Five tricks to maintain the balance of your intestinal flora

We are in time to alleviate Christmas lags and return to healthy life. Gyms do their private August while we load ourselves with willpower to survive the dreaded January cost and live up to our purposes. Right now, everyone is aware of the hottest diets (keto, Whole 30 or intermittent fasting) and the most effective exercises to lose weight. But surely nobody repairs the microbiota, that set of microbes that live inside the human intestine and are essential for the body, commonly called 'intestinal flora'.

How important are this kind of bacteria? First of all, you have to keep in mind that There are almost as many bacteria inside us as cells the human body has. They are responsible for several fundamental bodily functions: from inflammations, to the amount of energy we get from food and our mood. Many investigations ensure that if there is an imbalance in the flora we are at a higher risk of suffering from diseases such as Obesity, diabetes, asthma or even some types of cancer.

Eating a diverse and abundant selection of fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to feed the most beneficial bacteria in our intestines

At present, there is a great debate among doctors and scientists about how we could constitute a healthy community of intestinal microbes, But if there is something clear, it is that human beings need a diverse microbiota with a wide variety of bacterial species. The way we can contribute to a healthy microbiota is by eating two groups of foods: the probiotics (food loaded with bacteria, which will increase the population of the microbiota, such as yogurt and other fermented foods) and prebiotics (which do not contain bacteria but nutrients to increase them, such as the fiber, which our body cannot digest but which bacteria need to survive).

Connie Rogers and Darrel Cockburn, two researchers from Pennsilvania State University, have studied intestinal flora for years, and have thrown a series of conclusions through an informative article in 'The Conversation' where they advise five tricks to maintain a healthy microbiota and thus improve not only your intestinal health, but your quality of life in general.

Eat more fruit and vegetables

Although each and every food can directly influence your gut microbiota, It is the fiber that drives the formation of a healthy microbiome. "Eating a diverse and abundant selection of fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to feed some of the most beneficial bacteria for the health of our intestines," the researchers say.

Add "resistant" starches

Most of the starch we consume, such as the content in white bread, pasta or rice, It breaks down in the intestine and is quickly absorbed. But a fraction of it is more resistant to digestion and therefore acts more like fiber, feeding the bacteria. This has been identified as very beneficial to support all the good functions of the microbiome. "Some sources of resistant starch can be found in potatoes and legumes," Rogers and Clockburn recognize. "They even become more resistant when cooked and then cooled in the refrigerator," they add.

Experiment with different types of fibers

Not all microbiomes are the same, as are not all fibers. You can experiment with supplements that contain fiber or with different categories of the same as for example whole grains or cruciferous vegetables, Like broccoli Then, wait a couple of weeks to see how your intestinal flora responds and if you notice improvement.

do exercise

Physical activity It is not only good for your heart, bones and muscles, but also for your intestine. Recently, several studies have shown that part of the lactate produced during exercise can affect certain intestinal microbes, although it is not yet known how or why. "Start slowly if you are not familiar with physical exertion and gradually incorporate it into your routine," the researchers advise. For example, "if you start in New Year, that for Valentine's Day has already become a more or less stable routine."

Add probiotic foods

Yogurt is one of them, but also the sauerkraut (based on white cabbage fermented with vinegar and spices) or Kimchi (like sauerkraut but in its Asian variant). If you haven't tried any of these dishes yet, it may be a gastronomic incentive for this 2020 that has just started.