digestive care

20 Proven Loose Motion Home Remedies

Loose motions or diarrhoea is a common disruption in the functioning of the gastrointestinal system. It is marked by frequent passing of loose or watery stools which may cause dehydration and fatigue due to loss of vital nutrients and minerals (electrolytes). The most common causes of diarrhoea include food allergies, a stomach infection, and laxative abuse. Thankfully, simple loose motion home remedies provide instant relief.

Natural Loose Motion Home Remedies

Indian kitchens are treasure troves. They don’t just roll out satiating foods, thanks to countless spices and herbs but are also helpful in curing mild, everyday ailments. Listed below are 20 proven loose motion home remedies straight from your kitchen shelf. 

  1. Curd

Eating a bowl of plain curd is one of the easiest and the most effective loose motion home remedies. Curd contains a good amount of probiotics that help keep the gut healthy. The good bacteria present in probiotics fight the bad bacteria responsible for loose motions, thus easing loose motion symptoms quickly.

  1. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a miracle beverage. It works amazingly well both for constipation and diarrhoea. Ginger, when added to tea, aids digestion by reducing food stagnation which may be the infection’s breeding ground. Drinking ginger tea 2-3 times a day makes your gut strong.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the proven stomach pain and loose motion home remedies. Prepare the drink by adding two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of honey. Drinking this mixture twice a day provides the natural antibiotics required to fight the infection-causing microbes. Its anti-inflammatory properties ease the intestinal lining, help normalize pH levels, and restore motion regularity.

  1. Ginger with Salt

Eating freshly crushed ginger sprinkled with salt is an excellent loose motion home remedy. It also helps ease stomach pain caused due to frequent loose motions. Take about a two-inch ginger cube and crush it nicely. Squeeze out the ginger juice in a spoon and add a pinch of salt to it. Follow this remedy 2-3 times a day for effective results.

  1. Coconut Water

Coconut water is not just a refreshing beverage but also has the potency to bring loose motions under control. Drink two glasses of fresh coconut water as a part of effective loose motion treatment at home. Coconut water replenishes the lost electrolytes like potassium and sodium. It also provides essential nutrients like amino acids, Vitamin C, magnesium, and helpful enzymes which enhance immunity.

  1. Coriander and Lemon Water

Lemon possesses anti-inflammatory properties helpful in combating loose motions. Adding 4-5 crushed coriander leaves to lemon water proves helpful in curing diseases related to indigestion. Coriander leaves contain essential oils, namely linalool and borneol which soothe the stomach and help in increased liver functioning.

  1. Mint and Lemon Water

Mint is known to soothe the stomach. It is packed with antimicrobial properties and thus helps fight viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Take about a handful of mint leaves and crush them. Add the crushed mint leaves to a glass of lemon water and drink it 3-4 times a day.

  1. Banana

Bananas are a wonder fruit when it comes to easing loose motion symptoms. While ripe bananas are good for constipation, pick raw bananas for easing loose motion frequency and reducing its water content. Pectin, a soluble fibre present in bananas, increases the absorption of fluids in the intestines and makes the stool bulkier. Bananas are also rich in potassium which is an important electrolyte for rehydration. 

  1. Cumin Water

Cumin has antiseptic properties that help in eliminating the microbes responsible for disturbing the gut. It has high levels of potassium, thus helping rehydrate the body and maintain the electrolyte balance in the body. To prepare cumin water, boil a cup of water in a saucepan with a teaspoon of cumin. Let it simmer at a low flame for some time. Strain the water and let it cool. Drink it slowly upon cooling.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a wonderful spice available in the kitchen. Taking half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of lukewarm water can help relieve symptoms of loose motions instantly. Turmeric is known to have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties that help ward off infections. It is high in antioxidants and thus promotes healthy digestion.

  1. Pomegranates

The red seedy fruit provides an effective loose motion treatment at home. Both the fruit and its leaves are effective in treating loose motion. While you can eat the fruit or drink pomegranate juice for quick relief. To use pomegranate leaves, boil a few leaves on low flame for some time. Put off the flame and let the mixture cool for a while. Strain the leaves away and drink the water slowly through the day.

  1. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is an effective health drink. A glass of fresh buttermilk with a pinch of salt and pepper can be instrumental in reenergizing the digestive system. Buttermilk can be taken 2-3 times a day. Its high probiotic content helps eradicate the bad bacteria from the intestines and aids digestion.

  1. Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek (Methi) seeds are a power food when it comes to home remedies for upset stomach and diarrhea. Add two teaspoons of dried fenugreek seeds powder in a glass of water and take it 2-3 times a day on an empty stomach. The high mucilage content in the fenugreek seeds makes the stool bulky. Furthermore, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of fenugreek will fight diarrhoea-causing microbes.

  1. Drumstick Leaves

The leaves of the Moringa Oleifera tree, also called the drumstick tree, are known to enhance metabolism. The tree is known to possess medicinal value as it helps clear the toxins in the gut. It is also helpful in providing relief from digestive problems like nausea, gas, and stomach pain. Take a teaspoon of juice from drumstick leaves and mix with honey. Consume the mix once daily.

  1. Mashed Potatoes

Adding starchy foods to the diet can add bulk to the stools. Carbohydrates also refuel the fatigued body and help in better nutrient absorption. Potatoes are a rich source of potassium and thus help reload the lost electrolytes. 

  1. Cinnamon and Honey

Cinnamon and honey mix can help ward off the harmful bacteria in the intestines. They activate the digestive enzymes and ensure the proper functioning of the digestive system. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve symptoms. Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1 teaspoon honey to a cup of warm water. Stir nicely and drink slowly through the day.

  1. Blueberry Tea

Blueberry Tea is a common home remedy for digestive problems. As blueberries are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins and polyphenols, they heal the digestive system. Also, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help get rid of the bad bacteria. Prepare a well-brewed cup of tea (sans milk) with two teaspoons of blueberry root powder. 

  1. Rice Water

Rice water, a starchy food, not just helps cut down the frequency of stools but also reduces its water content by making it bulkier. Rice water is an effective diarrhoea treatment in children and adults. Strain the excess water from cooked rice and take it after every bout of diarrhoea for effective results.

  1. Green Tea

Green tea is touted as an immunity booster. It also has a positive impact on the digestive system. Add 1 teaspoon of green tea to a cup of water and let it simmer on low flame for 5-7 minutes. Strain the tea leaves and enjoy your cup of green tea.

  1. Almond Milk

Lactose intolerant people tend to experience diarrhoea more often. Almond milk comes across as a healthy and safe alternative for them. Simply replace cow’s milk with almond milk to feel the difference. 

Conclusion

Loose motions are quite common and often not really alarming as they settle in 2-3 days with easy loose motion treatment at home. But one needs to watch out for severe water loss and dehydration. As diarrhoea can also be a result of some underlying medical conditions like cancer, hyperthyroidism, or intestinal disease, it’s advisable to consult a doctor if loose motion home remedies fail to do the trick.

Can We Trust Apple Cider Vinegar For Digestion?

Apple Cider Vinegar is revered for its plethora of benefits as a great essential in your everyday diet. But did you know that besides its effectiveness in detoxification, weight loss, improved heart health, and hair and skin health, apple cider vinegar also works to aid digestion and boost your overall energy? In fact, ACV is widely recommended as a natural remedy to sort digestive troubles quickly. Curious about how it can work for your gut? Read on to find out more about this miracle drink and how to use apple cider vinegar for digestion troubles.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar or ACV is nothing but fermented apple juice. The process starts by adding yeast to crushed apples which act upon the sugar to produce alcohol. Subsequently, bacteria is added which further turns the alcohol into acetic acid, the main active ingredient of vinegar. The presence of acetic acid gives apple cider vinegar its strong smell and sour taste and is also responsible for the range of health benefits that apple cider vinegar confers.

Why Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion?

The organic or unfiltered apple cider vinegar is known as ‘the mother’. These are visible strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria in the apple cider vinegar. Health experts feel it’s the presence of beneficial bacteria, yeast, and protein in ‘the mother’ that makes apple cider vinegar the health tonic it is pronounced to be. It is believed that the presence of ‘the mother’ makes apple cider vinegar prebiotic and probiotic in nature and therefore protects and heals the gut, giving the digestive system the required boost.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion

The use of apple cider vinegar is widely propagated to resolve a range of digestive issues. Its acidic nature and antibacterial properties make it the perfect digestive health tonic. The digestive problems that apple cider vinegar can help alleviate are:  

1. Bloating

Bloating is a common digestive condition that leads to a buildup of gas in the stomach or intestines. It is invariably a result of low stomach acids which slow down the digestion process. As apple cider vinegar is acidic, it helps provide gas relief by raising the acid levels and stimulating the digestion process. Also, its antibacterial properties kill the harmful bacteria that are responsible for gas.

2. Reflux

While many think that acid reflux is due to too many stomach acids produced in the stomach, the inverse may also be true. At times, low stomach acid production can also trigger acid reflux that leads to regurgitation and pain. Supporting the diet with apple cider vinegar can help raise low stomach acid levels and provide relief from reflux; however, more research is needed to prove this.

3. Gut Inflammation 

The high levels of acids present in the apple cider vinegar promote quicker breakdown and digestion of problematic foods. These foods increase gut inflammation if not digested quickly. Thus, the use of apple cider vinegar expedites the digestion process, helping prevent and reduce gut inflammation. Quick digestion also eliminates the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut.

4. Diarrhea 

Pectin is a soluble fiber found in fruits. It helps the growth of good bacteria in the gut which in turn aids in healthy digestion. High levels of pectin are also important for the body as they add bulk to the stool and reduce intestinal inflammation. As apple cider vinegar is high in pectin and possesses antibiotic properties, its use is considered effective in treating diarrhea caused by bacterial infections.

5. Constipation

Chronic constipation can be hard for the body. It not only impacts the bowel movement but impairs the entire digestive process. Thankfully, apple cider vinegar can be used as an active treatment for constipation. Apple cider vinegar is claimed to be a natural laxative. Being high in pectin adds bulk to the stool and improves overall digestion. 

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is packed with digestion-friendly malic and acetic acids. The magnesium content present in apple cider vinegar is vital for regular bowel movement.

Recommended Dosage and Timing of Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar balances the acid levels in the stomach. Thus, being watchful about the timing of intake and required dose is important to reap maximum health benefits. 

Experts recommend the consumption of not more than one to two tablespoons (approximately 15-30 ml) of diluted apple cider vinegar per day. Apple cider vinegar for digestion works best when consumed before meals. This increases the stomach acid levels which help in the breakdown of food and thus aids in digestion.

Ways to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Diet

If you are thinking about gulping down apple cider vinegar, then it’s a strict ‘NO’. The best way to reap digestive benefits from apple cider vinegar is to add it to your daily diet. Keep the recommended daily dose of apple cider vinegar for digestion in mind and opt from the available methods:

  1. Prepare a mix: Take a cup of hot water and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to it. Taste it up with lemon juice, honey, or maple syrup.
  2. Dilute with water: Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water, mix it well, and take it between meals.
  3. Use as a salad dressing: The pungent taste makes apple cider vinegar a perfect salad dressing. Simply blend 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and drizzle it over salads for that perfect taste.
  4. Pickles: Add onions and cucumber slices to apple cider vinegar and let it stay for 3-4 hours. Enjoy the ‘pickled’ slices with meals.
  5. Marinate: Use apple cider vinegar to marinate meats and vegetables. It not just adds flavor to the foods but is also a more fun and pleasant way to consume the otherwise pungent taste.
  6. Smoothie: Take a bowlful of fresh fruits and nuts and drizzle a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Garnish it with honey or maple syrup.

Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and can thus lead to several side effects if consumed in excess. Here are a few to be mindful of:

  1. May erode tooth enamel
  2. May irritate the throat
  3. If taken in excess, it may upset the stomach 
  4. May lead to a dip in your potassium levels, so those who are on potassium-lowering medicines need to be cautious
  5. Worsens symptoms of undiagnosed ulcers
  6. Interfere with diabetes, heart disease, diuretics, and laxative medication
  7. The strong smell and sour taste might induce nausea and vomiting

From the House of HealthKart

Naturally fermented and rich with the goodness of Himalayan apples, HealthKart Apple Cider Vinegar can help you with your digestive issues apart from a plethora of benefits. HealthKart HK Vitals Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother is pure, unpasteurized, and unfiltered. The ‘mother’ present in it is the bacteria and yeast that make it rich in prebiotic properties.

Another choice in ACV is HealthKart HK Vitals Filtered Apple Cider Vinegar is completely natural and can be easily used as a salad dressing as well as with tea.   

Conclusion

The role of apple cider vinegar for digestion problems is widely documented and its use is pronounced to have exceptional health benefits. However, the use of apple cider vinegar for digestion problems is recommended only in people who have low levels of stomach acids. Therefore, talking to your medical practitioner is important. 

10 Best Foods That Increase Metabolism

The metabolic rate is the body’s ability to burn fat. For any function to occur in your body – from breathing to digestion, the organs need energy. This is obtained from the calories in our food. So, when we use the phrase ‘burning calories’, it refers to the utilization of the energy that each food source provides. There are some foods that increase metabolism or the ability of the body to use these calories more than others. 

But why is faster metabolism necessary? And which metabolism boosting foods should you include in your diet? 

Why Do You Need Fast Metabolism? 

There are some people who do not gain weight despite eating more food. They normally have a faster metabolism. So, one of the primary benefits of finding ways to boost metabolism is faster weight loss

In addition to that, faster metabolism has other benefits: 

  1. You feel more energetic 
  2. The storage of fat in the body is reduced as calories are used up efficiently. 
  3. Your body functions at its best, improving your overall health. 
  4. You reduce the risk of health issues like heart diseases and diabetes. 

By including foods that increase metabolism and burn fat, you have a safe and natural way of speeding up calorie consumption in the body. 

Top 10 Foods That Increase Metabolism 

Here is a list of metabolism boosting foods that you should start consuming in order to reach your weight loss and health goals faster. 

1. Eggs 

Consuming protein-rich foods is one of the best ways to boost metabolism. Each egg contains approximately 6g of protein, proving to be one of the best and easiest foods to add to your diet. In comparison to all the other nutrients that we consume, proteins are the most effective in increasing your metabolism

The body needs to work harder in order to digest proteins. As a result, it needs more energy and thereby ends up using more calories. This effect caused by nutrients is known as TEF or the Thermogenic Effect of Food. It is the most important factor in determining the best metabolism boosting foods

2. Lentils 

Lentils are the most functional food group to obtain faster metabolism. They are a regular part of our diet and are loaded with nutrients. You also have a large variety of lentils that you can mix up to make your diet more interesting. 

Lentils have been proven to treat and prevent metabolic syndrome. One of the main reasons for this is the high protein content that you can find in lentils. They are also rich in fiber, improving gut microflora which plays an important role in your metabolism. 

3. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are counted amongst the best metabolism boosting foods because of their protein and fiber content. People who suffer from metabolic syndrome can benefit immensely by consuming just a spoonful of flaxseeds each day. 

Flaxseeds help improve the gut microflora by providing them with the foods that they need to populate. This aids your metabolism and even helps prevent issues like obesity, heart issues, and diabetes. 

4. Chilies 

When you eat food that is spicy, you immediately begin to feel fuller. This gives you dual benefits if you are trying to lose weight. Chilies contain a compound called capsaicin which is responsible for all the health benefits. 

Capsaicin gives chilies a very high thermogenic effect, increasing the rate at which fat is burnt in the body. It also keeps your appetite in control. There are other benefits of adding chilies to your diet, as it is rich in antioxidants and can also have anti-inflammatory effects. 

5. Coffee

The caffeine content present in coffee is a popular stimulant. It helps improve the expenditure of energy in the body, thereby boosting metabolism. However, since caffeine is also a stimulant, you need to control the amount you consume each day. 

Coffee is best when consumed without any sugar or milk. The latter adds to the calorie intake, reducing the benefits of coffee. Besides being one of the best foods that increase metabolism, coffee also helps you stay alert and active. This is highly beneficial when you are training for long hours. It also helps reduce appetite, allowing you to stay on track with a low-calorie diet which is vital for weight loss. 

6. Dark Leafy Greens 

Greens like kale and spinach are well-known foods that increase metabolism. This is because of their rich iron content. Iron is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to metabolism and growth. Some of these dark green vegetables also have a good magnesium content. Magnesium is another mineral that is responsible for carrying out more than 300 metabolic processes in the body. 

To get maximum benefits of dark green leafy vegetables, pairing them with any Vitamin C source like lemon is a good idea. This improves the absorption of iron, consequently improving metabolism. 

7. Ginger 

Ginger is known to increase the internal temperature of the body. This makes it a good thermogenic food item. It helps improve the rate at which fat is burnt in the body, thereby increasing metabolic rate. 

Ginger is also among foods that increase metabolism and burn fat. It is known to have significant benefits even for people who are obese. Not only does ginger improve metabolism but it also reduces your fasting glucose level and improves the good cholesterol level in the blood. 

There are other benefits of consuming ginger regularly, including its anti-inflammatory properties and immunity-boosting capabilities. 

8. Tea 

Just like coffee, tea is a good beverage to improve your metabolism. It contains catechins which have the same effect as caffeine when it comes to boosting your metabolism. 

Green tea is the best form of tea that you can consume for faster metabolism because of its lower calorie count. Teas like oolong tea are also known to improve the oxidation of fat, releasing more energy. Studies show that oolong tea can improve fat-burning capabilities by almost 17%. 

9. Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple Cider Vinegar often features in the list of metabolism boosting foods. It is known for its ability to increase the rate at which fat is burnt in the body to produce energy. You can consume up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to enjoy all the benefits without any damage or erosion to the lining of the gut. It can be consumed with water or added to salads as a vinaigrette. 

Apple cider is very useful in weight loss because it has the ability to suppress appetite. This means you experience fewer food cravings and hunger pangs. 

10. Broccoli 

Among diet and health foods, broccoli features at the top of the list. It is one of the best protein sources for vegetarians. The high protein content boosts metabolism, no doubt. However, the reason for broccoli being on the list of metabolism boosting foods is a compound called glucoraphanin. 

This compound not only boosts metabolism but is also useful in restoring your metabolic rate. It also helps prevent a host of degenerative diseases. 

Conclusion 

Add variety to your diet with the above-mentioned list of 10 metabolism boosting foods. While consuming foods that increase metabolism is a great way to improve calorie consumption in the body, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too. Make sure you drink lots of water and stay active to get the real benefits of these foods. 

These foods should be part of a healthy and balanced diet. You should ensure that the food sources that you choose do not add to empty calorie intake. Fresh produce and other nutrient-dense foods are vital to keep your metabolic health at its best. 

Prebiotic and Probiotic Supplements — How Do they Work?

Our body is home to several strains of bacteria, and fungi. It’s not that all of these microbes are harmful. Some of them actually aid metabolic processes and are vital to keep us healthy. Most of these microbes are found in our digestive tract, creating the gut microbiome. Probiotic and prebiotic foods are highly recommended by doctors and nutritionists to improve the population of these healthy microbial populations. 

Benefits of Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that are commonly found in fermented foods or nutritional supplements. Let us take a look at how probiotic supplements help us. 

Prebiotics are present in fiber-rich foods that act as food for probiotics. Consuming both of them in the recommended quantity each day is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being. 

Following that, we will understand the role of prebiotics in maintaining healthy colonies of these microbes. 

1. Good Digestive Health 

As mentioned before, a large part of the microbiome of the human body resides in the digestive tract. There are several factors like the consumption of antibiotics or the general diet and lifestyle that kill the population of these useful microbial strains. This is often followed by digestive issues like diarrhea.

Studies have shown that consuming probiotic supplements can maintain the population of these helpful bacteria. These studies have also revealed that probiotics are very useful in preventing deadly diseases like necrotizing enterocolitis in infants. 

It is important to maintain healthy gut microbiota because they help break down certain nutrients, especially fiber, which is too hard for the body to process. They are also responsible for the production of Vitamins K and B which are among the most important micronutrients for the body. 

2. Better Mental Health 

A paper published in 2017 showed that consuming probiotic supplements and food can help manage the symptoms of depression. Although the exact function of the microbiome is unknown, it can be attributed to the relationship between brain health and digestive health

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for keeping us feeling happy and relaxed, is produced in the gut. The microbes present in your digestive tract improve the production of this neurotransmitter. As a result, they are responsible for mental well-being. Probiotics are useful in maintaining healthy colonies of these microbes, keeping your brain healthy indirectly. 

3. Improved Immune Strength 

The microbes in your body have a very important role to play in the way your body responds to any infection. Normally, the first sign of infection is inflammation. The T-cells of your immune system spring into action and attack these inflamed sites. However, when this inflammation becomes chronic or persists even after the threat is eliminated, it results in a host of health issues. 

The bacteria in our digestive system have a very important role to play in managing inflammation. They make sure that it is controlled and limited to infected sites. Therefore, consuming probiotic supplements improves your immune response and allows you to enjoy good health while keeping the cells and tissues protected. 

4. Maintaining Heart Health & Sugar Levels

Probiotic supplements have also been known to boost heart health and prevent diabetes. This is because they increase the population of bacterial strains that are responsible for the metabolism of sugar and fat. As a result, the level of bad cholesterol in the body is reduced, preventing blockages in the arteries. They also help in breaking down sugars effectively to regulate their concentration in the blood. 

5. Ideal for Weight Loss

Probiotic supplements are also known to benefit those who wish to lose weight. First, they help in the proper assimilation of foods and help you make the most of your diet. Second, there are certain strains of bacteria in the walls of the intestine that are known to regulate fat metabolism and storage in your body, helping you watch your weight. 

Benefits of Prebiotic Supplements

Prebiotics are special plant fibers that are hard for the body to digest. However, they serve as fodder for the good bacteria in your body. Normally, if your diet is healthy and diverse, you may not need prebiotic supplements. The best natural sources of prebiotics are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains which are high in fiber. Artichokes, bananas, and potatoes, in particular, serve as the best prebiotic foods. 

However, if you are unable to consume these foods due to dietary restrictions or preferences, using a supplement is a good idea. Prebiotics have not been studied as deeply as probiotics. However, there are some clear benefits of including them in your diet: 

  1. Calcium absorption improves drastically. 
  2. They help the body process carbohydrates faster, keeping you feeling energetic all day. 
  3. They improve the strains of good bacteria in your gut, thereby boosting digestion, metabolic health and immunity. 

Most nutritionists suggest that you should consume probiotic and prebiotic supplements together. Even with the best probiotic supplements, the microbes used are very mild. They usually do not survive until they reach the digestive tract, rendering the supplement useless. However, when combined with prebiotics, they have some nourishment, which improves their chances of surviving all the way. 

Conclusion

While probiotics and prebiotics are good for your overall health, there may be side effects in some cases. There isn’t enough data about the safety of these supplements which makes it difficult to determine exactly how they affect you. However, for individuals suffering from conditions like Crohn’s disease or any immunity-related issues, prebiotic and probiotic supplements may cause some adverse effects. 

The best option is to include as many natural food sources as possible. If you think that you may be vulnerable to the side effects of prebiotic or probiotic supplements, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before consuming them.

Gut Microbiome and Its Role In Digestive Health

The human digestive system is home to millions of microbes, including different strains of bacteria and fungi. They share a symbiotic relationship with us. This means that unlike other microbes that cause health issues, these strains actually benefit us. They constitute the gut microbiome which is important for digestion and absorption of nutrients. 

Now that we know what is gut microbiome, let us understand how it benefits us and how we can increase its population. 

Primary Benefits of Human Gut Microbiome

Most of the human gut microbiome resides in a small pocket of the large intestine. This area is called the cecum. Of the different kinds of microbes that reside in the cecum, the populations of bacteria have been studied the most. In fact, there are close to 1000 species that inhabit the large intestine, helping the process of digestion each day. Not just that, they also give you several other health benefits such as: 

1. Better Development in Your Early Years 

A study published by Norwegian researchers showed that gut bacteria play a very important role in helping babies grow faster. Their study showed that the human gut bacteria composition in infancy determined the rate of development as well as the health of the individual in the later years of life. 

This can be attributed to the function of the earliest strains of bacteria that develop in the gut known as bifidobacteria. It helps in digesting breast milk and using up the healthy sugars in it for better growth and development. 

It is very important to breastfeed children for at least six months to help them develop healthy gut bacteria. Studies show that children who are breastfed have higher levels of bifidobacteria in comparison to the ones who are mostly bottle-fed. 

2. Improved Digestive Health 

This is the most important function of the gut microbiota. They are responsible for the digestion of fiber that you consume each day. With a better breakdown of fiber, the food that you consume moves through the digestive tract easily. The result is better absorption of all the nutrients that you consume and overall improvement of your gut health. These microbes are also useful in the production of certain vitamins, primarily Vitamin B and Vitamin K which you need for several metabolic processes. 

A healthy population of gut microbes is also responsible for preventing common issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Some strains of the human gut microbiome also prevent disease-causing pathogens from attaching themselves to the walls of the digestive tract. They are also beneficial in maintaining the integrity of the cell membrane of your digestive tract, helping prevent conditions like leaky gut syndrome. 

3. Better Heart Health 

The gut microbiome also has a role to play in heart health. A study conducted on 1500 individuals showed that these microbes manage the levels of triglycerides and good cholesterol levels in the body. Some unhealthy species of microbes in the body increase the production of TMAO or trimethylamine N-oxide. This is responsible for increasing artery blockages, putting you at risk of heart attacks. 

On the other hand, certain microbes like Lactobacilli, reduce the levels of bad cholesterol which prevent these conditions. For this reason, doctors advise the use of probiotics to keep your heart healthy.

4. Improved Immune Response 

A lot of research has been conducted to suggest that the human gut microbiome strengthens the immune system. When your body is attacked by a pathogen, it produces an inflammatory response. If the inflammation prevails even after the pathogen has been eliminated, it can lead to many health issues. 

Gut bacteria help prevent chronic inflammation by balancing the inflammatory response of your T-cells. This protects the cells and tissues of your intestines from any damage while helping the immune cells destroy the disease-causing pathogens effectively.

5. Management of Blood Sugar Levels 

Studies have shown that the level of gut microbiota drops significantly just before the onset of Type 1 Diabetes. There is also a surge in unhealthy microbes in the gut during this period. By maintaining a healthy gut microbe population, this can be prevented. 

Studies also show that the bacteria in our intestines are responsible for the breakdown of sugars. Some sugar molecules are hard for our digestive tract to break down. This is when the bacteria in the intestines jump into action, easing the process. Break down of sugar and Balanced assimilation help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, eliminating the risk of developing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

6. Helping Prevent Obesity 

One of the primary strains in the gut microbiome called A.muciniphila is considered to be the key in developing new ways to treat obesity and certain metabolic disorders. Studies show that lower levels of these bacteria in the mucus lining of the intestines increases the chances of obesity. 

A study conducted on mice with a low A.muciniphila population in their gut showed that giving them probiotics reduces the risk significantly. Additionally, the ability of the gut microbes in digesting fiber improves the digestion and utilization of the nutrients in our food. They also help in reversing fat mass and preventing insulin resistance, helping you manage your weight effectively. 

7. Brain Health Benefits 

The chemicals that are responsible for transmitting messages across the nervous system are called neurotransmitters. Some of the most important neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are produced in your gut. The human gut microbiome aids the production of these neurotransmitters. This helps you manage stress and also controls the transmission of messages through your nerves. 

Conclusion

There are many studies that suggest that a host of health issues stem from poor gut health. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome could be the key to ensuring better metabolism and preventing these conditions. Add a variety of foods in your diet, including fresh produce rich in fiber to boost the microbiome. It also helps to consume foods that are fermented. Prebiotics, which stimulate the development of these microbes, are highly recommended. Some common examples of these foods are yogurt, bananas, whole-grains, and apples.

Fruits For Digestion That Are Worth Including In Your Diet

Loaded with vital nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals, fruits are nature’s yummy treats that lend you fantastic health benefits — digestion being one of them. Are you wondering what makes fruits good for digestion? Primarily, the presence of fibre, Vitamin C, and potassium in fruits makes them super good for your gut health. There are many fruits and some vegetables too which would top the charts as the best foods that aid digestion. However, if you want to identify the best fruits for digestion, look for the ones with maximum fibre, vitamin C, and potassium in them. 

Fruits That Help Digestion 

Let us understand the importance of digestion before we proceed further. To have your digestive system working to the best of its capability is super essential because our body derives nutrients from foods and drinks we take to work efficiently and stay healthy. 

Proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates (fibre), and water are further broken down into their absorbable form through digestion, post which they are then used for energy, growth, and cell repairs. Hence, for the body to function correctly, stay energetic, and disease-free, digestion is an essential function.

Several fruits are high in fibre & vitamins and those are the fruits that help digestion. Some of them are listed below: 

1. Apple

Right from childhood, we are made to understand that apples are really good for the body. They are high in pectin fibre. Depending upon the body needs, pectin can provide relief from constipation and diarrhoea – clearly becoming one of the fruits good for digestion.

2. Apricots

This fuzzy fruit is rich in fibre content that maintains bowel regularity, further preventing constipation and boosting colon health. Apricots are very high in vitamin C, which is critical for boosting immunity and skin health.

3. Kiwi

Green Kiwi helps in better digestion because it contains the enzyme called actinidin which helps enhance protein digestion. This fruit is also known for its laxative effect, which is attributed to its high fibre content. According to certain studies, two kiwis provide almost 20% of the daily recommended amount of fibre to the body, which aids digestion and facilitates colon health.

4. Guava

This crunchy and delicious fruit is a winter delight. It is a natural solution to many stomach issues. Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fibre. It’s worth noting that just one guava gives 12% of the daily recommended amount of fibre – highly beneficial for our digestive health. In addition, if taken as whole or chewed well, the guava seeds work as an excellent laxative, enabling smooth passage to our stool. 

5. Banana

Banana also has a high content of fibre which helps digestion and thereby facilitates regular bowel movements. Banana has antacid effects and it protects the stomach from ulcers that get built up in the stomach linings. The antacid effects of bananas ease heartburn and help eliminate the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.

6. Mango

Unknown to many, mangoes are amongst the best fruits for digestion. They contain the enzymes that aid digestion and breakdown of fibre and proteins. This promotes smoother bowel movements and waste removal through the digestive tract. 

7. Peaches

Peaches are ancient fruits, which are known to be rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fibre. They ease bowel movements and help with digestion. They are also good for the body’s immune system. Peaches also help the body combat inflammation.

8. Figs

Fig is a seasonal fruit of the mulberry family. It grows in warm and sunny countries. It comes in green, yellow, and purple colours. Figs are very rich in fibre. Just one serving offers 4 gm – 5 gm of fibre which is one-fifth of the daily recommended amount — thus very good for digestion. Its soluble fibre makes us feel fuller and insoluble fibre helps prevent constipation. People like to eat fresh as well as dried figs. 

9. Cranberries 

Cranberries are small, hard, and round red fruit. They are bitter and sour. Cranberries contain fibre and vitamins A, E, and C, which help in digestion. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants – a potent anti-inflammatory property that prevents free radicals from wreaking havoc in our body cells. A cranberry can be trusted as one of the best fruits for digestion.

Hard-to-Digest Fruits

Although most of them are considered as fruits for digestion, some may be a little difficult to digest. Fruits that are highly acidic and can irritate the stomach lining cause digestive problems. Such fruits are lemon, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. Though, these are not harmful when taken in minimal quantities. In this context, it is advisable to say that one should avoid spoiled fruits. Such fruits may become difficult to digest and will be bad for stomach health.

Conclusion 

Fruits are an essential part of our daily diet. Taken raw, fruits come loaded with fibre, vitamins, and minerals and are very healthy for our body. It is best to incorporate at least one fruit in your daily diet either in its raw form or as a part of your breakfast shakes, salads, or oats. However, if you want to reap the best benefits out of fruits for digestion, they should be taken raw.