All-Rounder: Microbiome – 5 Tips For A Healthy Gut Flora

By Naaznin Husein, National Executive Committee Member – Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) – Mumbai Chapter and Founder of Freedom Wellness Management

Intestinal bacteria don’t count as simple digestion aids anymore. The versatility of these bacteria in our digestive tract and their influence on our health is the latest topic in molecular and biomedical research. Scientists nowadays assume that our microbiome – all of our germs, both useful and harmful – embraces a force which can not only influence our immune system, but also our nervous system, in a positive way.

The Secret Domination Of Germs?

There are about thousands of different species of bacteria and probably a multiple different bacteria strains that live in our intestine. Overall, there should be about 100 trillion bacteria cells that populate only one intestine. Their condition is relevant for our health. Our “inhabitants” not only organize a majority of the metabolic process and immune defense, they also have an influence on our mind. To analyze mental disorders, scientists today target our intestine, too. Many civilized diseases like diabetes, overweight, allergies, colon cancer, kidney stones, irritable bowel syndrome, depression or even autism are attributed to an unbalanced intestinal flora.

Support Gut Health

One-sided nutrition, stress and inactivity are some the most important factors that could disturb the digestive system. Those have an active impact on the structure and variety of germs in our intestine and will, sooner or later, affect a balanced nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Read our tips for a healthy and happy gut below, which can be helpful for your counseling.

Tips On Care For A Happy Gut

1. Eat High In Fibre

People that stick to a high-fiber diet have a reduced risk for countless diet-related diseases. As a result of the 1992 study “European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition,” which was conducted by over 500,000 participants, shows that high fiber consumption reduces the risk of colon cancer [1]. The “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung” (DGE) recommends a rich consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products. They recommend 30 grams of fiber per day. The plant-based food components lead to a better feeling of fullness, support our digestion and have a positive influence on our cholesterol, as well as blood glucose levels. But keep in mind that you should not rush your change of diet because your intestine has to get used to your new fibre-rich food.

Quelle [1]: Boffetta, P. (2010): Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).In: (Hrsg.): J Natl Cancer Inst. 102, Nr. 8, 18. Februar 2010, S. 529–537.

2. Fluids Support Your Digestion

Even if there is pertinent advice about the amount of water consumption, your body needs a sufficient amount of water to digest fibres. As a general rule, 1.5 to 2 liters per day should be taken and depending on heat, sporting activity or physical work, you should definitely increase your daily water consumption. The fear of surplus of water by healthy people is unfounded because any surplus of water will be eliminated through our kidneys. People who do competitive sports could counteract a possible shortage of salt due to a high consumption of water by only drinking water according to their sensation of thirst [2].

Quelle [2]: Hew-Butler T, Verbalis JG, Noakes TD.  (2006)  “International Marathon Medical Directors Association.  Updated fluid recommendation: position statement from the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA)”.  Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.  16:283–292.

3. Movement Strengthens Our Intestine

A walk after eating is good for our health. A moderate physical activity of 30 to 60 minutes per day supports our health and helps to stimulate our intestinal activity. Ideal are, for example, endurance sports like running, walking and swimming. Results of an Irish study showed that athletes had a more diverse intestinal flora [3]. People who do physical activities in their everyday life like riding short distances by bike or walking could additionally support their intestines.

Quelle [3]: Clarke SF., et al.: Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity. Gut 2014;63:1913–1920.

4. Lactic Acids Bacteria Can Lead To A Good Gut Feeling

Lactic acid bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are attributed to a positive effect on our intestinal flora. Those sorts of wanted inhabitants of our intestine should help to keep pathogenic germs in check.[4] The amount of those bacteria could be increased by groceries that contain lactic acid bacteria, such as pickled cabbage, but also acidified milk products as plain yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk. These probiotic foods are added with those specific bacteria or yeasts.

Quelle [4]:

5. Bacteria Love Walnuts

Scientists from the LMU in Munich recently revealed a study that shows positive effects of walnuts to the composition and variety of the intestinal flora [5]. Walnuts could demonstrably increase the amount of important digestion bacteria that lead to a healthy intestinal flora. Only 28 grams per day should have a positive effect on your intestinal flora by increasing probiotic and potential butyric acids producing bacteria. Therefore, walnuts are the perfect snack for the meantime or additive to a meal e.g. as a refined topping.

Quelle [5]: Bamberger, C. et al.: A Walnut-Enriched Diet Affects Gut Microbiome in Healthy Caucasian Subjects: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2018 Feb 22;10(2).