- Include a variety of foods in your diet
- Make sure you eat both probiotics and prebiotics
- Take less stress for better gut health
Our body needs nutrients to function ably. It needs anamalgamation of macronutrients that includes carbohydrates,proteins, fats, along with micronutrients like minerals and vitamins. Our body gets the necessary nourishment and energy when the food we eat is fragmented down during the digestive process. It is during this process that macronutrients like carbohydrates are further broken down to glucose for energy, and proteins are broken down into amino acids. We need nutrients from foods to function well. And to better absorb nutrients, we need a healthy gut. Read below to know tips on how to improve gut health and improve intestinal absorption of food.
Gut health: tips to improve gut flora and absorption of nutrients from food
1. Pack in variety
One must eat an assortment of foods to ensure wide-ranging variants of nutrients. Indulge in a rainbow diet once in a while or include a lot of colorful foods in your meals. You can pair up synergistic foods - foods combos that improve nutrient absorption. Pair up plant-based iron sources with foods rich in Vitamin C to increase iron absorption. Table wine paired with an animal protein leads to better zinc absorption. One needs Vitamin D for better calcium absorption. Include healthy fats in your diet for better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like - A, D, E and K. Be careful though. Too much of good things have proven adverse effects. Identify the meals that help you better.
2. Nourish with probiotics
Your gut is home to many bacteria that work for you to upkeep many functions of your body, comprising but not limited to digestion. Nurture your gut with probiotic foods containing good bacteria that produce enzymes for better digestion. The good bacteria helps breakdown food to maximize intestinal absorption. Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, pickles can help colonize your gut with the good bacteria to augment absorption of the nutrients.
3. Feed the good bacteria
Healthy gut bacteria helps in improving absorption and bioavailability of nutrients from food while keeping the toxic waste and bad bacteria out of your system. You can support the gut bacteria and the inner ecosystem by consuming glutamine-rich and prebiotic foods. Prebiotics are non-digestible food components that stimulate the growth of microbes in the digestive tract. Prebiotics are known to absorb iron, calcium and magnesium in a better way. They also give a boost to your immune system. Foods like garlic, onions, bananas, apples, and whole oats are some example of prebiotics. Apple cider vinegar is another example of prebiotic function food that is currently in vogue. All prebiotics are rich in fibre and feed probiotics to maintain a healthy gut and inner ecosystem.
4. Balanced lifestyle and medication
We live in times where stress is synonymous with life. Stress is known to hamper the digestive process and can have a detrimental effect on nutrient absorption. Stress releases cortisol which slows down digestion. Being calm helps with the release of important digestive enzymes, muscle relaxation, and healthy gut bacteria; all of which promote more nutrient absorption. Make sure to avoid tea or coffee close to meal timings as they can interfere with the absorption of nutrients like iron and hormones like levothyroxine.
Be careful of antibiotics as they wipe out the good bacteria along with the bad ones and might be detrimental to your gut environment.
5. Stay hydrated
It is no doubt that water is important for life and to all living beings. Our body is made up of 60% of water. Water is also important to carry out important digestive functions. Stay hydrated so the digestive system can transport and absorb nutrients more efficiently.
(LukeCoutinho, Adviser of Integrative Lifestyle and Nutrition at Purenutrition.me)
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