Srinagar: Studies have revealed the most commonly reported digestive disorders in Kashmir are gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, dyspepsia, abdominal bloating, fatty liver, gallstones, and acute abdomen.
The digestive system is a vital organ that provides nutrients, strengthens the immune system, and maintains the intestinal microbiota (good bacteria). As we grow from newborns to adults, the dietary needs of our digestive system change. Therefore, an appropriate diet can help recognize when to seek gastrointestinal care for any symptoms.
Dr Nazia Zahoor, a senior resident at Government Medical College, Srinagar told The Kashmir Monitor that several dietary factors are found to be responsible for the occurrence of digestive disorders in the valley. “This includes high intake of protein rich food, excessive intake of salted alkaline tea (Noon chai), inclusion of more processed and junk food, frequent consumption of pickled and dried food, high consumption of caffeinated beverages etc.”
The health expert stressed that the lack of knowledge regarding balanced diet coupled with the cultural taboos surrounding the consumption of hot and cold foods have further hindered healthy eating habits.
Dr Nazia shared that by making small but significant changes in the eating habits and overall lifestyle, people can safeguard their digestive well-being and enjoy a healthier future.
Nutritionist, Asma Mir said having a good digestive system and healthy gut is crucial for your overall well-being.
“It helps your body break down food and absorb nutrients to keep your system healthy. People with a healthy digestive system are less likely to face problems like constipation, heartburn, indigestion, bloating, and other serious digestive issues,” she said.
Mir shared some essential tips to the keep the digestive health in check–
*Eat a balanced diet: Consume a diet rich in fibre, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This helps promote regular bowel movement, supports a diverse gut microbiota, and provides essential nutrients for digestive health.
*Have probiotics and fermented foods: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut. Include foods like yoghurt and other fermented foods in your diet.
*Limit processed foods and sugars
*Control portion sizes: Eat smaller, more frequent meals and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
*Chew food thoroughly
*Manage stress: Stress can impact digestion. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing, exercises, regular physical activity, and engaging in activities you enjoy.
*Avoid smoking: Smoking can contribute to digestive problems, including an increased risk of acid reflux
*Get sufficient sleep: Sleep deprivation can negatively impact digestive health.