Gut health: What’s really making you sick?

Preety Tyagi, Nutritionist, GUT HEALTH, weight loss, abdominal pain, good gut bacteria, inflammatory bowel disease, Probiotic diet, Pumpkin Burfi recipe

By Preety Tyagi

In today's fast-paced lifestyle, food is typically highly processed, high in sugar and low in nutrients. Eating is very often "on the move" and stress has become an everyday thing. The very first thing to suffer in this chaotic lifestyle is our Gut health. Unfortunately, people find it easy to reach to the commonly abused over the counter drugs to get relief, though it could give temporary relief, it does not give us the root cause of what's really going for the gut health.


Listen to your gut, it talks back. In fact, the brain and digestive tract are so closely linked that it can be used as one system, where Gut is referred to as the second brain. The longer we ignore the second brain, the worse we are going to feel.

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A healthy gut strengthens Immunity system of our body, reduces the incidents of infections throughout, Improves mood & mental health, boosts energy levels, improves oral health, supports weight loss, lower the blood cholesterol, regulate hormone levels for smooth functioning of body processes like thyroid gland, overall it contributes to a longer healthier life.

An unhealthy or compromised gut can lead to abdominal pain and cramps, eczema, psoriasis, acne, depression, hormonal disturbances like Polycystic ovarian syndrome in women, fatigue, weight gain, trouble losing weight, trouble sleeping, joint stiffness & pain, obesity, autoimmune diseases, vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid issues and many more.

THE GUT TALKS BACK- LISTEN TO YOUR GUT- Is your diet killing your good gut bacteria?

The balance of gut bacteria is very important for the smooth functioning of the digestive system as it affects nearly every system in the body. Diet & lifestyle are the main culprits of disrupting this balance predisposing us to many deadly disease states including inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, depression & even cancer.

Are you eating too much sugar & processed foods, too many carbs like white bread, pasta, too few anti-inflammatory food items like fresh fruits & vegetables?

Are you under stress the whole time?

If yes, you are compromising your health in the hands of your lifestyle. Follow the 4 R's of achieving ideal Gut health, Remove, Replace, Restore and Repair.

  • First remove all processed, high in sugar content, fatty & packaged foods & toxins causing the issue.
  • Replace it with healthy and fresh foods like more fruits and vegetables, more fiber.
  • Restore the balance of the gut bacteria by natural Probiotic diet, these are good bacteria that replenish the healthy bacteria in the gut and boosts the immune system. Like yogurt and aged cheese. Add food sources like banana, onion, garlic, leek, asparagus, soybeans in your diet, as they help probiotics to live longer.
  • Repair the damage that has been done to your gut over the years of unhealthy diet and lifestyle. With proper planning & time, you will achieve optimum health. Introduce healthy lifestyle changes into your daily routine, eat healthily, exercise regularly, avoid alcohol, quit smoking, do not let stress rule over you.

Plan for yourself, meet a certified nutritionist expert and health coach. Get a personalized diet plan that suits your lifestyle with counselling. Repair and heal the gut through a clean diet and a healthy mind.

And hence after a long time off work, Hippocrates, the father of Medicine concluded: "All disease begins in the gut."

Pumpkin Burfi: Enjoy this healthy mithai!

Pumpkin burfi is a delicious, gluten-free and healthier Indian sweet recipe. It is simple, quick and requires no pre-preparation which makes it a perfect to enjoy on festivals and holidays. Pumpkin burfi is a perfect healthy treat, with its orange colour anyone will be tempted to eat them. It is prepared with grated pumpkin (kaddu), Besan (chickpea flour), milk and Jaggery and flavoured with cardamoms and saffron which gives this burfi an awesome flavour. No matter how health-conscious you are, everybody needs a little dessert sometimes and you can definitely enjoy it at the times when sweet cravings kick in!

Preety Tyagi, Nutritionist, GUT HEALTH, weight loss, abdominal pain, good gut bacteria, inflammatory bowel disease, Probiotic diet, Pumpkin Burfi recipe

Now, let’s get to the recipe!


  • 1 Cup Chickpea flour (Besan)
  • 1 Cup Grated pumpkin
  • 1-1½ Cup Jaggery powder (Adjust as per your taste)
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • ¼ to ½ Cup Melted Ghee/Clarified Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Green Cardamom PowderDirections

– Sift chickpea flour (besan). Add the flour in a pan and lightly roast it over low heat till you get a nice aroma.
– Add 1 Tsp ghee and sauté grated pumpkin separately for a few minutes in a pan to remove the raw smell.
– Now combine flour, sautéed pumpkin, milk and jaggery powder in a pan.
– Mix it well to ensure there are no lumps.
– Place the pan over medium heat and stir continuously for a few minutes till the mixture starts to thicken.
– Now add the ghee, simmer the heat and stir for few more minutes.
– Now you'll see it bubbling and ghee leaving on the sides.
– When it gets thicker, turn off the heat.
– Add cardamom powder and leave it to cool down.
– Transfer the content into the ghee greased plate and leave it for few minutes.
– When it is still warm, sprinkle musk melon seeds and some chopped cashews on top and cut it into square pieces.

(The author is a well-known nutritionist and founder of Views expressed are personal.)