Make these 7 easy food swaps for better digestion
In today’s crazy busy and fast food world, most of us end up eating foods which are not good for our gut. As a result, we struggle with chronic stomach pain, bloating, indigestion, constipation and the most common problem that we face is acid reflux. All these problems enter your life just because of small mistakes in your diet. Wonder what the solution is? Well, you need to swap some foods for better gut health.
HealthShots spoke to Deepti Khatuja, Head Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, to share some healthy food alternatives to keep gut health in check.
“From skin health to autoimmune conditions and even our mental health, the gut is a key player in a variety of biological processes that can have widespread outcomes on our overall well being. The gut is the main storehouse of beneficial bacteria that can support immunity as well as influence our mood,” says Khatuja.
“So, to maintain gut health, the most important thing is to eat probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that are introduced to the body for their beneficial qualities. Along with that, some food swaps have also shown improvement in gut health,” she added.
Here are some healthy food alternatives for your gut health:
1. Replace milk with kefir
Kefir can be swapped with milk for people who are lactose intolerant. The bacteria in milk kefir can pre-digest the lactose content, making it much easier to digest if you are lactose intolerant.
2. Replace sugary drinks with kombucha
This is a great swap from a high sugar fizzy drink. Kombucha is a drink produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. The small amount of sugar that is added to kombucha for fermentation processes gets broken down, resulting in a low sugar drink full of friendly microbes and organic acids.
3. Replace curd or mayonnaise with live yoghurt
Although curd itself is a probiotic, the yoghurts are labeled as live cultures and have a better quantity of these live probiotic bacteria which is very helpful in improving the gut concentration.
4. Replace red meat with fruits and vegetables
They are good swaps for red meat as certain fruits and vegetables have prebiotics which not only improve gut health but are loaded with fibre, vitamins, and minerals that increase immunity and other degenerative disorders also.
5. Replace sugary cereals with oats
Swap your sugar-coated breakfast cereal for a whole grain breakfast such as oats which comes with no added sugar. They are rich in antioxidants and promote healthy bacteria in your gut. Moreover, it helps to ease constipation.
6. Replace white bread with sourdough bread
It is a great swap for white or wheat bread. It is made with a sourdough starter which is a fermented mix of flour and natural yeast. It is more digestible than regular bread because the fermentation process breaks down the gluten that causes bloating and other digestive problems.
7. Replace non-sprouted lentils with sprouting
Great swap for non-sprouted lentils. The sprouting process increases the bioavailability of nutrients as compared to non-sprouted lentils.
Although these are certainly good swaps for the healthy gut, consumption of different foods in the right quantities is the key to a healthy gut and nutrition. Hence one should consume the different but healthy food groups in various forms as per their individualised requirements.