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The Be Well Podcast - Best foods for your GI Health with Dr. Alagugurusamy

Listen in or read from the partial transcript below as S. Suresh Alagugurusamy, MD, Gastroenterologist at Skagit Regional Health discusses how our digestive health affects our immune system, our nervous system and even our mental health and the best foods for GI health and the role your digestive system plays in your overall well-being.

Amanda Wilde (Host): This is Be Well with Skagit Regional Health. I'm Amanda Wilde. Dr. Alagugurusamy, thank you for joining me today.

Dr. Alagugurusamy

Dr. S. Suresh Alagugurusamy: Thank you, Amanda. Thank you for having me.

Amanda Wilde (Host): How do you describe how digestive health impacts a person's overall wellbeing?

Dr. S. Suresh Alagugurusamy: Well, I think it plays a huge part. Your digestive system breaks down all the foods and liquids that you consume, and it turns it into chemical components that your body can absorb and use for energy, as well as build and repair cells in your body. And so, there's a complex interplay between your gut and most of the systems in our body, which include the vascular system, nervous system, endocrine system, the skin and the immune system.

Amanda Wilde (Host): So if your GI tract is upset, inflamed, you have irritable bowel syndrome or something that is not going normally, it affects all those other systems as well.

Dr. S. Suresh Alagugurusamy: Absolutely.

Amanda Wilde (Host): So, what we put in there really matters. What kinds of foods have a negative effect on our gut health?

Dr. S. Suresh Alagugurusamy: Well, I think processed foods have a negative impact on our gut. And when I say processed food, those are things like refined sugars, refined grains, artificial sweeteners, lots of saturated fat, fried foods, high sodium foods. Processed foods have a downside. They're kind of removed of the nutrients, and the fiber is removed and sometimes preservative and chemicals are added to the food.

Amanda Wilde (Host): So, they're around us everywhere, but they're kind of empty of nutrition, and they don't help our gut health. What would someone who eats a lot of these foods notice?

Dr. S. Suresh Alagugurusamy: Well, common complaints that we see in our clinic, such as constipation, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, gas along with constipation and bloating, frequent heartburn, nausea and abdominal pain.

Amanda Wilde (Host): If you eat even one thing that causes this kind of reaction, how long can that gut reaction last?

Dr. S. Suresh Alagugurusamy: Well, it could probably last until it gets processed and moves through your gut. 

To listen to the rest of the podcast or read the full transcript, visit here.