Why is it important to focus on gut health in winter?


As winter settles in, maintaining a healthy gut becomes crucial for overall well-being.

Experts shed light on the significance of the gut microbiome during the colder months. Dr Mohit Saran, Consultant in Internal Medicine and Diabetology at Manipal Hospital Gurugram, emphasised the role of the gut microbiota, a complex community of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast, and viruses.

Dr Saran warned against the pitfalls of indulging in junk and processed foods during winter, as these can impede digestion, lead to bloating and even contribute to irritable bowel syndrome.

Dr Saran warned against the pitfalls of indulging in junk and processed foods during winter, as these can impede digestion, lead to bloating, and even contribute to irritable bowel syndrome. (Photo: Getty Images)

To promote gut health, he recommended opting for cooked vegetables, whole grains, pulses, lentils, fresh fruits, and seeds while avoiding spicy foods. Overeating should be avoided, and maintaining hydration is essential, especially in colder temperatures.

The expert also highlighted the connection between sleep deprivation, stress, and gut health, emphasising the importance of quality sleep.

How to keep your gut healthy? Dr Mohit Saran listed the following ways:

  • Stay adequately hydrated. Drink plenty of water to support digestion and help prevent constipation.
  • Include a variety of fibre-rich foods in your diet, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Fibre supports a healthy gut microbiome and helps regulate bowel movements.

  • Eat a balanced and varied diet that includes a mix of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to support overall health.
  • Regular physical activity supports overall health, including digestive health. Find ways to stay active, even if it means indoor exercises or activities during the colder months.
  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep as it plays a significant role in overall well-being, including gut health.
  • Wash your hands regularly, practice good hygiene, and minimise the intake of processed foods and sugary snacks, as they can negatively impact gut health and contribute to inflammation.
Get seven to nine hours of sleep as it plays a significant role in overall well-being, including gut health. (Photo: Getty Images)

Adding to this perspective, Dr Amol Dahale, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist at DPU Private Super Specialty Hospital, Pune, emphasised the symbiotic relationship within the gut microbiome and its impact on human health.

He underlined that disruptions in gut microbiome balance could lead to various health issues, from digestive disorders to inflammatory bowel diseases and even brain disorders.

Disruptions in gut microbiome balance could lead to various health issues, from digestive disorders to inflammatory bowel diseases and even brain disorders. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the context of winter, Dr Dahale pointed out that festivities, travel, and outdoor dining could disrupt gut microbiome balance, potentially causing issues like acidity, reflux, and infectious diseases.

To counter this, he recommended enhancing diets with probiotic-rich foods like curd, butter, and milk, as well as prioritising hot and freshly served meals, particularly when dining outdoors.

Published By:

Daphne Clarance

Published On:

Dec 12, 2023



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