As we’re all experiencing the onset of summer and our diet slowly begins to adapt to the season, the threat of gastrointestinal problems looms. While the relaxed cooling diet is a pleasant change but we must take care of our gut health.
“Every year, we see a rise in cases of diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning, dehydration, typhoid fever and jaundice during the summers, due to the above-mentioned reasons. A healthy gut is often a mirror of overall health, and hence it is necessary to keep your gut healthy during this summer,” says Dr Mrudul Dharod, Gastroenterologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road
Here are five steps you can take to have a summer-healthy gut:
1. Ensure that you keep yourself hydrated
While the summer heat is right around the corner, it becomes significant to keep our hydration levels high. Dehydration slowly leads to the threat of a weakened immune system.
So it’s time to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, including homemade lemonade and buttermilk. Although you must avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee and aerated drinks since your body can become dependent on these in the longer run.
2. It’s time to strengthen the immunity system
You can start boosting your immunity by preparing magic decoctions like herbal tea or a kadha made from tulsi, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger and raisin – once or twice a day.
Adding jaggery or fresh lemon juice to this decoction can further boost its benefits. Let’s also try the good old delicious ‘golden milk’ (half teaspoon of turmeric powder with 150 ml milk). This age-old traditional drink is filled with many anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
3. Your gut health craves probiotics
The live bacteria/yeasts that can be consumed in food or supplements are probiotics. They have numerous beneficial effects on the body, most prominently serving our digestive health. We can feed our gut with healthy bacteria by increasing the consumption of naturally occurring probiotics rich food. You can try foods like curd, yoghurt, and fermented foods like idli, or supplements like Yakult. Curd or yogurt is surprisingly suitable even for lactose intolerant individuals.
4. Increase your consumption of fibre-rich foods
Fibre is truly the recipe for a healthy gut. You must increase the intake of high fibre foods such as raw vegetables (adequately washed), salads, bran cereals, whole grain bread and fresh fruits such as figs, bananas and apples. Start adding greens like spinach/lettuce and lemon juice to salads.
When you want to up your hydration game while increasing fibre-rich foods, you must eat yummy cucumbers, citrusy oranges and juicy watermelons this summer.
5. Avoid binging on junk food and/or spicy foods
This must one must be a hard task but you must avoid or decrease intake of foods with high-fat content. Spicy foods when eaten in overdrive can also throw your gut health for a toss.
While a little bit of spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger are fine and should be used for healthy cooking, you must avoid too much of hot peppers, chilies and curries.