How gut bacteria helps keep immune system healthy

Jun 14, 2018, 12:49 IST | mid-day online correspondent

In the absence of good bacteria, carbohydrate breakdown stops, can lead to diarrhea. This makes it essential to consume a balanced diet which includes enough fruits, vegetables, curds and fermented foods

How gut bacteria helps keep immune system healthy

Gut and stomach plays an important role in maintaining the overall health of the body. The gut helps other organs to stay healthy as the good bacteria within the stomach help in digestion by breaking down carbohydrates into small chain fatty acids that promote its absorption.

In the absence of good bacteria, carbohydrate breakdown stops, can lead to diarrhea. This makes it essential to consume a balanced diet which includes enough fruits, vegetables, curds and fermented foods. Ensure to maintain a balanced diet at all times. As antibiotics are not able to figure the appropriate bacteria to kill, it ends up harming some of the good bacteria. This has a huge impact on the gut bacteria and affects the immunity system as well.

In certain countries in the western world, fecal transplantation has been introduced to balance out the bacteria in the gut. This has been getting a good response in other countries, however within few years it will hopefully be introduced within India as well.

Homemade yogurt is the best remedy to generate probiotics; it has protective bacteria that helps improve gut. There are no food items that can help the bacteria to foster. However, oral antibiotics, surgeries or chemotherapy can lead to reduced number of good bacteria in the stomach or gut.

Dr Roy Patankar, a leading Gastroenterologist & Director of Zen Hospital says, "Our digestive health is directly impacted by the foods we eat and the lifestyle we live. By taking steps to improve your digestive health, you'll help your digestive system to function more efficiently, improving your overall health and sense of well-being. Regular consumption of balanced diet helps to maintain the flora in the gut which helps in maintaining good health."

Try these 10 tips for better digestive health:
Eat a high-fiber diet: To consume a diet that's high in fiber A high-fiber diet helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract, making you less likely to get constipated. High-fiber diet can also help you prevent or treat various digestive conditions, such as diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In addition, it can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Get both insoluble and soluble fiber: It's important to consume both types of fiber, since they help your digestive system in different ways. Insoluble fiber, also known as roughage, can't be digested by the body and therefore helps add bulk to the stools. Soluble fiber draws in water and can help prevent stools that are too watery. Good sources of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains; get soluble fiber from oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Limit foods that are high in fat: In general, fatty foods tend to slow down the digestive process, making you more prone to constipation. But since it's important to get some fat in your diet, it’s said that pairing fatty foods with high-fiber foods can make them easier on your digestive system.

Choose lean meats: Protein is an essential part of a healthful diet, but fatty cuts of meat can lead to uncomfortable digestion. When you eat meat, select lean cuts, such as pork loin and skinless poultry.

Incorporate probiotics into your diet: Probiotics are the same kind of healthy bacteria naturally present in your digestive tract. They help keep the body healthy by combating the effects of a poor diet, antibiotics, and stress. In addition, probiotics can enhance nutrient absorption, may help break down lactose, strengthen your immune system, and possibly even help treat IBS. It is recommended that people eat good sources of probiotics, such as low-fat yogurt or kefir, on a daily basis.

Eat on schedule: To consuming your meals and snacks on a regular schedule can help keep your digestive system in top shape. Aim to sit down for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks around the same time each day.

Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is good for your digestive health. Fiber pulls water into the colon to create softer, bulkier stools, allowing them to pass through more easily.

Skip the bad habits: smoking, excessive caffeine, and alcohol. Liquor, coffee, and cigarettes can interfere with the functioning of your digestive system, and lead to problems like stomach ulcers and heartburn.

Exercise regularly: Regular exercise helps keep foods moving through your digestive system, reducing constipation. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is good for your digestive health. Make it a point to work regular exercise into your weekly schedule.

Manage stress: Too much stress or anxiety can cause your digestive system to go into overdrive, according to Adams. Find stress-reducing activities that you enjoy and practice them on a regular basis.

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