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Keep your tummy summer ready

May 28, 2019

With summer here, one is susceptible to several ailments and seasonal allergies because the heat makes us alter our regular diet and change our appetite.

Experts share useful tips on how to keep our gut healthy this season.

Drink sufficient water throughout the day. Good gut also equals good skin, which often gets irritated and dehydrated in summer, something that can be avoided by focusing on a healthy gut.

 Chef Ishijyot Surri says, “In order to have a healthy gut, you need to be mindful of what you eat, and see to it that you have a balanced diet with food items that are suited for summer. Avoid processed foods and items that are high on sugar. Stress directly affects your gut and digestion, so meditate or do something to unwind.”

 Keeping the gut healthy

 The state of our gut may also regulate our mood (through serotonin production), immune response, and predisposition to weight gain. Nutritionist Karishma Chawla suggests the bacteria consumed through diet or with supplements helps support gut health. Foods such as kefir, kimchi, yogurt and sauerkraut are healthy.

 Digestive juices help prevent infection. We also have a whole lot of bacteria in the gut that is not necessarily harmful.

 Dr Naresh Bhat says, “A large number of infections during summers come from contaminated food and water. In order to avoid them, you should take precautions such as using clean potable water from a water purifier. You can also boil water and cool it before consumption.”

 Dr Philip Abraham shares, “One should have meals on time. Keep food light and restrict tea or coffee to two cups or less in a day. Avoid or strictly restrict consumption of carbonated and caffeinated drinks, alcoholic drinks and tobacco in any form.”

 Gut-friendly foods

 Go green if you want your gut to be healthy. There are no foods which can manipulate the gut bacteria to make it healthy. However, by adopting a balanced diet, which includes carbohydrates, fats and proteins in an appropriate proportion, will ensure a healthy gut.

 Dr Amit Mayeo says, “Let’s keep this simple, a healthy gut needs good nutrition. Any change in your diet will markedly affect your gut bacteria and cause dysbiosis.” n High-fibre food promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in our body. Consuming fruits, vegetables and legumes stimulate good bacteria such as Bifidobacteria. n Fermentation of foods involves the bacterial or fungal conversion of sugars to healthy acids. Curd and yogurt contain useful lactobacilli and enhance the immune function of the gut. n Choose food and drinks with high levels of polyphenols. They are antioxidants that act as fuel for microbes. Examples are nuts, seeds, berries, olive oil, red wine, coffee and tea.

 Dos and don’ts to prevent gut infection

 Dos: Gut infection could be increased bacterial infestation or decreased protective bacterial layering. For preventing bacterial, fungal or viral infestation, incorporate good hygiene practices, whereas to increase the level of good bacteria, gut-friendly foods are highly recommended.

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