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What is Gut Health and why is it important?

Gut refers to the gastrointestinal system that includes stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Gut performs the function of digestion, absorption and elimination of waste products from the body. And gut health refers to the health of gut microbiome.


Our gut hosts million of bacteria that helps in the absorption of nutrients. These bacteria are unknown as gut microbiome and they are responsible for our overall health. The balance between the good and bad bacteria in our gut which ultimately defines our health and is known as gut health. 


The health of our gut affects 

Gut-Brain Axis

. immune system

. digestion

. brain and heart

So, in order to maintain optimum health, keeping a check on gut health is very important. 


Signs of an unhealthy gut-


  • Upset stomach- Experiencing bloating, acidity and constipation frequently suggests that your gut is unhealthy.


  • Tiredness- Imbalance in the gut microbiome leads to short sleep duration, disturbance in sleep and fatigue.


  • Allergies- Certain allergies are caused when the concentration of good bacteria decreases in the gut. This results in inflammation and hence allergies


  • Excessive food cravings


  • Unexplained weight gain/loss- Imbalance in gut microbiome changes the way our body digests and absorbs nutrients leading to fat storage and unregulated blood sugar which causes weight loss/gain.


How to keep your gut healthy?


  • Eat a high fibre diet- 

         Fibre is the most important part of diet which is present in complex carbohydrates. Fibre is like food for the bacteria present in them.               The more fibre we eat, more efficiently microorganisms work and more our body runs efficiently. Fibre is usually present in whole                     grains and fruits and vegetables with skin. E.g. whole wheat, apple, banana, spinach, carrots, beetroot, legumes etc.


  • Eat probiotics-

          Probiotics are the live bacteria that promotes the growth of good bacteria and keeps the body healthy. However, most fermented                        foods are probiotic foods as well.


  • Eat diverse range of foods- 

          One food does not contain all the nutrients required by our body so its important to include wide range of foods. This ensures the                      growth of diverse microbiome which is the indicator of good health.


  • Eat slowly- 

          Our digestion starts from mouth not stomach. Therefore, eating in rush might cause incomplete digestion resulting in acidity,                              heartburn, indigestion or gas.


  • Limit ultra processed foods- 

          Eat foods which are closest to their natural form. Though, most of the food we eat today are processed but ultra processing of foods                    makes them lose the nutrients. The best way to know whether a food is processed or not is through checking its ingredients list. If it                  mentions food colouring, additives, sugar, salt, artificial sweetener etc. then it has gone through multiple processes before the final                    product. E.g. of ultra processed foods are chips, namkeen, salami, sausages, breakfast cereals etc.