To start with a quick fact, do you know that 80% of your immune cells are located in your gut? So, the function of the gut is not only restricted to digesting your food, it is beyond that. A healthy gut is a sign of proper digestion, nutrient absorption, better immunity, and overall better mental health too. Our gut performs a number of important functions, so it is obvious that you may fall sick when your gut health isn’t proper. Thus, it becomes extremely vital to take care of it. This article will feed your brain with information on the signs of an unhealthy gut, how fast food damages your gut health, and will ultimately give you some tips from a professional fitness coach on maintaining your gut health. Spend time reading this piece of article and live a healthy and disease-free life.
SIGNS YOUR GUT NEEDS SOME CARE:
Knowing that your gut is a vital organ in your body to maintain a healthy lifestyle is important. Here are some signs your gut tries to convey that it needs help. Pay attention to it right from the beginning and stay away from gut complications.
- If you bloat very often and feel abdominal pain every time after having a meal, it says that your gut isn’t healthy enough. Though bloating is natural as gas is a natural by-product of gut bacteria, check with your doctor if you bloat too often.
- If you aren’t comfortable while passing stool and experience pain, it might mean that you have constipation/food intolerance/irritable bowel syndrome, which is again a sign of an unhealthy gut.
- Apart from the pain, your gut can be termed unhealthy if your stools are too hard/too liquidy, lumpy, and do not sink in the toilet bowl.
- If the gut transit time, i.e. the time taken for the food to move through the gut is more than 24 hours or if it moves very quickly such as within 1 or 2 hours, your gut is looking for some help.
Apart from the above-mentioned minor issues, if you are not excreting at least once a day, noticing blood in stool, heartburn, nausea, vomiting or having trouble swallowing food, you should visit your doctor and consult about your gut health immediately.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FAST FOOD AND GUT HEALTH:
You can term your gut to be healthy only when there are diverse bacteria residing in it. This diversity in bacteria can be only achieved through a combination of protein-rich, fibre-rich, plant-based foods, and whole foods. As fast foods are highly processed and extremely low in nutritional value, they restrict the diversification of bacteria and lead to poor gut health. Also, they are low in fibre content and are made with inflammation-producing omega-6 seed oils, refined flour, excessive sugar that feed bad microorganisms and kill the good bacteria, ultimately resulting in a disruptive digestive process. These fast-foods create an imbalance in the microbiome and reduce the growth of good bacteria, producing short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which can lead to inflammation resulting in ulcers.
Usually, the microbiome present in the gut influences the metabolism of food and the extraction of energy from the broken food. Unhealthy fats such as trans-fat which are abundantly present in fast food increase the unhealthy gut bacteria that store fat rather than transforming into energy and providing it to the body for regular functioning.
Also, as more than 80% of the immune cells are present in our gut, consuming food that is high in sodium, processed sugar, and unhealthy fat can negatively affect our immune system, making us prone to diseases and viruses easily.
Here is a result found from a study where the son of Dr. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, went on a 10-day fast food only diet to identify the relationship between the gut microbiome and fast food. It was found that bacteria that were linked to obesity flourished. Thus, apart from destroying your metabolism, mental health, immune system, fast food also multiplies the bacteria responsible for obesity.
The Final Words:
We believe you have known the signs you need to notice, and the harmful effect of fast food on your gut health. Ultimately, it is now time to reveal some simple tips to have a happy and healthy gut. One super tip for Indians is to go for fermented food such as dosa, curd, idli, pickle to have a good influence on your gut bacteria. You can also include protein intake such as wild-caught fish, free-range poultry, and opt for healthy fats in the form of nuts, ghee, butter. Prefer having veg salads in fast-food outlets and also try to limit your toppings as much as possible. Follow these simple rules, and build your overall health.