How to Improve the Gastrointestinal Flora

The gastrointestinal flora has several functions, such as defending the intestines against infections, helping digest certain foods and making some nutrients and synthesizing vitamins that help the body function properly. The gastrointestinal flora varies according to diet and lifestyle.

The first and most important step to improve the gastrointestinal flora is to avoid eating sugar and processed foods. Sugars serve as food for anaerobic pathogenic bacteria, fungi and yeasts, which, by competition, inhibit the good bacteria. These pathogenic bacteria, fungi and yeasts produce metabolic waste products that cause health deterioration. The best known and studied is the fungus candida albicans, which, most of the population carries it. While candida albicans is a common inhabitant of our bodies, when there is an episode that sweeps away the healthy flora as in case of antibiotic consumption, the fungus Candida grows indiscriminately producing injury when colonizing the intestines and that is the main cause of leaky gut syndrome.

Image: Probiotics help improve the gastrointestinal flora.

When you take a healthy diet, low in sugars and processed foods, you are automatically giving beneficial bacteria the opportunity to flourish, therefore it is advisable to reduce even eliminate processed foods, processed sugar and even grains and fruits high in sugar. You can certainly continue to eat sugar, but not to excess, and is best consume it whole and not in juice. But even with an extremely low sugar diet, there are other factors that influence the gastrointestinal flora balance, tending to increase the pathogens, these include: use of antibiotics, chlorinated water, antibacterial soap, agrochemical, pollution.

Considering the toxins that surround us daily, is a very smart option eating foods rich in beneficial flora such as: organic unpasteurized yogurt (remember that pasteurization kills bacteria, so you can choose to prepare it yourself). Kefir (is a fermented milk drink), kombucha tea, water kefir or coconut water kefir; natto, tempeh, miso (these three are all fermented soy forms), and fermented vegetables. It is important that these foods are not pasteurized. If you have no taste for such foods, you can always choose to purchase a high quality nutritional supplement.

Another smart option to improve gastrointestinal flora is honey and probiotics: honey improves the gastrointestinal flora, and combats constipation. Probiotics: (microorganisms which, when added as a dietary supplement affect beneficially the development of microbial flora in the gut) provide carbon sources specific for probiotic bacteria residents in the intestines and favor the selective proliferation of these bacteria.

I think many people do not like the taste of these foods simply because they didn't grow accustomed to eating them. In parts of the world where its consumption is regular as in Korea for example, fermented foods such as Kimchee are in almost every meal.

So, now that we know how to improve the gastrointestinal flora, instead of accustoming children to sweet foods, we must get them used to eating foods that are good for them and help them form a strong immune system ideal for preventing disease.

Let's improve the gastrointestinal flora of our children, it's in our hands.


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