What is Gut Health?

The term “gut health” refers to the function and balance of good gut bacteria in various sections of the gastrointestinal system. Organs such as the oesophagus, stomach, and intestines should all operate properly to allow humans to ingest and digest food without pain. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case for the estimated 70 million individuals in the United States who suffer from digestive problems.

Why should you pay attention to your gut health?

In the end, all food is broken down in the stomach into a basic form that can enter circulation and be given as nutrients throughout our bodies. It is only feasible if your digestive system is in good working order. A healthy gut contains beneficial bacteria and immune cells that protect against infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungus. A healthy stomach also interacts with the brain via neurons and hormones, which aids in the maintenance of overall health and well-being.

What are the symptoms of gut health issues?

Everyone encounters intestinal health issues such as stomach discomfort, bloating, loose stools, constipation, heartburn, nausea, or vomiting at some time in their lives. However, when symptoms linger, it might indicate a more serious underlying disease that requires medical care. For example, weight loss for no apparent reason, blood in the stool, black stool (a sign of intestinal bleeding), severe vomiting, fever, severe stomach aches, trouble swallowing food, pain in the throat or chest when food is consumed, or jaundice (a yellow discolouration of the skin or eyes) could all be symptoms of a serious gastrointestinal problem. If any of these symptoms develop, contact your doctor.

7 Ways to Improve Gut Health

1. Reduce your stress levels

Chronically high-stress levels are challenging on your entire body, including your stomach. Meditation, walking, getting a massage, spending time with friends or family, diffusing essential oils, reducing caffeine intake, laughing, yoga, or owning a pet are all strategies to reduce stress. Here are ten methods to feel less anxious.

2. Get sufficient sleep.

Not receiving enough or sufficient quality sleep can have significant consequences for your gut health, leading to other sleep disorders. Therefore, to obtain at least 7–8 hours of unbroken sleep every night, make it a point. If you are having difficulty sleeping, your doctor may assist you.

3. Eat slowly

Chewing your food thoroughly and eating slower can promote complete digestion and nutrient absorption. In addition, it may aid in the reduction of stomach discomfort and the maintenance of a healthy gut.

4. Stay hydrated

Water consumption has been demonstrated to benefit the mucosal lining of the intestines and the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut. Therefore, staying hydrated is an easy strategy to support intestinal health.

5. Take a prebiotic or probiotic

Probiotics and prebiotics might help you enhance your gut health. This is because they encourage the growth of helpful bacteria in the stomach, whereas probiotics are live healthy bacteria. It would help if you didn’t use probiotics for bacterial overgrowths, such as SIBO. Though not all probiotic supplements are of good quality, it is recommended to contact your healthcare expert to get the optimum health benefit.

6. Check for food intolerances

If you experience cramps, bloating, gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhoea, rashes, nausea, exhaustion, or acid reflux, you may have a food intolerance. You can evaluate whether your symptoms improve by avoiding typical trigger foods. If you can identify a meal or items causing your symptoms, modifying your eating habits may result in a reasonable adjustment in your digestive health.

7. Change your diet

Reducing your intake of processed, high-sugar, and high-fat meals can help improve your gut health. Furthermore, consuming enough plant-based meals and lean protein can help your gut. In addition, a fibre-rich diet has been significantly contributing to healthy gut microbiota.

4 Foods to Improve Gut Health

Diet and gut health are inextricably related. It is critical to avoid processed meals, high-fat foods, and foods high in refined sugars to maintain a healthy microbiome. These foods kill beneficial bacteria and stimulate the growth of harmful bacteria. There are also a variety of foods that actively support the development of good bacteria, therefore improving your general health. Among these foods are:

1. Foods high in fibre

Numerous studies have found that high-fibre foods including legumes, beans, peas, oats, bananas, berries, asparagus, and leeks improve intestinal health.

2. Onion and garlic

According to numerous studies, garlic and onion may have anti-cancer and immune-boosting qualities, which are closely related to some of the significant activities of the gut. Some of these advantages are anecdotal, but some study has been conducted.

3. Fermented foods

Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yoghurt, tempeh, miso, and kefir. While the quality of these meals varies, their effects on the gut microbiota have been extensively researched.

4. Collagen-stimulating foods

Collagen-rich foods, such as bone broth and salmon may be suitable for general health and, in particular, gastrointestinal health. Many advantages are based on anecdotal evidence, and further studies may be conducted. You might also try to increase your body’s natural collagen production by eating certain foods. Try incorporating a range of meals, such as mushrooms, high-quality dairy, and lean meats.


The human gut is more complicated than previously imagined, and it has a significant influence on good gut health. A healthy gut supports a robust immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, restorative sleep, and efficient digestion, and it may help avoid some cancers and autoimmune illnesses. There are several lifestyle adjustments you can make to improve your gut health and, as a result, your overall health.

Consult Dr Nivedita Pandey for better gut health. She focuses her practice on entire digestive system health as a gastroenterologist. Acid reflux and ulcers are among the conditions she treats, including IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer.