10 tricks to take care of your intestinal microbiota
Microbiota, intestinal flora, probiotics, prebiotics... they are all essential for your overall health!
Microbiota, intestinal flora, intestinal microbiota, probiotics, prebiotics... They are all essential for your overall health. If you want to know how to take care of your digestive system and therefore how to keep your intestinal flora in shape, you have come to the right article. We are going to break down all these terms so that you can incorporate them into your life very easily.
Did you know that trillions of live microbes reside in your intestines? Do not panic. They are small and may not give you much confidence at first, but we have to tell you that they greatly help you to have optimal health. Among others, they are capable of controlling your mood by producing such important neurotransmitters as serotonin and dopamine. It is important that your microbiota, also known as intestinal flora, is diverse and balanced. Your digestive system and your immunity will benefit.
What can you do to have a healthy and happy intestinal microbiota?
Continue reading. If you have come this far looking for how to take care of your intestinal microbiota, we suggest 10 steps that you can include in your day to day life to achieve it:
1| Vegetables are your friends (and those of your flora). Prioritize the green leafy ones: lettuce, spinach... and also artichokes, asparagus, broccoli and onion... They have a lot of fiber that is not digested by us, humans, but that loves the good bacteria that inhabit our bowels.
We already see them dancing to the rhythm of a good green side dish!
2| Say goodbye to processed foods and sugar. Fast-digesting sugars (monosaccharides) are digested too quickly for gut bacteria to take advantage of them. If you regularly consume a lot of simple sugars, your microbiota may starve to death from lack of fuel. Starved bacteria will resort to eating away at the lining of the intestines, causing inflammation.
Complex sugars are on the other side of the scale: they will make your flora happy and healthy at the same time. This group includes bananas, apples, red fruits, mangoes, sweet potatoes and potatoes, legumes and coconut flour, for example. Be very careful with nut creams, protein bars... They are hidden sources of monosaccharides!
3| Probiotics, those great friends. Full of live bacteria, probiotics will help you have a varied microbiota. You can contribute them to your day to day life through supplements and also through probiotic foods. Remember to ask your health professional which ones are most appropriate for your condition, in case you choose to take them as a supplement. Not everyone is good for everything or for everyone.
4| Avoid antibiotics. On the other side of the scale are antibiotics. They certainly heal a lot of infections, but they're not picky. Thus, they are fantastic for curing diseases, but they are fatal for your microbiota. We suggest that when you buy meat products, look for those that have not been raised with antibiotics, to begin with.
If you inevitably must take them to kill pathogenic bacteria, don't hesitate to take a probiotic during or after treatment to help replenish your gut bacteria.
5| Prebiotics? Yes please! Literally, prebiotics are food for your microbiota. As this is crucial for your good vibes, for your digestion to be perfect or for your immunity to go full steam, it is better to take care of it, don't you think? Always have in your pantry: whole grains, root vegetables and leafy vegetables, apples, bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus, nuts, seeds, green tea, peas and lentils... and you will be well served. You can expand this information in this article on our blog. If you cook and then chill complex carbohydrates from tubers like potatoes or sweet potatoes, you'll get resistant starch. This starch is one of the preferred foods of bacteria. Quite a treasure. So, now you know, if you have a leftover potato omelette, store it in the fridge and have it for breakfast without heating it (or heating it very little) to take advantage of the benefits of resistant starch.
6| A real gem: fermented foods. It is the easiest way to add probiotics to your daily life. Surely you have incorporated many of them, without knowing it, into your life. Yogurt, unpasteurized cheese, miso, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, olives, kefir… and kombucha, of course. A change has been said. The possibilities are almost endless. In this article, we tell you about the 18 fermented foods that you can easily incorporate into your daily life. We are sure that you will love reading it and, above all, putting into practice the advice it summarizes.
In this other blog post, we explain how to make probiotic foods from scratch, using only real ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. You will be surprised how easy it is to make them and how delicious they can be!
7| Be careful with the meat you eat. It is good that you have red meat in your diet, but be careful when choosing it: grass feed and antibiotics free. Do not forget: a diverse flora is ensured by the consumption of different food sources: animal protein, fruit and vegetables.
8| Sleeping well is crucial. Respect your circadian rhythms. If you don't sleep properly, some studies show, you're doing your microbiota a disservice and you're more likely to have inflammatory diseases. Ideally, get 8 hours of sleep at night. Don't expose yourself to screens or blue light of any kind before bed. Try to eat 3-4 hours before going to bed.
9| Move please. Diet and rest are just as important as exercise. If you are active, your microbiota will appreciate it and you will be healthier. By walking 30 minutes a day you will already be having a positive impact on your intestinal health. Go down a subway stop earlier, park the car a little further away, go up stairs, load your shopping bags...
10| Find time for yourself. Stress negatively influences your health. Also in your intestines. Find time for yourself. It is a great investment. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, tai chi... they are all good ideas to find balance and reduce stress. In the background is a fish that is biting its tail. Being calm benefits your microbiota and a healthy microbiota will help you better manage stress.
Microbiota and health
Intestinal microbiota and obesity
Several studies link imbalances in the intestinal microbiota, or dysbiosis, with obesity and metabolic disorders associated with it, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, in obese individuals, the origin of the problem is found in an intestinal imbalance of microorganisms belonging to the two great families of intestinal bacteria: firmicutes and bacteroidetes.
The work to modulate the composition of the flora is associated with weight loss and it is on this objective that efforts should be focused: probiotics, prebiotics, real food, rest, stress control and movement can be key. Kombucha can also help you lose weight.
Intestinal microbiota and immune system
The microbiota plays a vital role in defending the body against potentially harmful external agents, coming from the diet, but also from the environment or from toxins around us (medicines, heavy metals, etc.). To these, our flora is exposed first, then recognizes and, from there, promotes the production of mediators and the generation of responses to maintain immune intestinal homeostasis.
This exposure begins even before birth, in the mother's womb, when the fetus already encounters bacteria from its mother's flora through the amniotic fluid and in the placenta. Bacterial colonization continues at birth and during infancy.
Daily and continuous exposure, throughout our lives, will train our intestinal flora to be prepared against any external attack and, therefore, remain perfectly balanced. As with everything, success lies in practice.
Gut microbiota and mood
The connection between the brain and the digestive system, also known as the second brain (among others, it has more neurons than the spine) is indisputable. Source of research on different fronts in recent years, this symbiotic relationship is clearly influenced by the type of diet that we carry out, which can modify the endogenous production of serotonin or dopamine. Some crucial neurotransmitters to have an excellent state of mind.
With a diverse and healthy intestinal flora, a good mood is guaranteed. It's not a joke: a piece of dark chocolate and a bit of kombucha can help you see life in a different color ;)
The intestinal microbiota is an incredible ecosystem and its care must be prioritized to enjoy health.
What is the intestinal flora or microbiota? It is the set of bacteria that inhabit our intestine and that coexist in a symbiotic relationship. The vast majority of these bacteria are beneficial to health and contribute to functions as important as digestion or immunity.
In a 70-kilogram individual, the intestinal microbiota weighs around 2 kg and is made up of about 100 billion microorganisms. There are 150 to 200 times more genes in an individual's microbiota than in all of their cells.
A healthy microbiota has a great richness and diversity of species; it has the ability to resist disturbances such as unbalanced diets or antibiotic treatments and has a wealth of intestinal genes indicative of good intestinal and metabolic health.
What can you do to take care of your microbiota? Since the microbiota is involved in a wide number of processes in the body, from the digestion of food to our psyche, it is important to take proper care of it. Among others, you should bet on the consumption of foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics; avoid processed and simple sugars; minimize medication with antibiotics and, if you have to use it, recompose the flora with probiotics appropriate to our needs; respect circadian rhythms, exercise regularly and control stress levels.