Good Gut: Happy Gut

Gut health is important, for the health of the body starts with the gut to help reduce the risk of conditions like bowel cancer, constipation. The food you consume is broken down to fats, proteins, and simple carbohydrates in the gut and it is obvious that gut should always be in good condition to function efficiently to process the food that is consumed.

The problems in the digestive tract could be the one that affects the rest of your body and indirectly contributing to the symptoms like, a feeling of unwell, bloating, wind, pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in appetite.

Dieting, avoiding entire food groups in the name of weight reduction will sabotage your gut health. Human gut often referred to as the “Second Brain.” When your gut is upset, your brain struggles, naturally!

When the gut health is affected, for example when the gut is unable to produce sufficient enzyme, the food will not be digested completely. The undigested food particles will then reach the bloodstream that causes inflammation.  Environmental toxins consumed through food will damage the villi, specialized for the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.

Craving for sweets can mean you have an imbalance of gut bacteria. Overgrowth of yeast in the system results when good bacteria are wiped of the intestine especially after a course or two of antibiotics.

When your gut is healthy, the rest of your organs will come into alignment better. So eating right will make sure that your gut is getting what it needs and function efficiently. It is true that the quality of food you eat affects your quality of life and energy production.

Tips to improve gut health

  • Healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients always begins with a simple act of chewing the food. Chewing is the preliminary process of proper digestion. If food is not chewed properly, the digestion process is going to be much harder, later in the gut.
  • A mix of raw and cooked vegetables will enhance the digestive health. Enzymes in the raw food plays major role in digestion of food and healing & detoxing of the intestine as well. Balanced food along with physical activity will help eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Drink enough water, which is essential for a normal bowel function. Think twice before grabbing fizzy drink or juice. Soda and too much coffee too, will lead to dehydration and sap out your energy, as well.
  • Fiber-rich foods keeps you full for longer and also help in digestion. Soluble fiber slows digestion and help absorb the nutrients efficiently. Cereal fibers resist digestion and retain water which act as highly effective laxative.
  • Gut microbiota contains trillion of microorganisms, both good and bad. Consuming foods with probiotic strains (lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) will help maintain a healthy gut.

Can you believe that gut imbalance of the microbiota triggers depressive symptom! You should always see that your gut eco system is in a balanced state because the harmful bacteria in the intestine will produce toxic by-products that lowers serotonin levels, causing depression. Serotonin, an important chemical neurotransmitter is produced in the brain and gut. About 80-90% of the serotonin is produced in the gut and it is the chemical that is responsible for maintaining mood balance.  The friendly bacteria will block the harmful microbes from setting up camp in the gut.

Gut- friendly bacteria regulates digestion and metabolism. They extract and produce vitamins and other nutrients through the food we eat, every day.  When you take probiotic, the amount of friendly bacteria increases in the intestine that help in boosting the body’s immune system. 

To balance the good and bad bacteria in the intestine it is crucial that you consume probiotic rich food every day. Fermented food like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, naturally contain probiotics that help maintain a healthy gut.

Pistachios, bananas, plantain, onions, garlic, oats, quinoa, millet and chia seeds are prebiotic foods that help increase the number of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Swap out refined foods for whole grains, plants, fruits, seeds and nuts for a good gut health.

 

Super food

 

Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world and fresh bananas are available year-round. Adding sliced banana to your morning cereal or oatmeal sounds great for breakfast. Bananas are packed with flavonoids, beta carotene a powerful antioxidant that gobbles free radical. In addition, it is a good source of potassium important for controlling the heart rate and blood pressure. Vitamin B6 in banana, help prevent anemia.

Increase happiness

Bananas help to overcome depression by releasing mood regulating substance called tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin in the brain that elevates mood and makes you happier!

Energy

Bananas, a pack of energy punch, good supplier of carbohydrate necessary to replace the muscle glycogen after your heavy work out. Before a strenuous workout, it help sustain your blood sugar. Blend a banana with a cup of soy milk and a teaspoon of honey and refrigerate. Enjoy a chill smoothie after workout!

Bowel health

Bananas are high in soluble fiber that acts as prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel that helps relieve constipation and restore regular bowel function.

Potassium

Bananas are high in potassium that helps lower blood pressure and protect against heart diseases and help the body’s circulatory system, deliver oxygen to the brain. Potassium help transport more oxygen to your brain, that keeps your brain do its job better. If you are taking beta-blockers, prescribed for heart disease, consult with your doctor if potassium level become a concern, for this medication have the potential to increase in the potassium levels.

Iron

Bananas are rich in iron that help individuals with anemia. It help stimulation of production of hemoglobin that aids in oxygen transport.

Digestion

Bananas are rich in pectin, aiding digestion and detoxification process in the body. It soothes the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea. Banana Smoothie, a wonderful energy punch.

A sliced banana mixed with sliced strawberries, mandarin orange and a teaspoon of honey and chopped mint leaves, makes a great dessert.  Enjoy with your family!