have a balanced diet: A balanced diet that is rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and healthy fat is essential for a healthy gut. These foods provide the nutrients and support for the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
2. Stay Hydrated: Drinking 4-5 liters of water is important for maintaining a healthy gut. Apart from water one should aim to drink healthy fluids like fresh fruit juices, coconut water. These will help in digestion, nutrients absorption and prevent constipation.
3. Increase Fiber Intake: Fibre is essential for improving gut health as it promotes regular bowel movements and promotes growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Incorporate fiber rich foods in your diet.
4. Avoid processed foods: Limit intake or avoid processed foods. The added sugar in the processed foods is one of the main things that affects gut health. Switch to organic and natural foods.
5. Stress management: Studies show that stress affects gut health negatively. It's a well known fact that stress weakens our body and we are prone to many problems if we are dealing with chronic stress. So it becomes very important to manage stress. Practice stress management techniques like meditation, yoga and deep breathing.
6. Limit Antibiotics: Antibiotics disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. Try to avoid or minimize the use of antibiotics in your daily life. Consider taking probiotic supplements to support gut microbiota.
7. Get enough sleep: Our body needs minimum 7-8 hours uninterrupted sleep each night to perform digestion and healing processes in the body. So it is very necessary to get 7-8 hours sleep to improve gut health.
8. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine: Alcohol and Caffeine stimulates the production of chemicals in our brain, thus shifting us into a false reality. Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine irritates the digestive system and ultimately disrupts gut health.
These are some of the natural ways to improve gut health, remember things take time so don't expect anything to happen overnight. These natural ways will build a positive foundation for your long term gut health.
What kills Good Gut Bacteria?
It is also very important to understand what kills good gut bacteria. Despite our best efforts, we are making mistakes that negatively impact gut health and kill good bacteria.
Some common things that kills good bacteria are-
1. Excessive use of Antibiotics: Having excessive antibiotics also kills the good bacteria in the gut. So from next time think before having antibiotics in excess.
2. Lack of fiber: Lack of fiber in the body creates a hindrance in proper bowel movements that contributes to the growth of harmful bacteria.
3. Unhealthy Lifestyle: Less or no physical activity slows down digestion and other processes in the body that kills good bacteria and promotes harmful bacterias in the gut.
4. Stress: High levels of stress in the body disrupts the gut and contribute to gut health issues.
5. Consuming Excessive Sugar: Dietary that are high in added sugars like processed foods or beverages disrupt the balance of gut bacteria and promotes growth of harmful bacteria.
What are Gut Health Supplements?
The supplements that help to restore the balance of gut bacteria and improve gut health are called gut health supplements. These supplements aim to restore balance of good bacteria, improve digestion and promote overall gut health. Some of the commonly used gut health supplements are:
- Prebiotics- These are high fiber foods that are good for gut bacteria. Prebiotic fibers are a source of food for good gut bacterias.
- Probiotics- These are the foods that contain live microorganisms that are beneficial for gut health.
- Digestive Enzymes- These are the supplements that help in breakdown and digestion of food. These are beneficial for those having digestive issues or enzyme deficiency.
Foods for Gut health: Nourishing the digestive system
There are certain foods that are beneficial in improving gut health whereas there are many other food choices that we love to have in our daily life, which proves to be harmful for our gut health. Let us find the best and worst foods for the gut.
Best Foods for Gut Health.
Having a healthy gut is very crucial for overall well-being. The best foods for gut health are:
1. Fiber Rich foods: Foods that are rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are excellent for gut health. Fiber acts as a prebiotic, and provides healing to good bacteria in the gut. It also promotes regular bowel movements.
2. Fermented Foods: Foods like yogurt, apple cider vinegar, pickles, raw cheese are fermented foods that are rich in probiotics. These foods help to restore and maintain good gut bacteria.
3. Ginger and Turmeric: Ginger and turmeric have been used for a long time for medicinal properties. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that help to support gut health.
4. Garlic and Onions: Garlic and onions contain prebiotic fibers that are a fuel for good gut bacteria. They are also having antimicrobial properties that help to improve and maintain a healthy gut environment.
5. Berries: Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants and fiber. They help to reduce inflammation in the gut and improve gut health.
The best food for gut health is curd or yogurt. It is a probiotic rich food that positively impacts gut health. Curd contains live bacteria cultures, such as Lactobacillus, which helps to maintain healthy gut microbiota. Regular consumption of curd improves digestion, nutrient absorption and a stronger immune system.
Worst Foods for Gut Health.
While some foods improve gut health, others can have a negative impact on the gut microbiota and digestive system. Here is the list of foods that are commonly referred to as worst food for gut health:
1. Trans Fats: Trans fats are commonly found in fried foods, baked goods and processed snacks that we love to have. These foods cause inflammation which in turn disrupt gut health.
2. Excessive Alcohol: Over consumption of alcohol irritates the digestive system, thus breaking the healthy gut bacteria.
3. Highly Processed Foods: Highly processed foods such as chips, biscuits, beverages, contains additives, preservatives and unhealthy fats. These things create a negative impact on gut health.
4. Added sugars: Consumption of added sugars that are found in candies, pastries, lollipops promotes growth of harmful bacteria and yeast in the gut.
These are considered as one of the worst foods for gut health that we love to have in our daily routine.
How to Test Gut health?
Gut health tests help to identify any imbalances or disruption in the gut microbiota. The most common gut health test is gut microbiome test in which a stool sample is used to find out which microbes live in your gut. The test examined the diversity and balance of gut bacteria and guides with the potential intervention to improve gut health. These tests should be regularly performed under supervision of your doctor, which will help to know the condition of the gut and one can act accordingly.
Ayurveda Perspective on Gut Health.
Talking from an ayurvedic perspective, gut health is considered as fundamental to overall well-being. According to the ayurveda, the digestive system is the root of good health. Proper digestion is essential for nutrient absorption, elimination of waste and prevention of toxins formation. Improving gut health through ayurveda involves adopting a holistic approach that focuses on balancing the mind, body and the soul. Following ayurvedic practices like Mindful eating, eating according to your dosha, having health friendly foods helps to improve gut health.
Improve your Gut Health with the goodness of Namhya Gond Katira.
Namhya Gond Katira or tragacanth gum crystals are traditionally used in ayurveda for its potential benefits for improving gut health. Namhya Gond Katira are sourced from trusted farmers and are completely natural and good to use raw. Here's how you can improve your gut health with goodness of Namhya Gond Katira:
1. Healing properties: Gond Katira is considered as natural coolant especially in the summer season. It helps to alleviate digestive issues like acidity, constipation and bloating.
2. Natural Prebiotic: Namhya Gond katira acts as a natural prebiotic and provides nourishment to the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This promotes a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut.
3. Excellent source of fiber: Gond katira is an excellent source of fiber. It helps to regulate bowel movements and promotes healthy bacteria.
4. Easy to Incorporate: Namhya Gond katira can be easily incorporated into your daily life. Soak it in water until it becomes a gel-like substance and then one can have it with water, lemon water or with milk.
Use Namhya Gond Katira to improve your gut health with the goodness of ayurveda. Simply soak 4-5 crystals in 2 cups of water overnight or for a few hours. This soak crystals then can be taken with water, lemon water or with traditional drinks like Sharbats, chaach etc.