A healthy gut means a healthy mind and body. However, with our food habits and lifestyle, keeping a good gut can be quite challenging.
How does gut health work?
There are millions of bacteria, called microflora found in the gut and they have multiple benefits for the digestive and immune system. If the immune system is healthy, the gut will also be healthy as 70-80 per cent of the immune system is located there.
“85 per cent bacteria found here are friendly but they will decline with high consumption of food toxins like refined carbohydrates that include corn flour, maida, sugars, salt or processed food and trans fats present in fried and junk food,” says Swati Bhushan, chief clinical nutritionist, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi.
A gut savvy diet should have the following essentials in it:
Fermented products are good to go
Foods that are fermented like oats, barley, pulses, fruits and vegetables, stimulate the production of good bacteria This keeps the gut healthy and also prevents obesity, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders, says Bhushan.
Take more of probiotics
Probiotics like yoghurt and curd are good as they have healthy live bacteria. They can reduce symptoms like bloating, cramps and diarrhoea.
Avoid sugar and sweeteners
Sugar, maltose, fructose are commonly found in food. However, these can harm the good bacteria in the gut and increase susceptibility to metabolic diseases.
Choose lean meats
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, but fatty cuts of meat can lead to uncomfortable digestion. When you eat meat, select lean cuts. Bhushan advises avoiding red meat.
Get both insoluble and soluble fibre
It’s important to consume both types of fibre since they help your digestive system in different ways. Insoluble fibre, called roughage, can’t be digested but it adds weight to the stools. It is present in wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.
Soluble fibres help ease digestion and are present in oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes.