Multiple pieces of research over the past few decades have proved that gut health is critical for overall good health and an unhealthy gut can trigger a range of health issue starting from obesity ti rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and gas are some common symptoms that scream unhealthy gut. However, there are many more symptoms of an unhealthy gut that you might not be aware of.
Gas or diarrhea
Your gut health is not up to the mark when there is an imbalance of microbiome in your gut. The good bacteria in your gut are responsible for the food breakdown and digestion. But in the absence of these bacteria, the food starts fermenting in your gut leading to gas.
Do you get sugar cravings very frequently? This might be a sign that your gut is not healthy. The gut bacteria release special hunger-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. These are proteins that affect our mood and food cravings. When your gut has a lot of bad bacteria, it secretes proteins that make you crave more sugar. This should be your warning sign.
Chronic bad breath is a sign that your gut health is not up to the mark. An excess of bad bacteria in your gut makes you prone to health conditions like diabetes and kidney infections that lead to bad breath.
Have you been facing food intolerances from dairy and gluten recently? It might be a result of leaky gut.
Mood swings, anxiety, depression
A compromised gut function can also affect your mental health. Serotonin and dopamine are two happy hormones that are made in your gut but if you have a leaky gut issue, much of these happy hormones get lost. So keeping your gut healthy means good mental health.
How to improve gut health and increase good bacteria in the gut
Rely on probiotics
Probiotics play a very important role in creating a balance between the good and the bad gut bacteria that is responsible for the bowel movement. These microbiomes also regulate metabolism and eliminate toxins from body fighting off illness and diseases.
Include probiotic-rich fermented food like yogurt, idli, dhokla, kemchi, and kombucha to your diet to maintain good gut health. A right amount of gut bacteria also helps to build a stronger immune system.
(Read more on Indian food sources of probiotics)
Prebiotics are nothing but natural soluble fibers that provides nourishment to the good bacteria in the large intestine to regulate bowel movement and maintain a balanced gut flora.
Plant-based foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, leeks, flaxseeds, apples, and organic food are super sources of natural prebiotics.
Drink ginger tea
Ginger tea is a great Ayurvedic remedy if you wish to relieve gas problems and digestion issues by relaxing your intestinal muscles and stimulating digestion. Green tea is also beneficial to treat gastrointestinal issues.
Get rid of inflammatory foods
Individuals with an unhealthy gut often ace food allergies. These are called inflammatory foods that irritate the environment of your gut like gluten corn, soy, alcohol, sugar, and eggs. Remove them from your diet altogether for a month or so and then start adding them to your diet one at a time.
Ensure good gut health to keep yourself healthy.