The one thing most of us tend to take for granted is the health of our gut. Despite being overlooked often, gut health is pretty important. It not only affects our weight, but also our stress, sleep, hormones and more. Personally, the closest I’ve come to caring about my gut was chugging Yakult every now and then. And if I’m being honest, it didn’t really do much except give me a slight sugar-high. If you can relate to this, your knowledge on the gut is as bad as mine. To know more about gut health and weight management, we invited Nutritionist & Lifestyle Educator, Karishma Chawla to answer all out questions on maintaining a healthy gut and weight. Here are all your common FAQs on the same, answered:

1. What are some natural pro and pre-biotic foods I can have with my meals for better digestion?

Drink sauf water before meals. Even taking apple cider vinegar in the morning can help. Eating some fermented vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, carrot and cucumber with meals works too. Homemade curds, whole grains and cereals are high in fiber and are are excellent pre-biotics.

2. How do I gain weight while also maintaining healthy hair?

There is a lot to keep in mind while gaining weight in a healthy manner. One has to be building muscle. This can be done by eating complex carbs and protein every 2-4 hours, eating dried fruits as mid-meals and weight training. For better hair, take in iron-rich foods like leafy vegetables and meat. Eat 2 Brazil nuts a day too. Also, take biotin, iron and pre-biotic supplements and check your CBC count too.

3. I have asthma and cannot workout too much, how can I lose weight?

That is not an issue! You can lose weight by focusing on clean eating – no sugar, no fried and no packaged foods. Eat 8-11 servings of fibre daily and to do deep diaphragm breathing exercises for your lungs!

4. How do I lose weight despite being constantly stressed?

I would say focus on stress management for now. Start the day with deep breathing and say affirmations through the day. At bedtime, try out yoga, meditation or journaling. Everyday, try doing something fun like singing or dancing. Reach out to people who make you smile! For the food part, avoid white sugar, refined flour and packaged foods. Eat whole, natural foods. Also, focus on one goal that you really desire and visualise you achieving it!

5. As a PCOS patient, what can I eat to benefit my condition?

There are many things you can include in your diet that will help PCOD and PCOS. Foods like complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, red rice, oats, jowar and bajra, lots of vegetables, Omega-3 fatty acids like chia seeds, flax and walnut seeds, a daily dose of methi seeds supplements like chromium and B6 will help greatly. Make sure you also include cold pressed coconut oil as it is a building block for hormones. 3 servings of protein daily and regular exercise can help your PCOS a lot.

6. How can one do lower their blood-sugar level when they have a huge sweet tooth?

Start your day with cinnamon water followed by a green vegetable juice. Eat every 2-4 hours and include omega-3 fats, whole grains, fermented foods and proteins in your diet along with drinking three litres of water daily. Sleeping well is important too! Try going to bed by 10 to curb those night-cravings.

7. What can I eat for good skin?

Good skin and good gut health are strongly linked. For glowing skin, include these in your daily diet – 1. vegetable juices, high-fibre fruits like apple, pear and papaya, a salad with every meal, protein with every meal like fish, eggs, chicken and paneer and ensure your vitamins and minerals are entering your system by taking supplements for vitamin-C, vitamin-E, glutathione, omega-3, collagen and probiotics.

What do you to to maintain a healthy weight and proper gut function? Share it with us in the comments below!

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