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Intestinal health: living more consciously and healthier
Around 100 trillion bacteria live in the intestine. According to scientific findings, this intestinal flora has an influence on the immune system. You could also say that healthy gut flora is a key to overall health. However, for a number of reasons, the composition of the gut flora can get out of balance which can lead to various symptoms and even diseases. The BIOMES gut health guide explains how diet and lifestyle affect the gut flora and how you can ensure a balanced microbiome.
Definition of gut health
Most bacteria in the human body are found in the intestine, or more precisely in the colon. Up to 1,800 bacterial genera are found on the intestinal mucosa of adults. A distinction is made between beneficial and harmful types of bacteria. In a healthy intestine, beneficial bacteria are dominant with around 85% compared to potentially harmful ones with 15%.
The intestinal flora, also called the microbiome, has several functions:
- breakdown of indigestible food components
- support vitamin and mineral absorption
- production of enzymes and amino acids
- production of short-chain, energy-rich fatty acids from dietary fibre
- degradation of carbohydrates, sugars and protein
- acidifying the intestinal environment to keep out harmful gut microbes
Intestinal bacteria help to extract important nutrients from food, provide you with enough energy and fight off pathogens. If there is an imbalance in the gut, the bacteria cannot do their job, harmful bacteria take over and weaken your immune system. Poor gut health manifests itself in various physical and psychological symptoms that you should not ignore.
What are the symptoms of a weakened intestine?
Poor intestinal health is a problem with many faces. If the intestines can no longer absorb important vitamins, vital substances and trace elements, you will lack nutrients and your immune system will be weakened. TIf the gut doesn’t work right a multitude of symptoms can arise which are sometimes hard to interpret. The main symptoms include:
Flatulence or bloating · Acute or chronic abdominal pain · Constipation or diarrhoea · Nausea or vomiting · Loss of appetite · Food intolerances · Irritable bowel or stomach
A healthy gut is the foundation for physical and mental health. Therefore, pay attention to your body’s signals. Bloating, constipation and diarrhoea can be signs that something is wrong with your gut.
Articles on a gut-healthy diet have many starting points and cover different ways of nutrition, such as vegan or vegetarian, but also special diets, such as low FODMAP. Discover the possibilities of a gut-healthy diet in our articles.
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Gut health and mental health
Gut health and mental health are also closely related. Emotions literally hit the stomach (or gut). They can cause digestive problems and possibly lead to a “nervous gut”. Stress and depression can either be the result of a diseased intestine or influence intestinal health – or both! Although the connections are not fully understood, scientific studies show a clear interaction between gut and mental health. However, it is still not certain whether an imbalanced gut flora affects our mood or whether the emotional state leads to an irritable gut, constipation and diarrhoea. One thing is certain: The “gut-brain axis” does exist and our digestive system is rightly called the “second brain”
Promoting gut health with the right diet
A healthy gut needs the right nutrition. It is important to eat a balanced diet and pay attention to the signals from the stomach and gut. Food intolerances quickly become noticeable through abdominal pain, flatulence or diarrhoea. However, if you do not know how to interpret the symptoms, you will not be able to alleviate them. So pay attention to a conscious diet and listen to your gut. Especially after illness, an adapted diet can help to strength the affected intestinal flora.
The fundamental pillars of a diet that promotes intestinal health include:
- Dietary fibre
- Lactic acid bacteria
- 1.5 litres of water daily
In addition to the choice of food, your eating behaviour is also important. Make sure you eat calmly and without stress and follow these rules:
Give yourself time to eat · Eat slowly and calmly · Chew thoroughly
A balanced intestinal flora alleviates intestinal complaints
To restore the intestinal flora, a precise analysis of the causes of the imbalance is necessary. With INTEST.pro, BIOMES brings the first complete intestinal flora analysis to the market, which contains individual recommendations for increasing health, well-being and quality of life.
INTEST.pro is a self-test used to collect a stool sample in a private environment, which determines the microbial composition, i.e. the number and ratio of all intestinal bacteria.
The balance of the intestinal flora can be supported by taking probiotics or probiotic foods. You can find more information about this on our info page on probiotics.