What is the best diet for a healthy microbiota?
It's difficult to fully appreciate the importance of what we eat and the effects our diet can have on our health. There are two reasons for this:
Firstly, digestion is a process process, and the effects of a particular food on digestion are rarely felt. Of course, you may experience bloating, gas or intestinal pain, but it's hard to pinpoint the culprit and know whether these effects stem from the last meal you ate or the one you ate the day before.
Secondly, the health effects induced by our diet (whether good or bad) can take months or even years to manifest themselves.
Fortunately, thanks to science and discoveries about the workings of the human body, we no longer need to test foods ourselves to find out which ones are good for us.
We can start right away to adopt a healthy eating pattern that promotes the health of our microbiota and consequently our overall health. That's what we're going to look at in this article.
The intestine, our second brain
You've probably heard the phrase: "The gut is our second brain". In fact, the brain is linked to the gut via the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
This complex circuit of neurons, hormones and chemical neurotransmitters not only sends messages to the brain about the state of the gut, but also enables the have a direct impact on the intestinal environment.
In reality, the gut is highly dependent on the brain, but due to its complex function and ability to self-regulate to a large extent, it is referred to as the second brain.
But the reverse is also true: gut microbiota influences serotonin levels which regulates feelings of happiness and works in a similar way to certain anti-anxiety medications. So it's easy to see why a healthy diet is so important to our physical and mental well-being.
Foods to avoid
Let's start with the foods to avoid in order to avoid all the problems associated with a dysfunctional microbiotope.
It may seem obvious, but we can't stress it enough: processed foods and especially ultra-processed foods are particularly bad for our bodies. As well as containing excessive amounts of sugar (which can damage intestinal health), they are often made with low-quality products and filled with chemicals such as colorants and preservatives.
Our digestive system is designed to process and digest natural foods not chemicals. The billions of bacteria that line our intestinal walls are not designed to withstand these products, which will destroy them and lead to complications that can go as far as cancer.
Even when not consumed as an ultra-processed food, sugar is an enemy. Just think: in the United States, while the American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 35g of sugar a day, Americans consume an average of 76g, more than double the amount consumed in the US.1 !
And that's just the average. In addition to causing cardiovascular problems, diabetes and other illnesses, including inflammatory, sugar upsets the balance microbiotics inside the intestine. In fact, it encourages the development of bad bacteria to the detriment of good bacteria (probiotics). So avoid daily desserts and compensate with vegetables.
Depending on the region you live in, you may not have access to a source of natural drinking water close enough. Your tap water may come from a water-cleaning plant. These plants use chemicals, notably chlorine, to purify the water and send it into the circuits. We strongly advise against consuming such water, because the chlorine inside is devastating for your intestinal microbes.
Foods to choose
Let's move on to the foods that will improve your health thanks to their beneficial effects on your intestinal flora. The good news is that there are plenty of them!
Let's start with fiber. As we all know, fiber helps solve transit problems. But how? You guessed it, thanks to its beneficial effect on your microbiota. Foods such as onions, garlic, wheat and other plant foods contain fibers called fructans, which can contribute to intestinal health by providing your intestines with more fiber.
Randomized studies2 have demonstrated the effectiveness of fiber on the intestines, but not only. Effects on diabetes and weight loss have also been noted.
But beware: insoluble fibers, such as cellulose, block your body's enzymes.
Although somewhat forgotten in Europe, fermented foods are still very popular in some countries, notably Asia and Eastern Europe. In France, the most common fermented foods are yoghurt and sauerkraut. You can also try Kefir, Pickles or Kimchi, a fermented vegetable blend from Korea.
Foods rich in glutamine
Try to include in your diet foods containing glutamine, an amino acid that helps restore the intestinal barrier. Glutamine is found in fish, eggs and vegetables. dairy products.
Oils and legumes
Don't hesitate to enjoy a snack of seeds and nuts such as cashew nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or sesame seeds. Omega-3-rich rapeseed, walnut and olive oils are extremely beneficial to the health of your digestive tract. A green salad with walnuts and a little olive oil can be a healthy, light and tasty dinner!
What else you can do
If you'd like to put the odds in your favorfood supplements can be a healthy, natural and effective addition to a varied and balanced diet.
With its 25 billion bacteria from two strains (Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis), Beocin is a supplement that helps prevent intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, excessive bloating and gas, and transit disorders, which are typical of microbiological imbalance.
Gluten- and lactose-freeIt's suitable for most diets, and you'll quickly feel its beneficial effects on your body.