Yes, you read it right. If you are worried about your weight or diabetes or thyroid or arthritis or any other lifestyle disorders, you should take your gut seriously. Even if you are suffering a lot with SIMPLE acidity, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, irregular bowel movement or food allergy you must start caring your gut.
Okay, we get it….. but why GUT? In fact, what is the GUT?
It is always better to understand things first and then decide whether to practice or not. The gut is your gastrointestinal tract or GI tract. Remember your biology book in school !! The typical diagram we all must have a practice number of times especially before the exam.
Scientists are now considering the gut as our SECOND BRAIN. The gut contains 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or peripheral nervous system. More than 70% of cells that make up our immune system lies in the gut wall. Our gut hosts at least 1000 different species of both good and bad bacteria- called Gut Microbiota. They are vitally important for the digestion of certain foods, metabolism, immune system, synthesizing vitamins, etc. Gut and brain constantly communicate through neurons, hormones and immune systems. Are you now getting the link between exam fear, stomach ache, and loose motion?
Our gut intestinal lining cover more than 4,000 square feet of surface area through which digested foods get absorbed and enter into the blood. But why do we need to listen to our gut…..it is inbuilt and will work on its own, right?
NO! Today most of us are unknowingly suffering from some degree of LEAKY GUT- where instead of going out, undigested foods, toxins are getting into the bloodstream through the cracks and holes formed in the intestinal lining. These toxins and undigested proteins start traveling throughout our body and attack organs creating inflammation and turn on the autoimmune response. Scientists are now drawing a connection between gut and diabetes/obesity and heart disease.
All your allergy/ chronic constipation/ diarrhea/ gas/ acidity/ bloating/ joint pain/ hypothyroidism/ anxiety/ depression/ excessive fatigue/ craving for SUGAR could be because of having your leaky gut. Such a long list!! SHOCKED?
What !! what to do?
With a heavy heart again I have to tell you to stop eating packaged and processed food as much as possible. Alcohol, refined oil, high sugar-containing foods (commercial fruit juices, cola, sweets, cookies, cake, and other packaged baked items, candy, etc.) and even artificial sweeteners are dangerous for our gut as all the bad bacteria survive on sugar and/or constantly create inflammation in the intestinal lining making the cracks bigger. Include fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds and satisfy your sweet cravings with fruits. Start eating homemade fermented foods- dosa, idli, dhokla, kanji, curd, pickle or even panta bhat. This age long tried and tested fermented foods act as natural probiotic and help to regain the gut microbiota. So the drill is simple – fall in love with your gut microbe and they will take care of most of your physical complications and disorders. By the way, how many packaged or processed food you eat since morning? Start counting.