Happiness Begins In The Stomach- 5 Ways To Keep Your Gut Healthy

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Happiness Begins In The Stomach- 5 Ways To Keep Your Gut Healthy

The term gut health has come into the picture over the last few years. The stomach is now called the second brain of the human body. Just as the brain controls our bodily functions, the gut also holds the key to a disease-free body. Studies have shown links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, skin conditions, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, to name a few. There are tiny bacteria, fungi, and viruses living in our intestines, which are called microbiomes. These microbiomes affect your mood, weight loss, heart health, diabetes, and even mental health.

So if the gut can affect almost all the parameters of the body, then taking care of this second brain becomes extremely important. I realized this a while back while dealing with digestive issues, weight gain, and mood swings. Though food and nutrition were my forte, I did not stick to the scientific principles in my obsession to lose weight. I tried various diets and experimented with different types of so-called superfoods and messed up my system. I tried a fruit diet, low carb, one meal a day diet, and many more. I did lose, but I was so unhappy. My body was screaming for help, but I wanted to see the scale go down. Once I achieved my goal, I was low in energy, irritable, and messed up. My digestion was off track, and I would feel bloated, acidic, heavy. My gut was going through turmoil. The weight also came back. That was when I decided I am going to be healthy and EAT. I dusted off my Nutrition books and went head onto researching, found a simple way to lose weight. A happy, calm, and healthy gut means a happy body.

So I am happier, healthier, a little less anxious, sleeping a little better, and eating different kinds of foods. Here is what I did to love my gut back to health

1.     Have more water– Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep the intestinal lining healthy and the gut bacteria healthy. Water helps to flush out all the toxic waste from the system and keeps you light and happy.

2.     Eat mindfully and not mindlessly– Many times, I have seen people eating a full meal and then binge. Eating without being hungry or without thinking affects the digestive system adversely. If you are experiencing gas, bloating, belching, acidity or flatulence, keep a check on the amount of food you are eating. Portion control is the key to enjoying your favorite foods and keeping your stomach happy.

3.     Include Probiotic foods– Probiotics are live micro-organisms in food that improve gut health. Curd is the most common probiotic food item that has been given over centuries when someone is suffering from digestive issues. Fermented food items such as idlis, dosas, kimchi, fermented pickles, buttermilk are great for your stomach as well.

4.     Breathe– If you are looking to improve your gut health, breathing is one thing you should not neglect. Regular practice of good old abdominal breathing helps your body in more ways than you know. Firstly it helps your body release happy hormones or endorphins that are great natural medicine for stress. Deep breathing ensures that there is more oxygen supplied to various body parts. Increased oxygen improves intestinal health, improves digestion, and helps in better absorption of nutrients. 

5.     Eat Unprocessed Food– Food with preservatives such as ketchup, chips, dips, and biscuits are another reason for poor digestion. Keep your food simple and as unprocessed as possible. Make sure you eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and meals cooked with seed and nut-based oils. In many cases, a diet low in spices also shows a significant improvement in digestive health.

Good digestion means robust health. Try these tips and see how miraculously your health improves. Once you can communicate effectively with your body and gut, you become a happier and peaceful person. 

My name is Richa Bhatnagar and I am a dietician by profession. I have my own practice in India. I consult all those eager to get healthy and fit. The Chinese call it Zen, the soul, where you belong. I would say for me it's helping others to get healthy. Dedication and knowledge are the two tools I go by. I hope my blog clears out doubts, raises questions, and gives out helpful information.

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