The topic of intestinal health is increasingly coming to the fore, yet it is often still shameful to talk about digestion and intestinal flora. Thereby it is so important because our health stands and falls with healthy intestinal flora. In this article you will learn basic knowledge about the intestinal flora, how you can recognize a disturbed intestinal flora, as well as 7 easy-to-use tips for a healthy intestine.
Explanation of the term intestinal flora
The intestinal flora is the totality of all microorganisms in a person’s intestine, which includes all bacteria, germs and fungi – technically known as the microbiome. When we speak of the microbiome, we are referring only to the microorganisms in the small and large intestines. Depending on how the microbiome is composed, our intestinal flora is healthy and in balance, or it is out of balance and disturbed.
Tasks of the intestinal flora
But why is intestinal health so important and essential? Why should we attach so much importance to a well-balanced intestinal flora?
Here I have listed some tasks of the intestinal flora:
- An intact gut flora protects the intestinal mucosa, which determines how well our defenses are set up.
- Thus, a healthy microbiome protects the organism from harmful pathogens and diseases and supports the immune system. Some intestinal bacteria can even neutralize toxic substances.
- The intestinal flora supports digestion and produces short-chain fatty acids from indigestible dietary fiber, which we take in with food.
- In addition, the intestinal flora produces various vitamins such as biotin and folic acid.
- A healthy intestinal flora is associated with the occurrence of mental illness; for example, the happiness hormone serotonin is synthesized in the intestine. Without this hormone, mental illnesses such as depression can occur. In this podcast episode you will learn more about the topic of intestinal health and psyche.
- In addition, the mother’s gut flora determines the health of her unborn child’s microbiome.
The disturbed intestinal flora
As you can see, our gut flora has a huge impact on our physical and mental health. Scientists nowadays believe that the origin of almost all chronic diseases is the gut. There are many symptoms of a disturbed intestinal flora, but a few might be the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea to vomiting
- Deficiency symptoms
Unfortunately, it takes a long time until it is recognized that a disturbed intestinal flora is the cause. This is due to the fact that the symptoms are rather “inconspicuous”. Gut flora out of balance can show up in a number of ways and is not easy to detect, which is why it is so important to take care of ourselves and look after our gut health on a daily basis. These don’t have to be super complicated things. I’ve listed you 7 tips that have helped me personally and are easy to implement in everyday life.
7 tips for intestinal health
This is certainly not the first time you have heard that movement is good for you. You don’t have to go to the gym every day and do 2 hours of sports, it’s the little things that count, like a walk, a round of free dancing, or riding your bike through the park. Every little movement counts and you will boost your metabolism and stimulate your digestion.
2. open communication with friends
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, gut health is often still uncomfortable as a topic of conversation. But it doesn’t have to be. Talk openly with your friend(s) about this topic to feel less ashamed, and thus less stressed about what others think about you.
3. drink water
This tip is probably not new to you either. Drinking 2 to 3 liters of water a day supports the intestinal activity, which means that you promote digestion and detoxification.
4. balanced nutrition
A major influence on our intestinal health is, above all, our diet – “you are what you eat”. To promote gut health, it’s important to include high-fiber foods in your diet. These include fruits, vegetables, nuts, psyllium husks, legumes, and whole grains. Instead of ordering a pizza next time, make it yourself and replace all or part of the wheat flour with whole grain flour and top the pizza with more vegetables. Be especially careful if you are not used to a high-fiber diet and change your diet bit by bit so that you don’t overload the intestines and cause bloating.
In addition to white flour, it is also recommended to reduce sugar consumption for healthy intestinal flora, since sugar, just like white flour, belongs to easily digestible carbohydrates. Intestinal bacteria can decompose quickly, which leads to the fact that these bacteria specialized in carbohydrates multiply very quickly and the number of these bacteria in the intestine becomes excessive. However, a healthy intestinal flora is characterized by the diversity of intestinal bacteria.
To support your body additionally, you can take bacterial strains in the form of food supplements. Find my favorites in my Discount Highlight on Instagram.
5. cancel or reschedule meetings
Instead of forcing yourself to go on dates and meetings, reschedule them or cancel them completely. It’s perfectly okay if you can’t make something. This will also help you avoid stress and protect your gut flora.
6. yoga, breathing exercises & meditation
To avoid or reduce stress, yoga, breathing exercises and meditation can help. By focusing on your breathing, you will be able to relax more easily and quickly.
7. take breaks
One of the most important things we tend to forget, especially in today’s fast-paced world, is that we should take regular time off. Just laying on the couch, relaxing, and doing nothing – probably often more challenging than doing something. But our bodies need these breaks and rest periods because we can’t function and accomplish anything all the time. Give yourself a break every now and then and your gut flora will thank you.
A healthy intestinal flora is essential for a high quality of life, and we all want that in our lives.