56% of Indian families report digestive health problems. The gut – apart of the digestive system plays a very important role in digestion and breaking down the food you eat. Maintaining a healthy gut is essential for your overall well-being, as it plays a crucial role in your digestion, immune system, and even mental health. While the gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, maintaining a balance of beneficial bacteria is the key. A healthy gut simply means that there are more good bacteria than harmful bacteria. An increasing number of people consume high amounts of junk or processed or packaged food every week leading to several digestive problems. A recent survey suggests that approximately 7 out of every 10 people in urban India experience digestive or gut health issues.
Important functions of your Gut
One of the primary functions of the gut is to break down food and extract essential nutrients. A healthy gut with a diverse community of beneficial bacteria ensures efficient digestion and optimal nutrient absorption. This enables your bodies to obtain the necessary vitamins, minerals, and energy required for proper functioning and growth. The key functions of your gut include:
- Enhancing your immunity
Research suggests that approximately 70% of your immune system resides in the gut. The gut acts as a barrier against harmful pathogens and toxins, preventing their entry into the bloodstream. A balanced gut microbiome enhances the immune response, helps control inflammation, and protects one against infections.
- Boosts mental health
The gut microbiota produces neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which play a crucial role in regulating mood and emotions. A healthy gut is known to contribute to better mental health and cognitive function and reduces the risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, and even neurodegenerative disorders.
- Aids weight management
Imbalances in gut bacteria have been associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. A diverse and balanced gut microbiome supports efficient metabolism, regulates appetite, and helps prevent weight gain and chronic metabolic disorders.
- Disease prevention
Research suggests that an unhealthy gut may contribute to the development of various diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), allergies, and certain cancers. By prioritizing gut health, one can considerably reduce the risk of these conditions.
Healthy tips to improve your Gut Health
Your daily food habits, your fitness routine and the lifestyle you live have a direct impact on your digestive health. Taking steps to improve your digestive health can help your digestive system function more efficiently and improve your gut health. These include:
- Eat a fiber-rich diet
- Stay hydrated
- Aim for a protein portion in every meal
- Consider supplementation
- Minimize antibiotic use
- Avoid processed foods
- Up your intake of probiotics & prebiotics
- Exercise regularly
- Quit bad habits
- Reduce stress in your life
Digestive care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
Optimizing gut health is a long-term commitment that requires a balanced approach to diet, lifestyle, and stress management. By understanding the significance of gut health and adopting practices that promote a balanced gut microbiome, you can improve your well-being reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Prioritizing gut health is a step towards a healthier and happier life. Consult highly trained and experienced nutritionists at our Department of Clinical Nutrition Therapy for personalized guidance to help improve your gut health. If you are suffering from any irregularities in your digestive health, reach out to experts at our Department to Gastroenterology for further guidance. Please find below the website links for further details: