Dealing with Gut Issues and Maintaining Healthy Gut
Stomach or gut issues are common these days. There are over 200 prescribed medications which are used to treat the stomach problems. According to Mona Johar a poor gut health is the leading cause of mood disorders, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders.
Gut means our intestines. Gut hosts 100 of trillion bacteria called microbes. The collection of these bacteria is called microbiome. Microbiome controls all the digestion, absorb nutrients, and control the response of our hormones. Dr. Mona says-“Gut is also referred as second brain”.
Symptoms of Unhealthy Gut
Some common symptoms of unhealthy gut are:
- Gas or flatulence
According to Mona Johar leaky gut is the main cause of the above mentioned symptoms. A leaky gut is a condition when the lining of the stomach gets compromised. Factors such as imbalanced diet, heavy metal toxicity leads to leaky gut. The walls of healthy gut are intact which acts a barrier against seepage of certain elements which can lead to infection. However, when the walls become loose and allow the passage of various toxins it is the prime cause of stomach infections.
Mona says– “To treat gut infections the aim is to treat the leaky walls of intestines. Preventing certain foods like processed foods, hydrogenated fat oils can stop the damage to the walls of the intestines. On the other hand, consuming foods like probiotics, omega 3 foods repair the leaky gut.”
Treating patients with right food
- Food sensitivity– In some patients stomach infections may result due to consumption of certain foods. e.g glutamine .During a case study Mona says one patient was found allergic to even garlic and coriander. Hence elimination certain foods can cure the problem, however consult a functional medicine expert to find out the exact cause.
- Food Intolerance-Stomach issues can also result due to a poor lifestyle. Eating processed and junk food adds to a poor lifestyle, which leads to food intolerance
- Less production of digestive enzymes– According to Mona some patients face stomach problems due to less production of digestive enzymes.
Functional medicine treats every patient differently and treats the patient based on his/her condition.
Mona says- A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating on the fixed times and at right intervals
- Consuming Omega 3 fatty acids
- Saying No to processed foods
Dysbiosis is condition in which there is a imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut. It is strange yet surprising to know that dysbiosis can affect our brain too. Example- Serotonin is hormone (a mood elevator hormone) which is released if one eats high sugar foods. Hence, the kind of food we eat affects our gut, which in turn also controls the regulation of hormones.
Foods to eat to prevent stomach problems
- Fermented foods like dosa, idli
- Probiotics like yougurt, dahi
- Prebiotics- like onion, garlic, Asparagus-Prebiotics feed good bacteria in the stomach
Foods to avoid stomach problems
- Artificial sweeteners-As they destroy good bacteria in the gut.
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils
- Foods containing artificial colors and flavors
Tips and tricks by Mona Johar for grocery shopping
- Always prefer buy fruits and vegetables from the periphery of the grocery shop. As it contains fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Plan grocery shopping after meals –As you will be less tempted to buy unhealthy food items
- Read labels carefully
How to read instructions in a food item
- Mona says prefer buying a food item which has less than 5 ingredients-as it will contain less of chemicals and dyes
- Try to avoid rich in synthetic flavors and colors- Prefer eating a homemade Jam
Some super foods for maintain good gut health
- Sprouts-Germination process begins in sprouts which contain growth enzymes, which contribute to healthy gut.
- Flax seeds
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Eating healthy foods contributes to a healthy gut. Healthy gut not only prevents stomach related infections, but also fights other infections. It was always believed on treating one condition independently but functional medicine takes the whole body in to account and eliminates the root cause of the disease.
To read more on Gut Health, click on the link below.