The intestines play a fundamental role in our body. Therefore, taking care of them is important. The intestine, that tube that starts from the stomach and reaches the anus divided into two well-known sections -the thin and the thick-, is an organ of great importance for our health, not only in relation to digestion, but with many other aspects. . It is well known that billions of microorganisms, known as intestinal microbiota , live in it , which influence the way we absorb nutrients from the food we eat, as well as the efficiency with which our immune defenses work, in addition to other such diverse aspects. such as blood pressure, the aging process, and the likelihood of developing anxiety or depression. Therefore, keeping our gut healthy is important not only for digestive health but also for overall physical health and even mental well-being . One way that more and more people are trying to improve their gut health is by taking probiotics and prebiotics . A study reveals that nearly four million American adults regularly take probiotic and prebiotic supplements to help improve their gastrointestinal health. However, while it is true that taking supplements can help, maintaining a healthy diet is much more recommended . For this reason, we have compiled some of the best foods to help keep our intestines in good health.
Yogurt is a naturally fermented food that has probiotic properties One study showed that women who ate a probiotic-rich yogurt for four weeks maintained better gastrointestinal health, digestive comfort, and an overall improvement in quality of life. However, not all types of yogurt are equally healthy. Some of them, as studies show, contain bacteria that are not as healthy as one might expect; others have been produced in such a way that their beneficial properties have been removed. Therefore, a good alternative to yogurt, if we want to make sure that we are taking a beneficial product, is kefir . In this way, we will ensure that they have at least less than one billion colony-forming units (CFU), which will have a positive impact on our intestines.
It is another of the foods that cannot be missing if we want to take care of our intestines. In addition to providing inulin fiber, garlic is also rich in natural prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Some research found that garlic increases the good bifidobacteria in the gut, which helps prevent some gastrointestinal diseases and irregularities . Other foods rich in these elements are leeks, asparagus and onions.
This cereal contains a good amount of beta-glucan prebiotic fiber. According to a study , this fiber helps increase the growth and probiotic benefits of four good strains of lactobacillus. Another study reached similar conclusions regarding bifidobacteria B.
This is one of the foods that is most often associated with a healthy life. And is not for less. Its properties are multiple, and among them we have to take care of our intestinal health. This could be largely due to its pectin content. Pectins, a type of heteropolysaccharide, make up about 50% of the fiber content in an apple. Some research has shown that with them, you can increase the amount of short-chain fatty acids, one of the favorite foods of the good bacteria that inhabit the intestines. In addition to boosting the presence of good bacteria, it can help reduce bad bacteria .
Contrary to the previous one, if something is related to an unhealthy diet today, it is chocolate . A food that is based on cocoa, although with many other ingredients. In fact, the worst repercussions of eating chocolate are not due to cocoa, but, for example, to sugars. On the other hand, cocoa is not a particularly unhealthy food and, even, important health benefits are recognized. This fruit is rich in polyphenol flavanols which, in addition to their heart-healthy properties, also have a prebiotic effect . One study showed that consuming a drink rich in cocoa flavanols significantly increased the good B bifidobacteria and lactobacilli content in the gut while reducing the bad bacteria counts. To obtain the highest yield of flavanol, one of the best options is to choose to consume cocoa beans. Another option is to opt for a dark chocolate with at least 85% cocoa content .
A plant with a pale bulb and long green stems, fennel is used to add flavor to foods. Its fiber content helps prevent constipation and improves regularity in your digestive tract. Furthermore, it also contains an antispasmodic agent that relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. This action can reduce negative digestive symptoms like bloating, flatulence, and cramps, research shows .
This tasty tropical fruit contains a digestive enzyme called papain . Among the various functions it performs in our body, its help to develop the digestive process stands out, since it collaborates in the breakdown of protein fibers. While it is not necessary in your diet, it can aid protein digestion. In addition, this enzyme also helps to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as constipation and bloating. In fact, papain is often found as one of the main ingredients in digestive supplements due to its gastrointestinal abilities.
Beta vulgaris, also known as beetroot, is a species of herbaceous plant in the genus Beta. Among other things, it stands out for being a good source of fiber. About 100 grams of beets can contain around 3 grams of fiber, a significant amount that will help keep our intestines healthy. Ingested fiber goes straight to the colon, digestion, and makes its way to your colon, where it feeds your healthy gut bacteria or adds bulk to your stool, which improves digestion.