Do you know the benefits of having a healthy gut?
The trillions of bacteria in your digestive tract are crucial for everything from nutrient absorption to immune system function.
A poorly functioning gut can lead to serious health conditions, and that's why it's important to take care of it every day.
In this article, we'll go over 7 diet tips from functional medicine doctor Dr. Anshul Gutpa MD on how you can make sure that your gut is as healthy as possible!
Gut Health & Its Importance -
Gut health is important because it affects everything from nutrient absorption to immune system function.
- Gut bacteria are crucial for everything, including how you digest your food and how well the lining of your intestines can absorb nutrients.
- Depending on what foods we eat or what medications we're taking, our body's microbiome changes constantly—but that doesn't mean they all work in a good way together. - gut health doctor
- That means this delicate balance becomes disrupted when something as simple as antibiotics wipes out too many healthy gut bacteria. This leaves us susceptible to infections like clostridium difficile (C.diff), which causes diarrhea and colitis symptoms so severe that patients may need surgery.
Hence it is highly important that you take care of your gut every day!
Gut Health: 7 Diet Tips from Functional Medicine Doctor Anshul Gupta
One of the most proactive ways to take care of your gut health is by having a balanced & healthy diet.
If you are not sure how - read on to know 7 Diet Tips from Functional Medicine Doctor Anshul Gupta.
#1 Keep yourself hydrated
The gut needs water to function properly and so does the entire body. So, make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of clean water a day!
- Drink about two liters (eight cups) of water daily. Now most people think they can drink sodas, or coffee or juices or teas and that will take care of the water intake, but unfortunately it doesn't.
In fact some of these drinks in excessive amounts can be harmful to your body. But plain water can be boring for a lot of people, so you can add a slice of lemon to it or add some cucumber to it or mint and you will get flavored water for yourself.
- If you eat lots of fiber foods like whole grains, beans or fresh vegetables/fruits then drink even more as your food intake will increase your need for fluid intake too.
#2 Take more Fiber foods
Fiber foods are essential for healthy digestion. They stimulate the gut and improve bowel movements, leading to better elimination of waste.
Also, the gut microbiome uses fiber to produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and propionate. These are important for tissue protection, hormone regulation in the gut, healthy immune system response, and more!
Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables (especially those with skins), seeds/nuts, beans, and lentils.
Be careful not to take too much fiber all at once as this will cause bloating...most of the time 1-2 servings of veggies at every meal should be sufficient for fiber.
#3 Include more complex carbs for gut health
Complex carbohydrate foods are those that take longer to break down in the gut. Eventually, they provide you with a steady stream of energy. They are also rich sources of fiber which aids with digestion. They also help in healthy bacterial growth.
Some of the complex carbohydrate foods are - beans, lentils, whole grains (brown rice for example), carrots.
Complex carbs should be eaten at every meal as they can keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time thus reducing your total caloric intake per day!
#4 Avoid Sugary and processed foods for better gut health
If you want to have a healthy gut, it is important that these foods are not regular in the diet. Sugary processed food has no nutritional value and only provides quick bursts of energy while negatively impacting your mood as well.
The artificial sweeteners in foods can also disrupt the natural balance of your gut bacteria. This leads to chronic inflammation and the production of toxic substances that can damage your GI tract.
These foods are also high in sugar, which will spike insulin levels and lead to increased weight gain and also increase inflammation in your body.
So, it is better that you avoid these foods as much as possible.
#5 Take more Probiotics & Prebiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your gut. These foods have been consumed by humans for thousands of years, and they're not new.
The human digestive tract contains lots of beneficial microbes naturally, with the largest concentration being in our intestines.
Probiotics help maintain this bacterial balance when taken as a supplement or eaten through food products such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha (fermented tea drink), and yogurt.
This is important because certain strains can prevent bad bacteria from forming colonies which would lead to infections like Candida yeast overgrowth (also known as "yeast infection").
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of "good" bacteria.
This helps in maintaining a good gut microbiome.
Prebiotics are found in foods like bananas, chicory root, garlic, onion, and cucumbers
Prebiotics can also be taken in supplement form or you can purchase prebiotic supplements to take alone or with probiotics on a daily basis.
#6 Increase intake of vegetables & fruits to improve your gut health
Fruits & vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
They are also a good source of prebiotics.
The best way to increase your intake is by adding them into your diet every day in any form possible whether raw like salads, or slightly sauteed.
You might have heard the phrase from your grandma who always said “eat your veggies “ And she was absolutely right, we don't eat enough veggies. Its important to have vegetables in each and every meal of your day.
#7 Try eliminating Gluten from your diet for better gut health
For some people, gluten-containing foods & grains can cause a variety of digestive disorders and chronic health issues.
Some symptoms people may experience are bloating, constipation, diarrhea, pain in the abdomen area (upper or lower), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
There has been some evidence that suggests gluten-containing foods can alter the human gut microbiota.
If you suspect your diet is causing these problems for you then it's best to eliminate them from your diet completely for at least one month & see what happens before adding any back into your daily meal plan.
After this time frame, try reintroducing certain grains one at a time every few weeks until they do not trigger any negative reactions again. If there was still no reaction then continue eating them on occasion.
Taking a proper balanced diet is the key to maintaining good gut health.
Being a proactive and holistic medical approach, Functional Medicine, primarily focuses on diet changes to heal your gut.
Hope these 7 primary diet tips for gut health by Functional Medicine doctor Dr.Anshul Gupta MD is of help to you.
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