- You need to keep a check on inflammation to improve gut health
- A healthy gut is directly proportional to a healthy digestive system
- Eat antioxidant rich foods to improve gut health
The importance of having a strong immunity cannot be stressed enough. Ever since the outbreak of coronavirus, nutritionists and health experts have been recommending people to stay active and eat healthy and nutritious foods to keep your immunity in check. "As living with the virus is becoming our new normal, it's our way of living that may need to change," says clinical nutritionist Ishi Khola in her Instagram post. Severity of COVID-19 infection and how well your body fights it is dependent on your immune function.
Tips to improve immunity for gut health
According to Khosla, how well your immunity responds is also dependent on your gut health and digestive system. It is important to feed the gut microbiome with gut-friendly food in order to improve gut health. Probiotics and prebiotics are foods which provide good bacteria to the gut, she says in her IGTV.
One can get good bacteria (probiotics) by consuming supplements or with fermented foods like curd, yogurt, kefir, kimchi and kombucha.
Prebiotic-rich foods can be obtained husks and fibre-rich foods, combined with good fats like virgin coconut oil, butter and pure ghee.
Gut health and antioxidants
In addition to this, you also need antioxidant-rich foods. "Antioxidants help in detoxify the cells. The clean up our body. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, spices and whole grains are all good sources of these antioxidants," says Khosla.
Nutrients like Vitamin A, E, C, zinc and selenium can also provide you with antioxidants. "Vitamin D and magnesium are integral for the gut lining. In addition to this, we also need sufficient anti-inflammatory foods," says Khosla while adding the inflammation is the "starting point" of all diseases.
Keep a check on inflammation
Anti-inflammatory foods include omega-3 fatty acids (fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds), leafy green vegetables, ginger, turmeric, giloy etc. Avoid intake of foods that increase inflammation, like animal protein, dairy, proteins in wheat, soya and corn, toxic fats, processed foods and excessive sugar.
For a good gut health and strong immunity, it is important to stay well-hydrated. Limit intake of dehydrating fluids like caffeine and alcohol.
Gut health and oral hygiene
The gateway to the gut is the mouth. Oral hygiene is of critical importance when it comes to gut health. "Chew your food properly. You can also chew neem leaves and practice oil pulling with virgin coconut oil/sesame oil/mustard oil," recommends Khosla.
Last but not the least, for a good gut health, it is of prime importance to take less stress, stay calm and positive. Stay active and work towards sleeping well every night for a healthy gut and strong immunity.
(Ishi Khosla is a practicing clinical nutritionist, columnist and author)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.