Research shows that a healthy stomach is a key to overall good health. If the microbiota in your stomach is not right, then you will have serious gut health issues which can lead to improper digestion, bloating and unnecessary weight gain.
Your skin is tingling with the impending acne breakout, and oil is oozing out of your pores.
Your morning ablutions confirm that it is bye-bye healthy stomach. You blame the food you have eaten the day before. Not everything is right with your gut health
We do relate our overall health conditions to the food we eat. There is substantial evidence that minerals and vitamins that we absorb from food define how we look and feel.
We know that the vitamins and the minerals get absorbed in the body and improve overall cellular structure. The important thing here is that for good health, you should maintain a healthy stomach.
Unhealthy stomach leads to health issues
The microbiota in your stomach or the gastrointestinal tract is responsible for your immunity. According to recent research, it is seen that more than 80 percent of the body’s immunity is located in your gut.
So if there is an imbalance in the good bacteria vs the bad bacteria ratio, the impact will be on your bodily functions. This shows up as improper digestion, and stomach bloating
The GI tract with its vast surface area is not just one of the largest organs in the body – it is also a major immune organ. It’s easy to make the correlation.
If our stomach is in a bad shape, your gut health goes for a toss which shows in our overall health. The moment we improve our digestion system, it stimulates our immune system, which improves our ability to fight diseases.
Why gut flora is important for healthy stomach
So what defines a healthy stomach? It is what the health experts call the gut flora or microbiota.
According to health experts, the Human Genome project and Meta Hit project shows that the gut microflora has more than 1000 species and 100 trillion organisms – these are bacteria, some good and some bad.
Metabolic activity of the gut flora is like a virtual organ within an organ. So a healthy stomach is defined by the number of good bacteria in your GI tract. Whenever the levels of pathogens like bad bacteria increase in your gut, they impact the gut cells.
So when these pathogens release microbial toxins, these permeate through our gut cells and pass into our systems. With ratio skewed towards the bad bacteria, your digestion systems are the first one to get affected.
It’s a lifestyle that skews the balance
In our natural state, the balance of microbes within our gut is such that we can have normal body functions. But the way our lifestyles have changed over the years, it has played havoc with our natural balance.
This has led to an imbalance in our gut flora leading to various problems like indigestion, infections, lower immunity, etc.
Poor diet, alcohol, too much or too little fiber, medication, antibiotics, illnesses, and increasing stress also adversely affect the gut flora.
Yes, we have always known that it’s the food that we eat. When you eat sugary, fatty food, and too much-processed food, or refined, bleached grains minus the balancing fibers and vegetables and fruits your gut flora get affected.
These foods play with your acidic balance in your stomach – it is alkaline at 3.5pH – which in turn hurts the microbiota. And then it rolls into affecting your bodily functions – bloated stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and even weight gain.
Then there are the antibiotics – over the course of our lives, we have had antibiotics. These work by wiping out the good and the bad germs in our body.
As a result, they leave our stomach vulnerable to pathogen growth, which prevents good bacteria from growing back. This is often evident from the way our stomach goes for a toss after a week of antibiotics. Research shows that it can take up to three years for the gut flora to return to normalcy.
How to maintain a healthy stomach
Try these to ensure your stomach is in top condition:
- You should normalize your bowel system by opting for cleansing and fibrous foods like unrefined grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and virgin oil especially coconut oil.
- If you are prone to acidity, do avoid high protein and a high-fat diet, nuts, chocolate, dairy, citrus fruits, sweeteners, processed food, etc.
- Add a daily dose of prebiotics and probiotics in your diet to cleanse your stomach and restore natural gut flora balance.
- Eat prebiotic foods like beetroot, garlic, onions, pumpkins seed are fiber-rich foods where the fibers reach the colon without breaking down and feed the good bacteria.
- Probiotics restore the natural balance. Fix your gut flora with fermented foods like tofu, paneer, yogurt, and kimchi salad.