For those of you who track every calorie, every gram of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, your gut is your second brain.
A healthy gut means good immunity, easier weight loss and harder weight gain, balanced hormones, fantastic energy levels, great skin and a sharp mind. In short, a healthy gut is a marker of a healthy body.
For everyone who tracks every calorie, every gram of protein, carbohydrates and fat, a good gut is the one thing that can drastically impact your health and fitness goals. If your goal is to gain mass, you need a good gut. If your goal is to lose fat, you need a good gut. If you have a lot of food allergies, again, it comes down to your gut.
Everything you eat, is broken down and then assimilated by your body in your gut. This means that every function your body needs to perform starts with a good digestion. The easiest way of tracking your digestion is to track your bowel movements. And, believe it or not, 1 in 5 city dwellers suffer from gut-related issues like constipation, acidity on an everyday basis. Chronic constipation can really come in the way of life and good bowel motions can really improve the way you spend your life.
Here are 5 foods that can boost your gut health, relive constipation and ensure you have a great gut day everyday!
1. Carrot & Beetroot Kanji
Extremely popular across North India, Kanji is an age-old probiotic drink. It is tangy and packed with flavor. Carrots Beetroots are pickled in water with sea salt, mustard powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. It is easy to make and store. The fermentation process introduces a new strain of bacteria into your gut, hence, improving your body’s ability to break down food and extract nutrients out of what you eat. Drinking about 100-150 ml every day with lunch is ideal. You will feel the difference within a couple of days.
2. Aloe Lime Ginger
Start your day with this. In a glass of warm water, add a 2-inch piece of fresh aloe gel (crushed with a folk), add a few drops of lime and some grated ginger. Have another glass or two of plain warm water after this. Do this regularly and you will observe a huge difference in your bowel routine. Aloe Vera is an excellent laxative, lime jumpstarts digestion, ginger creates an alkaline environment and the warm water is easier for your gut. This is one practice that should just become a part of your everyday life.
3. Garden Cress Seeds
Other than being among the best plant-based sources for Iron, Garden Cress Seeds are an excellent food for those who wish to reduce their frequency of constipation and indigestion. Soak about half a spoon in water overnight. Add into half a glass of lime water and drink them anytime in the day. The soaked seeds are a great source of soluble dietary fibre. They restore intestinal health, thereby, ensuring improved fecal release.
4. Black Raisins
Again, a great source of soluble fibre. Black raisins are quite good for overall gut health. They are prebiotics, which means they promote microbial growth in the gut. Black raisins reduce acidity and boost immunity. Soaking them overnight and eating 7-8 of them in the morning has a tremendous impact on your bowels. You could also add them paste to your green chutney or just add a few into your salads.
5. Sour Rice
This is a household favourite in Orissa, Assam and West Bengal. Take some leftover white rice in a bowl (preferable terracotta) and pour double the quantity of water. Leave this in room temperature overnight. By morning this will become a little sour. Just add some curd, lime, chopped onions, green chillies and salt to it and eat for breakfast or with your lunch. The mild fermentation of rice leads to production of a lot of gut-friendly bacteria. Cooled rice is a known prebiotic, the fermentation along with the addition of curd adds gut-friendly bacteria. This dish, thus, is an excellent meal for your intestinal microflora.
So these were 5 foods to boost your gut health and improve your daily bowel motions. In addition to these, psyllium husk and homemade buttermilk are two commonly known gut-friendly foods in almost every Indian household.
Pick any 2-3 of these based on your preference and convenience and try it for atleast 4 weeks. After 4 weeks evaluate the changes and make a decision on what works for you and what does not. All of these recommendations should be a permanent addition to your lifestyle.