Strengthening the intestinal flora for gastrointestinal complaints
Our intestinal flora is home to up to 100 trillion different bacteria. If this sensitive system becomes unbalanced, unpleasant gastrointestinal complaints can be the result. However, the disturbed balance does not only affect digestion, but also the immune system. Good reasons to take a closer look at our digestive system.
Regular gastrointestinal complaints?
If you hardly have any flatulence and have a bowel movement no more than three times a day, you are blessed with good digestion. Of course, digestive problems can still occur from time to time: for example, if you eat something spoiled or incompatible or if the autonomic nervous system upsets the body in stressful situations.
However, many people are permanently affected by gastrointestinal complaints: 20 percent of Germans suffer from constipation, 15 percent from chronic diarrhoea and 10 percent from the so-called irritable bowel syndrome. But why does the intestine constantly sound the alarm in this way? One possible reason is a disturbed intestinal flora.
The task of our intestinal flora
About 85 percent of a healthy intestinal flora is colonised by good bacteria. They support the body's own defence mechanisms and produce important amino acids and vitamins.
If this sensitive balance is disturbed and the number of harmful bacteria increases, the immune defence processes no longer function smoothly. Increased infections, inflammatory processes and gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhoea and constipation can be the result.
What are the causes of a disturbed intestinal balance?
Changes in bacterial colonisation, known by doctors as dysbiosis, have many causes. The good news is that some of them can be actively influenced. Here is a selection of the most common reasons for disturbed intestinal flora:
- Poor dietary habits
- Contact with environmental toxins
- Cigarette consumption
- Taking antibiotics or other medications
Why are probiotics so important for gut health?
With an intestine-friendly diet, you contribute daily to the intestinal flora regaining its balance. You should avoid sugar, alcohol and convenience products. On the other hand, plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, prebiotics, i.e. certain dietary fibres that are found in cereals, onions and bananas, for example, as well as sour milk products promote the right bacterial balance. This also applies to resistant starch, which is found in cooled potatoes, lentils and oatmeal, for example.
Probiotics are particularly beneficial for intestinal health. These are living microorganisms that have a favourable effect on metabolic processes. They are produced during fermentation, i.e. the fermentation of food. They can be found, for example, in sauerkraut, yoghurt and apple cider vinegar. They are also always at hand in capsule, tablet and powder form.
Tip for taking antibiotics: According to the latest findings, probiotics are beneficial for rebuilding the intestinal flora both during and after taking antibiotics.
How to strengthen your intestinal flora in the long term
Consider gastrointestinal complaints and frequent infections as warning signals from your body: It is time to sustainably promote your intestinal health. A healthy lifestyle is an important step. Make sure you eat a balanced diet rich in prebiotic foods and probiotics.
Gut health - an important issue
Antibiotics, stress and a poor diet throw the gut out of balance. One in 6 people in Germany is affected by digestive problems. The good news is that the solution lies in the intestine itself!
Hardly any organ has been underestimated as long as the intestine. In other cultures, the intestine has been regarded for centuries as the "honoured centre" or "centre of physical and mental strength". In this country, it is often still considered a purely digestive organ. Flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation are taboo subjects, even an unformed bowel movement is often accepted for years. As a result, 20 % of the population suffers from constipation, about 15 % from chronic diarrhoea and about 10 % from irritable bowel syndrome. And this is because we do not feed our intestinal bacteria properly.
It is known that the bacteria living in the intestine not only do a lot of work in healthy digestion. They also protect people from diseases and strengthen the immune system. The intestinal bacteria help decide whether we get neurodermatitis, develop an inflammatory bowel disease or cannot tolerate food. But how do we make use of this knowledge? The intestinal bacteria eat what we provide. Find out how you can use probiotics and other tips to specifically grow important groups of bacteria and bring your intestines into a healthy state.