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About Gut Bacteria
Gut health encompasses the function of good bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract. To aid in the function of eating and digestion, organs like the intestine, stomach and oesophagus play a huge role. Most of the microbes in the intestine are kept within the ‘pocket’ of the large intestine referred to as the cecum. There are approximately 30 trillion human cells and 40 trillion bacterial cells in the human body. The gut microbiome plays important functions such as digestion of fibre and control of one’s immunity.
Why Does Junk Food Impact the Gut?
During the monsoon season, there is increased humidity. Constant cloudy weather also creates damp weather due to the frequent downpour. Too much moisture in the air makes you feel sluggish and slows down your digestion. On top of this, consuming oily, fried-food creates indigestion. Eating pakoras and other kinds of street food like pani puri is a big no-no during this season. The risk of water contamination is always high during the season as rainwater contains hundreds of bacteria and viruses. Plus if you are in the habit of snacking from roadside stalls, water from drains which rises due to incessant rain can come in contact with food causing food-poisoning and other digestive issues.
How to Boost Your Digestion?
As per our ancient teachings of Ayurveda, Vata dosha becomes aggravated in monsoon coupled with the accumulation of pitta. For well-functioning digestion, the two need to be in harmony. To keep yourself safe from acidity, gas, bloating and feelings of uneasiness, here are 5 tips to follow:
1. Consume ghee
Cow ghee contains butyrate acid which is anti-inflammatory. Ghee stimulates the digestive juices and makes the body absorb nutrients easily. To include it in your diet you can cook your dishes in a tablespoon of ghee. Another good habit is to consume ghee with a little bit of honey and turmeric in the morning on an empty stomach. Doing so, smoothens the colon muscles and enhances contractility. Ghee is an effective ingredient that will control gut inflammation.
2. Eat ginger
Ginger is another wonder food for gut and digestive issues. Ginger promotes the secretion of bile, saliva and gastric juices. The body is able to break down the various components of the food you eat and extract the nutrients with the help of ginger. It also increases your fighting ability against inflammation. Ginger is your go-to ingredient in your pantry if you are suffering from nausea and stomach upset.
You can have candied ginger or bite a small portion of ginger along with a pinch of rock salt after every meal. The rock salt prevents heartburn experienced by some people upon consumption of raw ginger.
3. Include high water content foods
Hydration is necessary during the monsoon season due to increased humidity and sweating. Aside from drinking water, you should also aim to include veggies and fruits with water content in your diets such as watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples and citrus fruits. These vegetables and fruits will keep you hydrated, add to your daily requirement of fibre and aid in a healthy bowel movement.
4. Skip afternoon naps
No matter how much we Indians love our afternoon siesta, Ayurveda totally forbids it because it slows down your metabolism and makes your digestion sluggish. So, iy is best to avoid rainwater and sun exposure as it is not good for your digestive health.
5. Have yoghurt or curd
You can include yoghurt into your diet simply by replacing your morning cereal and milk with the former. You can also have lassi after your meals or you can also make raita loaded with cucumber and tomatoes. Yoghurt is a probiotic and it promotes good bacteria in your diet. It keeps gastrointestinal disorders at bay and helps to cool your tummy. Make sure to have yoghurt at room temperature as it can sometimes cause you to catch a cold and flu this season.
Gut health is a vulnerable position this season and you should not tamper with it too much by eating junk and oily food. nourish your gut with healthy foods and it will reward you with good immunity.