Let’s get the basics cleared! A healthy gut is key for a healthy body. In fact, most people believe that if your gut is happy then the risk of various health problems is also low. So it goes without saying that you should keep your gut healthy and happy. And to do this, the first and foremost tip is to take care of your diet. Yes, diet plays a crucial role in keeping you fit and healthy. But thanks to our fast-paced lifestyles, poor dietary habits, and stressful working hours, collectively it takes a toll on the gut health. And before it gets too late for us to take action and care for our health, we need to make sure that we opt for ways to cleanse and detoxify the gut for a healthy living. So in this article, we will share some of the common yet healthy foods which can help in keeping the digestive system healthy and fit.
5 Gut Cleansing Foods You Must Include In Diet
Before we list down the common foods which can help cleanse the intestine and keep the digestive system healthy, it is imperative to know some of the common diet tips for a healthy gut. Given our hectic lifestyle most often than not we end up eating out or grab something from a food stall or canteen on our way to the office. This is because taking a home-cooked meal is too much to ask for in this fast-paced world. However, this is what takes a toll on your digestive system and in turn on your overall well being. Be it restaurant meals or roadside stalls, these places serve food which is high in oil, spices, salt, and sugar. All these ingredients are well-known culprits of an unhealthy lifestyle. And when you eat these on a regular basis, it impacts the digestive tract and so does your health. This is why, it is advised to pick your food wisely and eat healthy, preferably home cooked food to reap the health benefits.
As far as gut cleansing foods are concerned, these foods can improve the overall functioning of the digestive system by eliminating toxins from the body. These are harmful chemicals which can increase the risk of inflammation and thus, make you prone to infection. So flushing out these products from the body can aid in keeping the gut healthy. Here are a few foods that you must include in your daily diet to cleanse your digestive system.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Vegetables that are a rich source of chlorophyll (green pigment present in plants) such as dark leafy greens are abundant in fiber. These foods serve as the best option for cleansing of the gut due to their fiber content. These are rich in minerals and antioxidants which not only provide nutrition to the body but also protect the body from toxins and oxidative stress.
Include green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, spirulina, lettuce, chard in your salads or soups to make the most of it throughout the year. You can also boil or steam these veggies, sprinkle a pinch of black pepper and eat them as snacks during evening hours to fill your stomach.
2. Fibrous Foods
The next list of foods which are good for gut health is fibrous foods, which are foods that contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. These foods add bulk to the food and stimulate the intestinal lining to ensure an easy bowel movement. On average, a colon requires about 25-35 grams of fiber per day to remain healthy. Hence, eating foods rich in fiber is the key to maintaining your gut health. Include fruits, whole sprouts, Brussels, peas, kidney/ black beans and whole grains to your diet as they are rich sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
3. Fermented Foods
A diet high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates is considered to be an ideal one for a healthy gut. Refined carbohydrates hinder the body’s intestinal ecosystem and therefore reduces the friendly bacteria in the gut. Including fermented foods in the diet can not only aid in digestion but also help to maintain gut bacteria, thereby improving overall intestinal health.
Include fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, yogurt and kimchi that replenish the friendly bacteria. These bacteria prevent the colonization of disease-causing microorganisms, stimulate the immune system and degrade the toxins.
Have you ever wondered why it is recommended to eat a handful of seeds or nuts to curb hunger? Well, these seeds not only fill your stomach but also provide a load of health benefits. Seeds have a rich nutritional profile and considered as a storehouse of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
Some of the common seeds you can include in the diet are flax seeds and chia seeds. Flax seeds are a rich source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and have been found to stabilize the cell walls and reduces inflammation. Chia seeds, a rich source of protein and fiber, have been found to optimize the digestive processes and help in cleansing the gut. Add these seeds to soups, salads, curries, parathas or smoothies to reap their health benefits.
The last but the most important way to cleanse your gut health and lead a healthy life is to drink enough water. Water acts as a natural savior against many health conditions because of its cleansing and nourishing properties. It helps in keeping your gut clean and also allows the cells to rebuild. It also helps in flushing the harmful toxins present in the body and aids in maintaining proper fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
Make sure you drink about 7-8 glasses of water every day. You can also opt for other fluids such as coconut water, soups, lemon water, and infused drinks. However, stay away from carbonated and caffeinated drinks to quench your thirst. This is because caffeinated drinks (such as coffee and tea) tend to dehydrate the body whereas water helps in retrieving the lost water content as well.
Follow these simple tips and tricks to keep your gut healthy. Include these healthy foods in the diet to reap its health benefits along with cleansing your digestive system. Eat healthy and stay happy!
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)