The gut has a very important role in one’s overall well-being. It’s often called the second brain. It’s a complex ecosystem within one’s body, made up of microorganisms that comprise the gut microbiome. The well-being of this ecosystem helps us regulate healthy digestion. Eating the right food helps these microscopic inhabitants thrive.
One can be so easily uncomfortable if their gut health is compromised even just a little bit. Maintaining gut health is extremely important – it affects all other systems perpetually. When gut flora is balanced and thriving, one has better digestion, metabolism, immune system and improved nutrient absorption. When the gut microbiome is imbalanced, a range of diseases follow through, like allergies, skin conditions and even mood disorders.
Managing good gut health
One can take several proactive steps to ensure that their gut health is managed and regulated. Many dietary and lifestyle changes can improve their gut health.
- Increase the intake of fibre. Fibre is a very important part of any diet. It’s important to increase the amount of fibre you eat with age. The indigestible component of plant foods that serve as prebiotics is beneficial bacteria for your gut. Fibre-rich fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains should be increased in everyday meals.
- Processed foods are not our friends. Processed foods get laden with artificial ingredients, preservatives, and unhealthy fats, as well as the quality of the food source, which can heavily disrupt the gut flora. Minimising processed foods is a good way to ensure one doesn’t destroy gut health.
- Fermented foods can be very beneficial. Fermented foods like kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, yoghurt etc, contain beneficial bacteria through the process of fermentation. The live microorganisms can replenish and strengthen the gut microbiome. Including fermented foods every now and then into meals can be beneficial.
- Stress levels must be balanced. Diet, exercise and sleep are the key to healthy living. However, regulating stress levels effectively every day would be beneficial. The effects of stress vary from person to person, but the adverse effects can be managed with simple practices like meditation, a good rant, and self-check-ins.
- Sleep is key. The human body functions best when it has the time to rest and recover. It’s got to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, wherein it can repair and rest systems. It’s crucial to balance and focus on one’s sleep schedule.
Gut-friendly meal plans with EatFit
You can subscribe to a gut-friendly meal plan for one of the meals of the day. This helps you maintain your gut health. With the right balance of ingredients and a variety that aids digestion, you can be assured you’re getting a balanced meal.
- Paneer foxtail millet salad: foxtail millet is crunchy, and when added with soft paneer – it makes every bite worthwhile. There are accompaniments like veggie salad, seed mix and lovely dressing to bring it all together. A salad helps bring in the goodness of leafy greens. A whole salad is a meal you must include once a day or week. It gives the body a healthy share of raw ingredients that are easy to digest and bring in fibre.
- Millet curd rice: Curd rice is a SouthIndian dish that puts the tummy at ease. The creamy curd with the rice or millet, makes for a nutritious meal that is topped with some pomegranate seeds for some sweetness. It is usually paired with some pickles. The curd brings in probiotics, and the rice/millet gives the energy required.
- Palak paneer, soya matar and millet pulao: a classic dish with fresh spinach puree gravy with paneer cubes, served along with soya matar and nutritious millet pulao made with foxtail millet and barley.
- Paneer Russian salad: a salad made with paneer, carrots, beans, sweet corn, and pineapple – combined together with the heavenly dressing.
- Paneer asian salad: a bowl of salad packed with Asian flavours. The salad includes soft paneer, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, cherry tomato, lettuce, french beans, papaya, honey chilli babycorn, all combined with an aromantic Asian dressing.
- Quinoa Khichdi: a vegan khichdi that is anti-inflammatory. The bowl has quinoa pumpkin with a mix of quinoa with dal, rice, pumpkin, beans, carrots and spices. It’s served with pickle and provides protein and fibre for the body.
The gut microbiome is an ecosystem that requires your utmost attention. It’s important that it’s flourishing. It influences digestion, immunity, mood and metabolism. By adopting a lifestyle that focuses on one’s gut health, it’s easier to live life energetically without falling ill and maintain stamina.
A food enthusiast and a blogger – someone who likes to eat and write about it. I’m passionate about exploring different cuisines and challenging my palette. I give into my food craving regularly and am often on the hunt to find my new favorite food place in town.