By Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt

Digestive problems are not new to humans and perhaps it won’t be wrong if we say that almost all of us suffer from it quite often. The big issue is, that it causes a considerable amount of discomfort and pain, further leading us to a poor quality of life.

Gut, is a medical terminology that is used to define our intestinal tract, the one that resides inside the body’s digestive system or what is normally called as the Gastrointestinal Tract. Although many of us regularly suffer from gutty problems, we never realise that it is our gastrointestinal tract (GI) that is responsible for all the problems including diarrhoea and constipation.

What Is The Relation Between GI Tract And Our Overall Health?

All that we eat and drink passes through the GI tract and influences the way it is going to affect us
All that we eat and drink passes through the GI tract and influences the way it is going to affect us

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It won’t be wrong, if we say that if we do not nourish it, we won’t live. Everything that we choose to eat and drink, passes through the GI tract and largely influences how it works – good or bad. It is responsible to transport food from the mouth to the stomach, converting the food into essential nutrients needed by body to function well and as well as storing of fat, and finally excreting the waste out of the body.

Another thing is the bacteria. We have numerous bacteria in our body. It is said that we have more bacteria in our body than we have cells. The most of these bacteria present in our body are the good ones and majority of them are found in the gut. These bacteria are responsible for helping us digest foods and are also responsible for our overall health – both physical and mental.

Another aspect is the ‘gut microbiome’. It is a system that has millions of microorganisms that live in our gut or intestinal tract. These microorganisms that also includes the bacteria we spoke about and are involved in critical functions in the human body that maintains overall good health and total wellbeing..

Why Is Gut Health Critical?

To maintain balance and stay happy and healthy we must ensure that we eat and drink what is god for the gut health
To maintain balance and stay happy and healthy we must ensure that we eat and drink what is god for the gut health

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All through our life cycle these bacteria grows and develops in our GI tract and carries on their function – metabolism. In order to maintain this balance in a healthy manner we must ensure that we eat food and maintain a healthy gut condition. What happens in our intestine (the GI tract) is very critical because the rest of our health totally depends upon the state of our gut health.

If we try to equate the state of our present day gut health, we would be far from reality that has been portrayed here. We in the present times, instead of getting food from the neighbourhood local fresh food market get to the stores and opt for more of processed and packaged foods that looks more beautified and attractive.

These foods makes the simplest thing difficult. Most of the bran and germ is processed out of the whole grains making them inferior than they actually are. Bleached flour, hydrogenated fats and so on are not surprising to get easily.

With all of it, when the gut microbiome is thrown out of balance – stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and nausea are the signals that the gut gives us that it is not well at all and is not encouraging the way we are feeding it. However, if it is a short spell of imbalance the gut is capable of fixing it by its own, but if it becomes chronic, medical intervention and treatment is often required. Severe conditions can lead to more chronic ailments like colon cancer and similar.

So, How Should We Maintain Good Gut Health?

Get probiotics and prebiotics to keep our gut healthy and keep us happy and fit
Get probiotics and prebiotics to keep our gut healthy and keep us happy and fit

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Consuming more of fermented foods like kefir, curd, cheese and sprouted grams that have loads of good bacteria is good for the gut. Probiotics, a type of bacteria that lines our digestive tract contributes towards strengthening our immune system and overall health. Additionally, they have the natural ability to help the body fight infections and absorb nutrients. It also aids in treating a variety of neurological disorder, improves mental health and various digestive issues.

Our digestive tract being the second largest organ in of our neurological system located in the gut and plays a major role in our overall health. It is not wrong, if we say that our immune system cannot function properly without the proper health of our digestive system. Various health issues like autism, joint pains, psoriasis, thyroid imbalances and severe cases of fatigues – all originates from faulty gut.

It is thereby advisable to stay healthy, eat healthy foods, get exercise and good night’s sleep are all essential for good gut health. Regular consumption of specific foods like mango leafy greens, walnuts, broccoli, mangoes, cranberries are very good for gut health.

The Role Of Probiotics For Gut Health

Probiotics introduces good bacteria in our gut and keeps it working optimally
Probiotics introduces good bacteria in our gut and keeps it working optimally

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Probiotics helps restore good gut health. They are microorganisms that promotes better immunity and aids healthy digestive functions. Many medications, poor food choices and even stress causes upset in the natural balance of good bacteria in our gut. Taking probiotics or eating more foods with probiotics can help maintain back the balance.

To get these good bacteria in our system it is necessary that we consume more sour foods. It is always good to have foods like fermented vegetables and other sour foods like apple cider vinegar. On the flip side there are some good bacteria rich foods goat milk yoghurt, kefir, tempeh and kombucha that can be consumed regularly for good health. There are probiotic supplements available in the market also to do the job easily.

DISCLAIMER: While we have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared here; it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. it is important to first always check with your own doctor before trying any medication, practice or suggestion from this site.

Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt
Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt is the founder of Billion Cheers and Fermentis Life Sciences, a passionate research scientist with doctorate in pharmaceutical biotechnology from Jamia Hamdard University. His expertise lies in developing innovative products and processes by application of biotechnology, nanotechnology and fermentation technology. He is a proud recipient of Young Scientist Award and research grant from the Department of Science & Technology of Government of India.