The health of our intestinal flora is essential for our immune system. Do you know how to take care of it?
Reading time: 4 minutes
Billions of bacteria naturally inhabit our digestive tract. Without this intestinal microbiota, it would be impossible to live! It is essential for our digestion: it allows the assimilation of certain nutrients, synthesizes vital vitamins, and regulates our weight and the functioning of our immune system. So how can we take care of our intestinal flora?
1. Eat more fiber
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate found in plants, such as pectin or cellulose. Numerous scientific studies have shown that a fiber-rich diet contributes to a greater diversity of gut microbiota. The more prosperous and diverse the microbiota, the better it functions and protects us from certain diseases. Fiber also has the advantage of facilitating intestinal transit: it combats constipation, promotes satiety, and delays the sensation of hunger.
In addition to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes, we can consume fiber and other nutrients through a food supplement based on probiotics.
2. Consume dairy products
Processed dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese from cows, goats, or sheep, contain “good” bacteria that can strengthen the intestinal microbiota. These are bacteria or lactic ferments, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
3. Focus on lacto-fermentation
You can also opt for so-called lacto-fermented products to improve your probiotic intake. These are fruits or vegetables fermented in a salty medium without oxygen, such as sauerkraut, pickles, Korean kimchi, etc., or foods prepared in brine, such as pickles and black olives. There are also beverages based on the same model, such as kefir and kombucha, prepared in a sweet medium. All these preparations have a beneficial effect on the diversity of the intestinal microbiota.
4. Reduce your sugar intake
A sugar-rich diet could unbalance the intestinal microbiota and favor bacteria with a pro-inflammatory action. Daily, you can gradually add less or no sugar to your coffee or tea. And if you like pastries, replace sugar with fruits such as apples or bananas, for example, which provide fiber and nutrients in addition to their sweetening power. Beware of ultra-processed products and pre-cooked dishes, which often contain more sugar than expected. Finally, beware of sweeteners: recent studies have shown that regular consumption of some can unbalance the intestinal microbiota and alter its functioning.
5. Beware of antibiotics
As the name implies, antibiotics attack pathogenic and “good” bacteria in our intestinal microbiota. This explains some of the intestinal discomforts when taking antibiotics. It is, therefore, better to favor local treatments (creams, ovules, etc.) or natural medicine.