Need to improve your gut health? Here are five simple and effective ways
A healthy gut not only protects one from disease but also keeps inflammation low and promotes mental health.
A healthy gut is crucial for healthy well-being. After all, it contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infection-causing bacteria, viruses and fungi. However, it is something that is often ignored by most people.
“Gut health indicates the balance of microorganisms present in your digestive system. Maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms can take care of your physical and mental health, as well as boost your immunity,” shares Dr Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director at Atmantan, adding that healthy gut bacteria not only protects from disease but also keeps inflammation low and promotes mental health.
But how can one improve their gut health? We asked Dr Kutteri and he shared five simple mantras:
1. Consume fibre
Fibre is often found in foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. They help move food regularly throughout the digestive tract. Consuming more whole grains has been shown to escalate the types and quantity of bacteria within our gut. The same holds true for nuts, serving yourself a variety of walnuts, pecans, pistachios or almonds can significantly help your gut.
2. Bust that Stress
Stress not only takes a toll on our mental health but also affects our physical health, including the gut. The microbiome not just affects the intestines, but also affects other organs, including the brain. The stress you feel is also felt by the microbes and it can lead to a decrease in important probiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus.
Thus, it is important to keep your healthy bacteria at optimum levels to improve your immunity. Breathing exercises and meditation can help curb or significantly reduce stress.
Also read | What you need to know about 'leaky gut' and how to fix it
3. Spicy Blend
It never hurts to garnish your dishes with some garlic, turmeric, ginger, and other delicious spices. According to ancient Ayurvedic studies, these herbs and spices help in cleaning and maintaining the health of your body from within. The spices help in the breakdown of food that our bodies cannot digest, and also help in producing important nutrients and strengthening the function of our immune system.
4. Exercise regularly
It is a well-known fact that regular exercise not just helps in maintaining weight but also contributes to good heart health. Apart from these, regular exercise also helps in improving gut health, which in turn prevents obesity. Exercise promotes motility or movement of the gut and thereby enhances the number of beneficial microbial species and microflora diversity in gut, improving overall health and preventing disease in the long run.
Also read | Gut instinct: Your second brain is in your stomach, here is everything you need know
5. Sleep it through
Getting enough good-quality sleep can improve cognition, mood and gut health. Sleep loss can cause disruption in the regulation of the brain’s flow of epinephrine, causing an influx in the concentration of gut bacteria. This in turn has a high chance of increasing the risk of inflammatory conditions. Seven to eight hours long sleep is extremely crucial to maintaining good gut health, and it can be achieved by building a healthy sleep pattern and going to bed and waking up at a fixed time each day.