Gut well soon

Gut health" or "Good gut" are terms we have all heard. Read on to understand the 'GUT', its  importance for a healthy life and how to achieve a healthy gut environment for better health. 

The “Gut”, also known as the digestive tract or gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is the most underrated organ system of our body, the health of which is determined by the number of bacteria that are present in it. “The gut plays a huge role in the health and well-being of our bodies,” says Alicia Romano, a specialized clinical dietitian at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The human body comprises numerous microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses. Trillions of these microorganisms, especially bacteria, that exist in the gut (Inside the large intestine in the form of pockets), are known as the gut microbiome. Diversity of these microbes improves your health. A healthy gut microbiome not only helps in digestion of food and absorption of nutrients but also plays an important role in various other bodily functions such as : 

  • Building up immunity

  • Skin health

  • Metabolizing fats

  • Brain signaling

  • Controlling the secretion of hormones 

  • Weight management

  • Reducing chances of infertility, repeated miscarriages

  • Aiding better growth and development in children


How to identify if you have an unhealthy gut?

There are several factors that can affect the gut microbiome including:
  • High stress levels, depression, anxiety

  • Lack of sleep

  • Unhealthy eating habits with inclusion of highly processed foods that are high in fats, sugar 

  • Taking too many antibiotics

  • Use of artificial sweeteners


The following signs could be suggestive of poor gut health or leaky gut:

  • Upset stomach which could include bloating, burping, constipation, diarrhea, gas

  • Weight gain or weight loss without any dietary modifications or exercises

  • Constant fatigue or sleep disturbances

  • Auto-immune disorders such as thyroid disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), psoriasis, type 1 diabetes etc

  • Skin irritation which could be caused as a result of inflammation

  • Food intolerances or allergies. A very common one is lactose intolerance


Things to do in order to improve your gut health

  • Reduce your stress levels 

  • Eat slowly and mindfully

  • Get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep

  • Take pre and/or probiotics through your diet or through supplements (in severe cases of poor gut health)

  • Bring diversity in your diet in terms of colour, flavour, type of preparation

  • Check for food intolerances 

  • Stay hydrated


Remember that clean eating and lifestyle modifications will not only help improve your gut health but also overall health and well being. 

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