Medical research in recent years has brought to light an interesting fact: our bowel plays a much bigger role for our health than we thought it would be, not only in terms of food intake and the processing of nutrients. After all, a healthy intestine also has a big influence on our immune system and even on our emotions. Reason enough for us to take a look at measures with which you can promote intestinal health.
That's why intestinal bacteria are so important for intestinal health.
Many people still associate bacteria with something negative and believe that without exception, all bacteria are harmful. If just these people knew that an average person consists of a collection of about 1.5 kilograms of bacteria, they would probably turn their stomach. These bacteria, which come from a total of 400-500 species, are anything but harmful to us.
Most of these bacteria live in our intestines and are essential to our lives. Also known as intestinal flora, they perform many important tasks, such as breaking down food components. Without our intestinal flora, we could only absorb a fraction of nutrients. In addition, „good“ bacteria prevent potentially harmful bacteria from proliferating uncontrollably in the intestine.
That's why it's important that we keep our intestinal flora in balance at all times, so it's all the more important to restore a damaged intestinal flora after antibiotic treatment. After all, the active ingredients hardly make an exception between „beneficial“ and „harmful“ bacteria. Before we tell you what to do, however, you first need to recognize the symptoms of a disturbed intestinal flora.
These symptoms indicate a disturbed intestinal flora.
The diet of many people is now anything but conducive to a healthy intestine. Mostly the sugar content is too high and the amount of dietary fibre is too low. In addition, there is a lack of healthy essential fatty acids from fatty sea fish or seeds. In return, salt consumption reaches one high after the other, which leads to an imbalance in the intestinal flora.
And this imbalance improves the conditions for the growth of harmful bacteria, which visibly pump our organism full of toxins. You can tell from various symptoms that something is not right in the intestine.
The more of the following signs appear, the more likely it is that your intestinal flora is out of balance.
- You've got more allergies or fungal infections to deal with.
- Digestive problems such as diarrhoea, flatulence, heartburn, bad breath or irritable bowel syndrome can occur.
- You often feel a craving for sweet food.
- You've been more prone to infections like colds lately.
- Problems such as hives, acne, eczema or psoriasis appear on your skin.
- It comes to a weight gain that you cannot explain to yourself in any other way.
Promote your intestinal health with probiotics
The most important measure for maintaining or restoring a healthy intestine are so-called probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help rebuild the intestinal flora, keep harmful bacteria in check and optimise a number of metabolic processes. Studies also show that the intake of probiotics reduces diarrhoea caused by antibiotic therapy by up to 42 percent.
Probiotics regulate your state of mind and help against infections
According to Professor John Cryan of the University of Cork, the probiotic Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, which is believed to communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve, is of particular interest. Based on these findings, a similar effect is obvious in humans. This aspect is interesting, for example, against the background of the development of therapies with which mental illnesses can be treated via the intestine.
Some studies also prove the positive influence of probiotics on the immune system. According to a Chinese study, the risk of upper respiratory tract infection is reduced by up to 12 percent.
How to record probiotics
You can take probiotics either through special dietary supplements or fermented foods containing probiotics. Ideal sources for the daily portion of probiotics are yoghurt, kefir, buttermilk, pickled vegetables such as sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha tea. However, for probiotics to thrive properly in your intestines, they also need food. This is where the so-called prebiotics come into play, with which you feed the useful bacteria. You achieve this with fibre.
Ensure a sufficient supply of dietary fibre
A sufficient dietary fibre intake creates an ideal growth environment for your intestinal bacteria. Make sure that the dietary fibre intake is varied. In addition to whole grain products, you should also focus on fruit and vegetables as well as linseed and psyllium seeds. The recommendation for fibre consumption is at least 25 grams per day. In addition, the foods contain secondary plant substances, which our organism also urgently needs.
Chew all food thoroughly
A very simple way to relieve the strain on the intestines is to chew thoroughly. On the one hand, you chew the food into the finest possible porridge, which reduces the time you spend in the stomach and makes it easier for the bacteria to digest. However, digestion also begins when you chew in the mouth through the digestive enzymes in the saliva. Food that is already a little pre-digested in this way does less work for the intestines in general than food that you simply gulp down.
Take enough liquid to you
In order for the intestine to work properly, it needs sufficient liquid to ensure that the food remains soft and that the fibre can swell up. The mandatory recommendation of 1.5-2 litres per day should be the absolute minimum. Better still is a guideline value of 1 litre of water per 20 kilograms body weight. This applies especially to heat and athletes.
Attention: Alcoholic beverages are of course not part of the fluid balance, as alcohol additionally withdraws water from the intestine.
Movement stimulates intestinal activity
People who sit a lot and for a long time often have problems with their digestion. This is because the external stimulus for increased activity is the intestinal stimulus. The classic digestive walk has its sense and is better than throwing yourself directly on the couch. In general, regular endurance sports also stimulate intestinal activity. Whether you walk, cycle or hike, it doesn't matter at all – The main thing is that you move sufficiently. You can also support your digestion with a simple abdominal massage. Lay down the stomach to support your digestion. Lay the couch on the floor.
Nutrition routines are good for the intestines
Regulated processes are enormously important for our organism. How important you already notice in the importance of a regular sleep rhythm on your physical and mental performance. What applies to the head also applies to the intestines. With rituals you can educate your intestines and thus contribute to their health. So try to eat regularly and preferably at similar times. This way the digestion does not get confused.
Also plan routines such as the morning toilet after breakfast and take enough time to do so. Speaking of time: Listen to your bowel when it signals that it wants to get rid of something – at least when the location allows it. If you keep the bowel movement in your bowel for too long, you will interfere with the work of the digestive organ. In addition, the stool tends to dry out and harden in this context, which makes later elimination painful.
Avoid negative stress
Stress is generally nothing negative, but negative stress is. And that applies not only to mental hygiene and your performance, but also to your digestive tract. After all, permanent, negative stress damages the intestines, especially as there are over 100 million nerve cells and several hormones are formed. Often our body reacts to stress with nausea, digestive problems, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation.
So try to reduce the stress level in everyday life. Sufficient sleep is an important starting point here, especially as sleep deprivation is a widespread stress factor. A good 6-8 hours per night should be enough in any case. By the way, overtraining also causes negative stress, so give your body the 48-72 hours of recovery it needs after training before you load the same structures again.
A toilet stool supports intestinal health
Squatting is better than sitting, at least that is the case with bowel movements. This insight is also becoming more and more accepted in medicine. The upright posture on the toilet seat, which is common in the West, is therefore anything but optimal for the intestine. This unfavourable angle causes the bowel to be pinched by the loop-shaped sphincter muscle. As a result, the bowel can often only be emptied properly by strong pressure.
This is not only unpleasant, but also increases the risk of developing constipation, haemorrhoids or anal fistulas. The solution to the problem is a toilet stool. With this simple aid, you can position your feet much higher, resulting in a natural crouching position at a 35-degree angle when seated. This way, the intestine can be completely emptied without much pressing.
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