Why Is Building Healthy Gut Flora So Important Anyway?
Poor gut flora with harmful organisms has been linked to numerous health problems – including autism, obesity, diabetes, allergies, autoimmune diseases, depression, cancer, heart disease, connective tissue weaknesses, eczema, and asthma.
The number of demonstrable links established between chronic diseases and poorly balanced gut flora is growing every day.
A healthy gut should mean more to you than the annoyance of a little gas or heartburn. That’s because it’s central to your overall health and is connected to all the processes that take place in your body. That’s why many naturopaths already always address the intestines or the development of healthy intestinal flora first when treating chronic health problems. This is often done with the help of probiotics as well as a change in diet.
To understand the importance of good intestinal health, consider that there are 500 species of bacteria in your intestine, with a total weight of 3.3 pounds. That’s billions of microorganisms that together have 100 times more genes than you do. Your 20,000 genes are up against 2,000,000 (or more) bacterial genes.
- What Are The Tasks Of The Gut Flora?
- How Can You Build Up The Intestinal Flora?
- The Right Diet Is Crucial
- What Are The Right Fats For A Healthy Intestinal Flora?
- 9 Tips For Reset Gut Flora
- Your Gut Microbiome: The Most Important Organ You’ve Never Heard Of – Video
- How To Reset Your Gut Health? – FAQ
Basically, your gut or intestinal flora is a giant chemical factory that helps digest food, produce vitamins, regulate hormone balance, eliminate toxins, produce healing substances, and in the process keep your digestive system healthy.
Gut health could be defined as optimal digestion, absorption, and further processing of food.
For this to work, probiotics (strains of bacteria in the gut) are especially important.
But this is a challenging task, and its success depends on many factors. For example, the bacteria in your gut are similar to a rainforest – a diverse, independent ecosystem. They need to be in balance to keep you healthy. Too many “wrong” bacteria (such as parasites or yeast fungi) or not enough “good” probiotic bacteria (such as lactic acid bacteria or bifidobacteria) can lead to serious damage to your health.
Nutrition: the right ratio of omega 3 to omega 6
Even obesity is due to changes in your digestive ecosystem caused by eating pro-inflammatory omega 6 and not enough omega 3 fatty acids. “Bad” bacteria, in turn, produce toxins called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that can trigger inflammation, insulin resistance, or precursors to diabetes, leading to weight gain.
Probiotics after antibiotics
Especially after taking antibiotics for a long time, building up the intestinal flora is particularly important. This is because the antibiotic kills not only diseased, but also healthy bacteria in the intestine. These bacterial strains must first be rebuilt in order to establish a healthy balance of intestinal flora. Without proper support, such as a proper diet or taking probiotics, this can take up to several weeks or even months.
Get enough sleep and reduce stress
Lack of sleep and constant stress also contribute to gut imbalance. This is because your gut flora actually listens to and is influenced by your thoughts and feelings, so to speak. So make sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep every night, and also remember to actively do something about stress every day.
Optimal balance and building healthy gut flora start with your diet, which has a direct influence on it.
Ideally, you should consume sufficient fiber, healthy proteins, and healthy fats.
The latter – such as omega 3 and monosaturated fats, such as pure olive oil, avocados, and almonds – promote healthy gut flora, while pro-inflammatory fats such as omega 6 vegetable oils accelerate the growth of “bad” bacteria that cause weight gain and inflammation.
Be sure to include both probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet
Probiotics are health-promoting bacteria in our gut that support digestion, primarily by cleansing the intestines and ensuring that the digestive process runs smoothly. Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and miso. Sour cucumbers, as well as apple cider vinegar, also contain probiotics.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are dietary fibers (indigestible plant fibers) that serve as food, so to speak, for the probiotic intestinal bacteria, thus ensuring their normal functioning and supporting digestion. Prebiotic foods include chicory, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, artichokes, parsnips, dandelion root, leeks, onions, as well as salsify.
What matters is what kind of fats you eat!
In fact, most of these studies focus on a diet high in pro-inflammatory, refined omega 6 vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil, canola oil, or soybean oil.
Refined vegetable oils rich in omega 6 fatty acids should be avoided to build healthy gut flora, as they fall into the category of “bad fats.” Although most of us have been convinced by the food industry or even governments that vegetable oils are safe and a heart-health-promoting alternative to saturated fats, we now know better.
To help you better distinguish healthy fats from bad fats, here’s a closer look at the topic:
For the development of healthy intestinal flora, avoid fats from rapeseed, soybean, and germ oils
Polyunsaturated fats from sunflower, soybean, canola and other germ oils are pro-inflammatory. Avoid them if you want to do something for your health and especially for your gut flora.
Even if you consume omega 3 fatty acids along with these pro-inflammatory oils, you will not derive any health benefits from them.
For almost all of human history, we consumed proportionately far more omega 3 fats than omega 6 fats. Food derived from wild animals such as pasture-raised beef or fresh-caught fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, but this type of diet no longer plays a major role. Unfortunately, factory-farmed animals, whose products make up a significant part of our modern diet, contain virtually no omega-3 fatty acids.
The large amounts of omega 6 fats in our diets make us more susceptible to heart disease, diabetic obesity, and cancer. Studies also link high omega 6 consumption to depression, suicide, and other serious health problems related to inflammation.
To counter these issues and stay as healthy as possible, replace destructive omega 6 fats with healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocados, butter from pasture-raised cows, omega 3-containing fish, and high-quality olive oil.
Wrong fats increase the risk of inflammation, promote the growth of harmful bacteria, and make weight loss more difficult. Proper fats reduce the risk of inflammation and help with weight loss.
The best way to keep your “inner garden” healthy and your gut bacteria happy is to eat healthily.
Below, we reveal 9 ways to build healthy gut flora with just the next bite:
Tip 1: Eat pure, unprocessed foods
Eat pure, unprocessed, unrefined foods. One of the best practices for good gut health is to cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates in favor of more gut-supporting fiber.
Tip 2: Vegetables
75% of your meals should consist of vegetables and plant-based foods. Your gut bacteria love this, if only for the fiber.
Tip 3: High-quality fats and oils
If possible, eat only “good” fats and also do an “oil change”. The “good” fats we mentioned (like omega 3 and monosaturated fats, such as pure olive oil) will help you avoid inflammation and give your healthy gut bacteria a chance to thrive.
Tip 4: Choose your supplements carefully
Choose your supplements carefully. Studies have found that omega 3 supplements can contribute to healthy gut flora, among numerous other benefits (for example, a reduction in inflammation). That’s why – if you don’t regularly eat wild-caught, oily fish – you should take essential fatty acids as a dietary supplement.
Tip 5: Probiotics
The same goes for probiotics. These, too, help prevent intestinal inflammation and support the growth of healthy bacteria. Probiotics are therefore extremely helpful for intestinal cleansing as well as for building healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics (capsules) that provide not just one or two strains of bacteria but several are best.
Tip 6: Coconut
Add more coconut products, especially coconut oil and coconut butter. Studies show that the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) they contain have anti-inflammatory and weight-loss properties.
Tip 7: Cut out “bad” fats
Skip “bad” pro-inflammatory fats like omega 6 vegetable oils (margarine, sunflower oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, etc.). Replace them with high-quality olive oil and coconut oil.
Tip 8: Fiber
Eat plenty of fiber. Nuts, seeds and a special fiber called glucomannan provide you with probiotics and nourish your healthy gut bacteria.
Tip 9: Fermented foods
Eat fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contain high levels of probiotics that support your gut bacteria to help build healthy gut flora.
These recommendations are not miracle cures. They are actions that lead to normal gut function and healthy gut flora – by eating sensibly, increasing fiber, consuming probiotics daily, using nutrients that repair the gut lining, and reducing “bad” bacteria with the help of herbs or medications.
Yes, pro-inflammatory fats will most definitely damage your gut flora. But the right fats, including omega 3 and olive oil, are extremely important for building healthy gut flora because, when combined with natural foods, they can restore your gut and increase the number of “good” bacteria.
Building up intestinal flora and becoming healthy takes time and the right methods. With the options presented here and possibly a consultation on the subject of building up or rehabilitating intestinal flora, you will be able to successfully master the natural build-up of your intestinal flora in a manageable period of time.
This is because the immune system always benefits from a build-up of intestinal flora.
Above all, use the easy-to-implement tips to lay the right foundation for rehabilitating your intestinal flora (e.g. after taking antibiotics) with simple means such as nutrition or products from the pharmacy.
Your Gut Microbiome: The Most Important Organ You’ve Never Heard Of - Video
How To Reset Your Gut Health? - FAQ
A short-term disturbed intestinal flora, for example after taking antibiotics, can be manifested by various symptoms. The most common are problems in the digestive tract, for example diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, abdominal pain, cramps, or nausea.
Cereal products, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts, in turn, are rich in fiber and are therefore among the good foods for intestinal flora. Among the top suppliers are flaxseed, psyllium, and chia seeds.
Eat a varied diet, with plenty of fruit and lots of vegetables. Drink enough mineral water or unsweetened teas – at least 1.5 liters per day. Exercise is also healthy for the intestines – regular exercise improves digestion.