Maintaining gut health is important, because it can boost your overall immunity and also influence your mood. While the diet you follow is important, how you eat the food, the frequency of meals and exercising and getting rest are also key factors for the smooth functioning of the body.

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Nutritionist Bhakti Kapoor took to Instagram to write that a healthy gut means “you have a stronger immune system, a better mood, effective digestion that’s free of discomfort and a healthy brain and heart”. “Anxiety and depression also affect your gut health. Finding ways to manage your mental health and stress levels may help reduce uncomfortable GI symptoms and get your body back in balance,” she explained in a long post.

According to the expert, one can tell if they are having health problems. “Bloating, gas, diarrhea, stomach pain or nausea are all pretty direct signs that something in the gut isn’t working as it should.”

As such, what can you personally do to ensure fewer visits to the doctor, and to keep your gut happy and healthy? Here’s what Kapoor recommended:

Dos:

* Eat a variety of plant-based foods.
* Have a diet rich in pre and probiotics.
* Stay hydrated.
* Chew your food and slow down while eating.
* Get good quality sleep every night and move your body daily.
* Cook food in olive oil, avocado oil, flax or walnut oil.

Don’ts:

* Eat the same food every day.
* Have a diet that comprises processed food.
* Consume drinks with added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
* Prioritise work over physical and mental health.
* Eat on the go.
* Load up on vegetable oils like canola, peanut, sunflower, etc.

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