Cheat codes for a super healthy Gut
By Srinivas Vivek
The intrinsic connection between the gut and overall health is already well established by science. However, countless studies on the same highlight that the human gut is far more complex and renders various effects on one’s health. All these researches and studies necessitate the importance of gut health, which sometimes sounds just next to impossible.
Cheat code for a healthy gut
However, with proper techniques and effort, this goal can be achieved easily. Try these simple cheat code strategies to acquire gut health-
Remove the unfriendly items from your diet
Your spicy or oily dinner shouldn’t be blamed all the time for every gastric issue or indigestion trouble. Even though it can be a reason, habits like high sugar consumption, indulging in ultra-processed food, smoking, alcohol, and frequent usage of pain killers also play a crucial role in impacting your gut.
Are you wondering why this happens? That’s because the gut has linings that act as a shield and prevent pathogens as well as harming objects from entering the body. Any damage to the lining results in an imbalance in the gut microbiota, peptic ulcer, acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, etc.
How to prevent it from happening? Avoid sugary, soft, or other beverages loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners. Adding to it, try to quit smoking and binge drinking. You should also avoid frequent usage of painkillers, like Ibuprofen, and paracetamol. Packaged soups, hotdogs, nuggets, and all other ultra-processed foods are a big no-no!
Repair it with Collagens
On the pathway of strengthening your gut, removing unfriendly habits is only half the journey. The other half depends on how properly the damaged gut is repaired. Food with collagens is one of the scientifically proven sources that help in repairing the gut in a better way.
In simpler terms, collagen is a protein present in our bones, muscles, connective tissues, joints, and skin. The element plays a crucial role in strengthening and rebuilding the gut as well as the digestive system. Collagen is naturally produced in the body. However, the production count seems to go lower as we age, which necessitates us to take it from food.
Why is this essential? That’s because the glycine and glutamine in collagen-rich foods help in maintaining the tiny finger-like projections called villi in the intestines. They further help in food absorption and digestion. Collagen-rich food also improves the integrity of gut health and prevents leaky gut.
How to consume collagen? Consume bone broth as it is the proven best supply for collagens. Along with it, egg whites, fish, and chicken broth are also considered to be collagen-rich foods.
Reinoculation of biotics
Your gut is home to around 40 million microbial species in which some microbes contribute beneficial effects while some don’t. It is necessary to maintain a fine balance between good and bad microbes for a healthy gut. However, frequent infections, improper diet, lifestyle, and stress impact the balance, which needs to be treated with prebiotics, and probiotics.
Probiotics help in regaining a good microbial population in the gut. They also help in preventing and reducing gut inflammation as well as strengthening the intestinal barrier. On the other hand, prebiotics that is mostly obtained from fiber-rich food impart anti-inflammatory effects and gut motility. A combination of these biotics help in improving gut health.
What’s the best possible source of biotics? Consume green leafy veggies, fenugreek, banana stem, resistant starch, whole grains, and millets, some of the excellent sources of prebiotics. Include probiotics from homemade yogurt, Buttermilk, Sauerkraut, Pickles, Kefir, and kombucha.
Reinforce the functioning of the digestive system
Better digestion leads to improved gut health. An improper digestive system damages the gut and causes fat to be stored in the body, along with nutritional deficiency, improper blood sugar levels, and health complications like irritable bowel diseases, heartburn, diarrhoea, etc. Hence, it becomes necessary to reinforce the optimal functioning of the digestive system with enzymes and anti-inflammatories.
Digestive enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down food materials into proteins, carbs, fat, vitamins, and nutrients. They also prevent malabsorption and gut leakage. On the other hand, Dietary polyphenols like turmeric and ginger improve the intestinal barrier, reducing inflammation and promoting the growth of good bacteria.
How can we ensure the optimal working of the digestive system? The first step is to include spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon in every meal of your diet. You should also avoid overcooking and undercooking your food which might result in improper digestion.
Balance the gut with good practices
While improving your diet is an essential step to ensure gut health; dumping harmful habits, and reinforcing digestion tends to improve your gut functions are also needed. Some good practices such as physical activity, better sleep, and hydration enhance your gut function further.
Physical activity improves overall gut working by enhancing the number of beneficial gut microbes. Better sleep helps in preventing bad microbes from crowding out the good ones in the gut. An adequate amount of fluid can help to regulate bowel movements as well as prevent constipation.
Stay out of Stress
Various reports highlight the fact that your state of mind can affect your gut health and vice versa. Stress, depression, anxiety or any sort of mental illness cause increased gut motility, spasms in the oesophagus, and triggers acid production. They disrupt digestion and may also result in diarrhoea or constipation. Hence, it is necessary to stay away from depressants, triggers and negativity to improve gut and overall health.
The bottom line
The gut is linked to every facet of one’s overall health. Taking proper care the gut health is imperative for the overall health of your body, mind and soul. Thus, introducing gut-healthy food and practices is essential as they have been found to improve one’s physical and mental wellness at significant levels.
(The author is Srinivas Vivek, Co-Founder , Resolute Active Care. Bengaluru based Resolute is an integrated digital health and wellness service provider. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult health experts and medical professionals before starting any therapy or medication. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)