Building up intestinal flora: 14 tips for a healthy intestinal flora
Medications, stress and a wrong diet damage the intestines. This is unpleasant. Flatulence, diarrhoea or constipation are the result. What many people do not know: Neurodermatitis, rheumatism, immunodeficiency, fatigue, allergies and depression can also be promoted by a disturbed intestinal flora. We give you 14 tips to help you balance your intestines and thus build up and rehabilitate your intestinal flora.
- The intestine is the centre of our health
- Intestine facts
- When the intestinal flora is imbalanced
- Symptoms of unhealthy bowel
- 14 tips on how you can build up & redevelop your intestinal flora
The intestine is an underestimated organ. Talk about it? Kind of embarrassing. "He'll be fine," we think, and then we forget. But sometimes our digestive organ calls itself to mind again - when it pinches and squeezes, the stomach is bloated or digestion is not working.
And we are not alone: about 15% of Germans suffer from food intolerances, 10% from irritable bowel syndrome and 20% from permanent constipation.
It is high time to talk about the intestine, which is much more than just a digestive organ, and to focus on intestinal health.
A healthy intestine is essential for our survival. It reliably fends off bacteria, viruses, fungi and environmental toxins and ensures that diseases, inflammations and gastro-intestinal problems have no chance. After all, 80% of our immune system is located in the intestine.
Only when our intestines are healthy can we absorb and digest food effectively. Our intestines determine whether we have an allergic reaction to wheat or a bloated stomach caused by lactose.
- the intestine is our largest organ (5 to 7.5 meters long)
- around 100 million nerve cells run through the stomach and intestines
- about 100 billion microbial organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi live in a balanced intestinal flora
- the bacteria together weigh about 2 kg
- the intestinal flora consists of up to 1000 species of bacteria
- ideally, the intestinal flora consists of 85% useful and 15% harmful bacteria
These are impressive figures that show how complex the interaction of the individual protagonists in the intestine is. It takes both the "good" and the "bad" microbial organisms to keep the gut in balance. The harmful bacteria keep the good ones fit by training their defenses. This is essential for survival, since a large part of our immune system is located in the intestine.
Stress, medication, cigarettes, too little exercise and the wrong diet disturb the environment in the intestine. The intestinal flora gets into a crooked situation and the harmful microorganisms displace the useful ones.
The result: our immune system is weakened. Pathogens now have an easy job.
The problem: Once the intestinal flora is out of balance, it does not improve by itself. This is where you have to become active: eat healthier food, exercise more, stop smoking, live stress-free and cleanse the intestines with supportive pro- and prebiotics.
However, if you ignore the first warning signs of your bowel, the immune system will continuously deteriorate. This can affect your well-being and possibly lead to chronic complaints, for example:
- Constant fatigue
- Constipation, diarrhoea and flatulence
- Food intolerances and allergies
- Hay fever
- Psychological diseases
- Skin diseases like acne and neurodermatitis
- Fungal diseases
Even though research is only just beginning to explore the connection between a disturbed intestinal flora and (civilisation) diseases, it is already clear today that a healthy intestine has a key function for our health.
1. Reduce stress and relax as often as possible.
2. Get enough sleep.
3. Exercise regularly.
4. Enjoy coffee and alcohol in moderation. They have a laxative effect.
5. Drink black tea only in moderation. It can cause constipation.
6. Drink plenty of still water or herbal tea.
7. Avoid highly processed foods and convenience products. Not everyone can tolerate the additives they contain. Natural foods are free of unknown additives.
8. Avoid foods rich in fat, sugar and protein if possible.
9. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. This will relieve the bowel.
10. Eat prebiotic food. Certain plants contain prebiotic fibres which feed the health-promoting bacteria in the intestines and stimulate them to grow: for example, in chicory, bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, black salsify, dandelions and artichokes.
11. Fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi or miso contain good bacteria for our intestines. Enjoy these products as freshly prepared as possible, as the bacteria die off quickly.
12. A high-quality probiotic also supports your intestinal flora, your digestion and your immune system once the intestinal environment is out of balance. If you would like to cleanse your intestines during or after taking medication such as antibiotics, an intestinal cure is particularly recommended. It promotes the formation of the beneficial bacteria.
13. Antibiotics, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics, damage the intestinal flora and can lead to diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation. Especially with colds, the sense of antibiotics is increasingly questioned – also because about 90% of colds are caused by viruses and not bacteria.
14. Prefer foods rich in fibre such as whole grain, oatmeal and linseed. This is good for the intestinal bacteria. In addition, more harmful substances can be excreted.