The New York Times' bestselling author, Alejandro Junger, calls gut the second brain in the human body. It has a completely separate mechanism of its own with a streamlined protocol in place, which once disrupted, can wreak havoc on your health. You ignore your gut health and it will take you down. Interestingly, gastrointestinal disorders plague most of us. What starts as simple bloating
, cramping or abdominal discomfort may also lead to severe conditions like obstruction, bleeding, constipation etc. So how do you ensure that your gut's 'flora and fauna' stays unharmed and in best health? Do you always have to say no to those customary cocktail parties and avoid junk food? We answer this and much more.
"Many of the symptoms that these gut disorders cause are clearly elated to the gut because they are localized there. But as we have discovered there is ample evidence that many other diseases seemingly disconnected to the gut are also either rooter in gut dysfunction or highly affected by it. These include cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and depression
, among others. The weakest point in our biology in general is the gut, which is why I call it the body's Achilles' Heel. Periodic gut repair is the best preventive medicine of all," writes Alejandro Junger in his book Clean Gut
(Also Read: How a Healthy Gut Could Stop Obesity: Your Guide to Understanding Gut Bacteria
)How to Cleanse the Gut
The four-step formula to cleanse and repair your gut rests on these basic principles -Remove:
All possible toxins, allergens and gut-unfriendly substances from your diet.Replace:
The diet with all essential micronutrients like magnesium
, good fats, complex carbs, fibre, vitamins, protein as well as digestive enzymes like proteases, lipases, cellulases and amylases among others.Reinoculate:
It is important to ensure that your gut's flora flourishes and that can be done with the help of pro/prebiotics. Add as much of these to your daily diet at spaced intervals.Repair:
Make relevant changes to your diet to fix and patch up the leaky gut.
"Gut health is extremely essential for good health. There is enough research that validates that lifestyle diseases are associated with poor digestion. Leaky gut is a condition many people suffer from and as a result skin conditions, IBS, asthma, slow metabolism and other health issues," Shilpa Arora ND, a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach.Few Points to Keep Handy
- Make eating a visual and a mindful process. You need not count calories if eighty percent of your meal comprises fresh vegetables and twenty percent good quality protein and essential fats.
- Have smaller, frequent meals and take time to chew your food properly.
- Food combinations matter, pair your food wisely: Always pair veggies and greens with protein but never combine animal protein (seafood
, fish, poultry and meat) with vegetable protein (beans and lentils).
- Cut down on the big three - alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
- If possible, add vitamin B complex supplement in your routine after consulting with your doctor.
- Drink plenty of natural fluids and exercise regularly.
- Drink a glass of water with lemon juice first thing in the morning. Go light on dinner. Sleep on time, keep stress at bay.
- Add green tea to your routine.
- Maintain a diet journal and notice what dietary switches or inclusions made an impact on your gut health.
"You can include coconut water, apple cider vinegar, curd, buttermilk, fermented beverages, fermented veggies, kanji and bananas in your diet to ensure that your gut is clean and healthy," shared Shilpa.
Although some of the basic rules remain same for all, every person's physical composition differs. There is no one formula that should ideally fit all. Diet should be tailor-made to suit an individual in the best possible way. Get in touch with a certified nutritionist to get your personal clean gut programme.For the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.