Have you ever imagined why doctors say – ‘heal you gut, heal your health’? We all know that our gastrointestinal tract (the GI tract) is responsible for digesting the foods that we eat. But at the same time you would be surprised to know that two-third of our immune system (the body’s defense mechanism) resides in the GI tract. Therefore, you could now clearly make out that our gut or the GI tract is directly responsible for good immunity and brain health.
Inside our gut resides millions and trillions of highly talented and extremely hardworking creatures (bacteria, fungi and many other single celled organisms), what we collectively call as microorganisms that are working 24×7 to help us digest our meals, extracting and helping in absorbing many essential nutrients (even those that our body cannot produce by itself) thus defending us from diseases causing pathogens.
These community of microorganisms, commonly known as microbiome are located at various parts of our body, the gut being the most important of them all. These microbiomes are solely responsible for our survival. They play vital roles in shaping our appetite, neurological functions, allergies and even metabolism. They even have a critical role to play in our mental functionality and thereby our brain.
How does it affect our health and our body as a whole?
It starts affecting the health of our body right from our birth (perhaps when we are developing in our mother’s womb). As we keep growing, these microbes start to diversify . More they diversify the better for our overall health. Most interesting is the fact that the food we eat directly affects the diversification of the gut bacteria. It controls our digestion, the immune system, the central nervous system and numerous other processes of our body.
There are certain indications that our gut gives us- indicating that we are not as healthy as we should. These signs are:
– Having problems with the thyroid gland.
– Skin problems like acne and psoriasis.
– The feeling of being bloated after our meals.
– Uncomfortable bowel movements.
– Anxiety, depression and low mood.
– Frequent colds.
– The feeling of heartburn and acid refluxes.
How do we heal our gut?
Promoting gut health could be as easy and simple as providing our gut with the right foods needed to stay healthy and get some regular exercises. Follow these steps:
Omit : Omit everything that harms the gut – foods that causes inflammation and allergies, pollution, stress and improper sleep. These are critical as these will never let your gut heal and make you healthy. Remove all sugar and sodium rich foods from your diet.
Change: Change everything from needed ingredients like food for proper digestion to essential nutrients and other vital elements. Fermented foods and drinks are good example of this. Eating a lot of fiber enriched whole foods along with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins.
Introduce: Aid your gut with good bacteria that the guts badly needs to flourish and perform well. This process involves the addition of proper probiotics to the gut along with prebiotics. Prebiotics are foods that the healthy bacteria feeds on to stay healthy and perform.
Following all these steps will allow the gut lining to repair by the nutrients and its ability to heal and regenerate. It is important to figure out what exactly is going on within your body. Foods that are rich in simple carbohydrates and gluten are harmful to the brain, as they allow bad bacteria in the gut to grow and cause damage. Help in the support of growth of healthy microbes in the gut – eat a wide variety of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and yes- fermented foods.
About the author :
Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt is the founder of Billion Cheers and Fermentis Life Sciences, a passionate research scientist with doctorate in pharmaceutical biotechnology from Jamia Hamdard University. His expertise lies in developing innovative products and processes by application of biotechnology, nanotechnology and fermentation technology. He is a proud recipient of Young Scientist Award and research grant from the Department of Science & Technology of Government of India.
He says, “Being a biotechnologist by profession I am convinced that microbiome is the most significant part of our body and plays a key role in our health. i believe that the focus of the future research for human health will revolve around microbiome.”