Gut Health: What it is and ways to improve it
Gut health means a physical state and physiologic working of the several parts of your gastrointestinal tract. Studies have associated gut health with the proper working of every other body system like the immune system, endocrine system, and even mood. There are 300-500 gut bacteria in your body, which are extremely crucial for good health. So here's how to ensure a healthy gut microbiome.
Why does it matter?
The gut is an essential part of your body and is a storehouse of millions of good bacteria. It aids in nutrient absorption, hormonal balance, and adequate digestion. But hectic work regimes and fast-paced lifestyles can lead to poor gut health. Moreover, processed foods, excessive sugar intake, and alcohol are major reasons for poor gut health.
Polyphenol-rich food improve gut health
Polyphenol, an organic compound found in plants, has a key role in gut health improvement and also improves digestion, brain function, and blood sugar levels. They also restrict the growth of harmful bacteria. Black beans and white beans have the greatest number of polyphenols. You can also find them in beverages like black tea, green tea, apple, and pomegranate juices.
Increase the intake of whole grains
Whole grains are rich in non-digestible carbohydrates like beta-glucan that the small intestine is unable to absorb and so they move to the large intestine, enhancing gut bacteria. However, for this, eliminate processed foods. You can replace white rice with brown rice in your diet. Increase the intake of whole wheat instead of refined flour in your diet for better gut health.
Prebiotics and probiotics promote healthy gut
Prebiotics are excellent sources of fiber. Although such foods are difficult to digest by the body, they predominantly enhance gut bacteria. Prebiotics are largely found in foods like legumes, beans, oats, and bananas. Secondly, probiotics, are live bacteria that promote gut health. They are mainly found in foods like yogurt, naturally-fermented pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, and soft cheeses.
Here are foods to avoid for a healthy gut
While you should add the above foods to your daily diet, there are some foods that you should avoid. -Antibiotics treat infections but harm good bacteria. -Chronic alcohol intake can result in an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Excessive intake of sugar and processed foods also worsen the situation and lead to inflammation.