A deeper look inside the gut
The gut is our digestive canal that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. It has a flora of over 100 trillion bacteria, most of which are unique to each body. These tiny organisms are very crucial in maintaining good health. The gut microbiome secrets crucial enzymes that aids in the process of digestion. It also impacts our mental health by producing neurotransmitters and hormones.
These microbiomes are responsible for promoting gastrointestinal function, protecting us from infections, regulating metabolism and strengthening the immune system. If the balance of bacteria in the gut gets disturbed, it can cause havoc in our body.
It is essential to maintain the gut balance for our body to function properly. However, owing to several factors the gut balance might get disturbed. Some of the leading causes of gut imbalance are:
Excess sugar, carbohydrate and processed foods boost the growth of harmful bacteria thereby inhibiting the fauna of beneficial bacteria.
Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bad bacteria but they lack the capability to discriminate the good from the bad bacteria. They end up destroying many essential bacteria in the gut which can lead to a range of health problems including weight gain, fatigue, joint pain etc.
Stress impacts the well being of the gut. Chronic stress decreases the blood flow to the intestines, slow nutrient absorption, and it even change the gut function.
Natural Ways to Maintain Gut Health
As we have stressed enough on the importance of gut balance, here are a few ways you can binge on to ensure the flora of microbiotics within is working well.
Magnesium is a crucial mineral that is required for the function of hundreds of enzymes that help the body absorb fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Magnesium activates these enzymes which allow the body to digest and break down food so it can be used.
Needless to say, the food we choose plays a major role in gut functioning. There are a few specially prescribed food items that work wonder for the gut.
Eat a diverse food course
Eating diverse food helps to feed the different micro organisms in the gut. Include a range of vegetables and fruits to the diet and drink adequate water to keep the body hydrated.
Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are an excellent source of helpful bacteria and enzymes that enhances nutrient absorption. Fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, are rich in beneficial probiotic bacteria.
Eat Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of beneficial microbes in the gut. They help to:
Break down medications
Kill some of the bad bacteria that lead to infections
Many fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain prebiotics
De-stress is really important for physical and mental wellbeing. De-stress naturally with exercise, yoga, massage, meditation, hydrotherapy, relaxing salt bath and the use of calming essential oils.
Dr. Prem Chandra, Physician, AyurCentral, Jayanagar, Bangalore