5 Healthy Habits That Can Help You Improve Gut Health
Gut health: You gut is linked with your overall health in several ways. To maintain a healthy gut, here are a few tips that can help.
A healthy diet and lifestyle can help improve gut health
- Add probiotics and prebiotics to diet to boost gut health
- A healthy gut supports your immune system
- Curd is a powerful probiotic that you can prepare at home
For people who love to indulge in mouthwatering delicacies every now and then, the thought of watching out for their gut health would barely come to their minds, until there arise some problems with their digestion, and they really have to face it. An unhealthy gut will make you lose appetite, feel fatigued, bloated, constipated, and uncomfortable.
Did you know that 75% of our immune system is in the stomach? A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which makes it especially vital for maintaining general health and well-being.
Gut health describes the function and balance of bacteria of the many parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The right balance of these microorganisms is vital for a healthy gut, and at the same time, the smooth functioning of the gut has a huge impact on our overall health. Numerous studies in the past two decades have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, and skin conditions. In short, if you want a healthy body and mind, looking after your gut is more than important.
For that, all you need to do is put some effort, and make a few adjustments in your eating habits, and the lifestyle, in general. Now, it can get quite overwhelming to switch up the way you have been living for so long, hence, here are the basics to start with.
Here's a list of 5 daily habits to improve your gut health:
1. Include probiotics in your diet
Your daily diet needs to be rich in probiotics, as these live microorganisms are considered naturally good for the gut, when consumed. It is usually found in abundance in fermented foods, hence try to add foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and the likes, in your diet. Dietary supplements also contain probiotics, and most of them are easily available.
2. Add more prebiotic fiber
Prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria and other beneficial organisms residing in your gut. By keeping your inner community well fed, you can ensure better digestive health, no antibiotic-related health issues, which means healthy gut. Foods rich in prebiotic fiber include high fibrous fruits and vegetables like banana, papaya, garlic, onion, whole grains, asparagus, chicory, beans, etc.
3. Eat organic
Certain types of bacteria are beneficial for your gut health. However, pesticides used in food production are harmful for the sustenance of these microorganisms. On the other hand, research have found organic food to be better for the microbiome. Consumption of organic foods reduces exposure to pesticides and other chemicals typically found in processed foods, which are responsible for disrupting the gut flora, as well as causing various health issues.
4. Get regular physical exercise
Contrary to popular belief, nutrition alone cannot ensure a healthy gut. You need to get your daily dose of physical exercise for optimal functioning of your lymphatic system. Physical activity allows your intestines to contract, and helps in waste secretion without difficulty, which keeps the digestive system work smoothly.
5. Get enough sleep
Proper sleep is important for improving cognition, mood, and gut health. Various studies have shown that irregular and disturbed sleep cycles can be responsible for negatively affecting the gut flora, which, in turn, causes inflammation, and also invites several chronic health conditions. One should have at least 7-8 hours of proper sleep every night.
Furthermore, to ensure good gut health, quit smoking, and eat more vegetables. You should avoid consumption of antibiotics, as long as, the symptoms can be treated with natural foods. Following these basic habits will secure your gut health, and good gut health is the key to a strong body, and a happier mind.
(Dr. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist and founder of the ORGANIC INDIA Clean Program)
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