New Delhi | Jagran Brand Desk: Gut health is a term that refers to various aspects of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as promoting digestion, controlling the growth of normal intestinal microbiota, and benefiting a state of overall well-being. Unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles and other environmental factors can alter the composition and metabolic activity of the human gut microbiota, which can impact our health in a negative way and can have negative impact on our gut health.

Digestive system is also the seat for our immune system. The role and function of the digestive system is to run the metabolism, make vitamins and communicate with bodily functions to ensure a healthy gut and keeping immunity intact.

How does the digestive system work?

We introduce our body to various food items, also termed as foreign substances. The only hope here is for the body to reap maximum health benefits and flush out the excess. Once the food enters the digestive system, it goes through various steps where it breakdowns into small pieces so that the body can absorb the nutrients and use it as energy to build or repair cells.

The microbes that live in the human GI tract, called as gut flora or microbiota, have a vital role in our digestion. These friendly microbes not only maintain the intestinal barrier but also have significant role in the functioning of the immune system.

Keeping your digestive system healthy

When our digestive tract fails to run smoothly it leads to various digestive ailments, such as:

Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD)

 

Peptic ulcer

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Celiac disease

Constipation

Diarrhea

Here are some simple tips that can help in keeping your digestive tract healthy:

Include more dietary fibre

A high-fibre diet promotes regular bowel movements and helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. According to a study, legumes, beans, peas, oats, bananas, berries, asparagus, and leeks have shown a positive impact on gut health5.  

Drink plenty of water

Water keeps the intestinal walls smooth and flexible so that the stool can pass easily through the bowel. A healthy grown up needs 1.5 to 2 liters of non-caffeinated fluids per day to keep the system well-hydrated.

Consume probiotics

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that improve or restore the gut flora. Major sources of probiotics are yogurt, kefir (a fermented milk drink which is similar to yogurt), raw apple cider vinegar, soy milk and dark chocolate.

Exercise regularly

Healthy body weight is necessary to ward off digestive problems. Moderate exercise on a daily basis has shown to increase gut transit time by nearly 30%.

Keep your stress levels down

The stress hormone (cortisol) directly affects your digestion by causing an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Additionally, high stress level is associated with stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, and IBS.

Get adequate sleep

Sleep deprivation and impaired sleep quality have been associated with poor digestive health.  Maintain a regular sleep-wake pattern to improve bowel habits and overall gut health.

Ayurveda for better digestive health

Ayurvedic principles are rooted in the belief that the mind and body are inextricably related. According to Ayurveda, incomplete digestion and gastrointestinal problems occur because of a diminished “Agni”.  Agni is the biological digestive fire in our body which is responsible for all the digestive processes. Diminished Agni can lead to a buildup of Ama, or toxic accumulation which ultimately contributes to various diseases.

 

Some ayurvedic practices for gut health are as follows:

Start your day with lukewarm water everyday

Chew your food properly for easy and smooth digestion

Practice yoga nidra

Get minimum eight hours of sleep

Take a walk after meals

The best way to keep your digestive system healthy is to make the right food choices and lifestyle modifications so, that your digestive system will help you stay in perfect health. For the same, ayurvedic tonics like Zandu Pancharishtra are great digestive boosters, which work towards keeping the entire digestive system healthy. One must understand that what you eat makes a great difference on your over health. Hence, the need of the hour is to work towards having a healthy digestion for an enhanced immunity.

(Disclaimer: The article is written by the Brand Desk)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma