5 ways to improve your gut health during the pandemic
The third wave of the covid-19 virus has hit the country again with cases increasing day by day. There are a few take-home messages from the past, helping to better deal with the coronavirus and its effects this time around. One of the most crucial is understanding the link between gut health and infectious virus. According to reports based on scientific studies, Covid-19 worsens as the immune system goes into excessive overload, negatively affecting the gut health of patients and reducing the existence of good bacteria in the human body. The gut study suggests that the gut microbiome of people with and without Covid-19 is significantly different.ALSO READ – EXCLUSIVE: Actress Antim Mahima Makwana on what she eats in a day, her fitness secrets revealed; look
What is Gut Health?
Sharanya Srinivas Shastry, Dietitian and Clinical Nutritionist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Bangalore, explains that gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is important for living a healthy life and supporting physical and mental health. Additionally, superior gut health can ensure stronger immunity. So you are only as strong as your instincts. Also Read – Full office attendance for all central government employees from tomorrow. Details here
What is your intuition?
Here are some ways to work on boosting our gut health if one has been impacted by covid-19 or if someone is constantly suffering from acidity, bloating and constipation. Those who have managed to dodge the virus so far can also adopt some of these ways to continue living covid-free. Sharanya Srinivas Shastry recommends 5 ways to boost gut health. Read also – Do you want to lose fat? Start following these low impact cardio exercises; Watch the video
- Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods: If compensating for real food with dietary supplements is the new mantra for fitness enthusiasts, it’s not that hard to get real while still ensuring good health. Fermented foods are an excellent source of probiotics. Some of them include idli, dosa, homemade curd, homemade buttermilk, akhuni, dhokla, homemade shrikhand are easy to cook or find on a menu. Prebiotic foods such as kichdi, curd rice, garlic, bananas, onions, and whole grains are necessary to introduce good bacteria into our system.
- Self-medication: Although antibiotics are useful in fighting viruses and infections in the body, buying over-the-counter medications, especially antibiotics, can do more harm to the human body than good. Antibiotics eliminate good bacteria while keeping toxins away from the body. Chronic episodes of self-medication can strip away many friendly microorganisms that are crucial for building a healthy body and mind.
- Exercise/Yoga: The power to re-energize or recharge lies in the right movement of the body. Certain yoga postures such as “Balasana” (“Child’s Pose”) help relieve physical stress and calm the mind. This is done by sitting on the heels and bending the lower region of the hips, while extending the arms straight out in front. Another is ‘Trikonasana’ or ‘Triangle Pose’ is beneficial for the abdominal region, helping to stimulate appetite and improve the digestive system. This is done by standing with both legs apart and turning the body to the right side and leaning to the same side with the other hand in the air. The easiest of all is “Sukhasana” or the cross-legged position. It is advisable to take at least one meal while sitting in a cross-legged position on the floor. The cross-legged position helps to properly digest, absorb and assimilate food. Plus, for those who constantly worry about how much food to eat, the cross-legged position will help your stomach figure out portion control.
- Adequate Rest and Active Lifestyle: Most people would agree that there is no such thing as adequate sleep that solves most of our problems. Hectic lifestyles rarely give us the opportunity to get enough rest, especially when needed. Therefore, setting a bedtime and nutritional discipline becomes very important. A helpful tip for good immune system/gut health, weight loss, and healthy skin is to go to bed at 11 p.m. Plus, “sitting is the new smoking” according to recent US guidelines. So, 20 minutes of exercise for five days a week (any exercise you’re comfortable doing) can give you great results.
- Abstain from artificial sugars: frequent consumption of processed foods causes “dysbiosis” – an imbalance of gut microbes. Dysbiosis can further lead to frequent acidity/bloating after a meal or even sugar cravings (most often seen in women) which indicate nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, including vegetable based chutney with lunch or consuming 1 teaspoon (teaspoon) of homemade ghee with rotis or 1 teaspoon of ghee and jaggery consumed after lunch works wonders as they correct deficiencies, sugar spikes and acidity/bloating after meals.
Say hello to good gut health with these tips!