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Importance Of Gut Health

Your meats, eggs, green leafy vegetables are best sourced as naturally as possible

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."  This quote by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarnin pretty much epitomizes my philosophy on health and life. Don't get me wrong, there is more to health than just the food you put into your body -- namely the quality of sleep you get, the onslaught of everyday toxins from the environment, exercise and mindful meditation to deal with stress and depression.

What we cannot, however, deny is that the kind and quality of food we eat can either govern or offset several of these factors. For example, antioxidants can deal with free radicals, a relaxing lavender and chamomile tea can help us sleep better. I will take it a step further and assert that food plays a role even in our stress levels and whether we fall into a depressive state or not. Science gives us a new theory everyday but what caught my eye and led to me starting my venture "Disha's Functional Foods" was the fact that our genetic destiny isn't entirely made up of our own human cells. Rather, there are an equal if not higher number of bacteria cells in our body and they govern how we eat, sleep, think and behave. A majority of these cells reside in our gut and pass signals to the brain through what is called the vagus nerve which connects the gut and the brain. So these little creatures not only decide what you eat and how much you eat but if they are from the enemy camp- meaning you have an overload of the bad kind- they also decide that you get to be depressed, foggy in the head, constipated, bloated or agitated.

How does one get on their good side? The answer is simple: A high quality diet consisting of the right amount and kind of fat, protein and carbohydrates that provides the required levels of minerals and vitamins is the key, with the magic word being probiotics . My gut issues led me to the wonderful probiotic world of kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi among others.

Today, most doctors prescribe medicines to get rid of symptoms of a disease or a malaise but getting rid of a symptom does not mean that you are cured. It just means you have either postponed your problem or got rid of the signal your body was desperately trying to give you that all is not well. The kind and quality of food available today is the reason a number of us suffer from insensitivities or allergies and probiotic and other functional foods are one way to bring our bodies back into balance. My menu not only includes these but also other functional foods like nut milks, gut healing broths and organic cold brew coffee. I was always passionate about food and now thanks to my gut, I am passionate about the food that is right for my body. When I started my venture, I had no idea how aware people are in this country and its great to know that while good quality healthcare is certainly lacking here, the mindset of the current population is changing in their demand for a better quality of life.

A few other things I would recommend for overall health would be the following

1.    Drink lots of water. There is absolutely no substitute for it. If you find it boring (like I do), then flavor it overnight with fruit, spices, extracts etc and drink it the next morning.
2.    I don't believe exercise helps you lose weight, it is a 80/20 percent rule, with your food habits being the 80% determining factor. What exercise does is far more important. It boosts your serotonin levels, essentially driving away stress, tones your body, makes you stronger and is a great cure for bloating.  
3.    Sleep is an almost as essential as water. The harm you do to your body by not sleeping enough is sometimes gravely overlooked by a lot of people. Just like you need to rest after an illness, your body needs to rest and recover each day for at least 7-8 hours.
4.    Eat quality food, if possible, organic or naturally grown GMO free. Your meats, eggs, green leafy vegetables are best sourced as naturally as possible.  
5.    Practice Mindful Meditation

It is rightly said that we do not live to eat but rather eat to live and I believe the directly proportional relationship between eating good food and living a healthy life is a fact, now, universally acknowledged and should form the cornerstone of any discourse on health and the human body. If life matters, then food matters!!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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World Health Day 2018

Disha Jolly

The author is Passionate Foodie, Adventure Junkie, Avid Reader

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