The best way to strengthen resistance is to feed your bacterial garden properly


If there is only one type of tree in the forest, one disease or pest alone is enough to endanger the entire forest. The gut is also like an ecosystem where species diversity is for protection.

– Similarly, if the human microbiota is unilateral, the immune system is weak, the nutritionist Leena Putkonen stress.

– Intestinal well-being is the basis of health and is linked to almost all common diseases in the West, from diabetes to depression.

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Body Border Guard

The microbiota acts as a border guard.

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It regulates what enters the body and what exits. If bacteria detect problems, such as potentially carcinogenic cells, they will communicate to the brain what action is needed.

Studies have shown that the brain and communicate with each other. It is estimated that 90 percent of communication takes place from the gut to the brain.

– Intestinal microbes produce compounds that activate the nerves along which information travels to the brain. The intestinal microbiota also affects the brain’s own defense system and thus brain health through various compounds, Putkonen explains.

Sapuska for good bacteria

It is also important for the immune system to protect the intestinal wall and keep it tight. The body’s own cells produce mucus on the inside of the gut, which acts as a buffer between the wall and the contents of the gut.

If the bacteria that live on the surface of the mucus do not get enough fiber for food, they will start eating the mucus.

– As the mucus layer thins, the tightness of the intestine is compromised and the intestine is more susceptible to inflammation and autoimmune diseases, for example.

Diet affects

The foundation of the intestinal microbiota is built during the first three years of life. Birth through the birth canal and breast milk enrich the baby’s bacterial population. If there is a cat or dog in the family, the bacterial population will further diversify.

In adulthood, the most important way to affect the gut microbiota is through diet.

– It is known that food can change the microbiota in a day, for better or worse. And if eating becomes poor quality, the benefits of a healthy diet over a long period of time will evaporate quickly.

Different fiber types enrich

So what should I eat? The growth of good bacteria can be accelerated by a high-fiber diet.

Fiber is obtained only from vegetation: vegetables, berries, fruits, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Different plant products have different fibers. The more diverse the fibers, the more diverse the intestinal bacterial population will develop.

Besides, only a few Finns reach the recommended fiber intake of at least 25–35 grams per day.

– It’s worth thinking about fiber first when eating. In the same package with them come other substances that are good for the intestines and the whole body, such as polyphenols. They are especially found in fruits and berries. Adequate intake of essential omega fatty acids from vegetable oils also complements the polyphenol balance.

Succeeds even with a sensitive stomach

The irritable bowel is soothed by the FODMAP diet, which cuts stomach irritating foods. These include cereals, legumes and some fruits. This, of course, weakens the bacterial population in the gut, but FODMAP is intended to be slavishly monitored for only a short time and has three stages.

  1. In the first step, all FODMAP carbohydrates are pruned from the plate. This phase lasts from a month to three.
  2. After that, the omitted foods are gradually returned to the diet. In this case, identify the foods that cause the most symptoms for yourself.
  3. In the third stage, the goal is to eat flexibly while listening to your own body.

Properly executed, the diet promotes varied eating, as it also increases the tolerance of FODMAP carbohydrates that are temporarily omitted.

A bifido-lactic acid bacterial preparation eaten as a supplement to a reduced diet can also prevent the disappearance of good intestinal bacteria.

Protein is also needed. Only plant-derived sources of protein contain fiber, so sometimes it’s worth throwing tofu in a pan instead of minced meat or sausages.

– Red meat has a clear link to cancer and intestinal inflammation, so it is worth eating it in moderation.

Expert: Leena Putkonen, nutrition therapist.

This article appeared in Good Health. As a subscriber, you can read all numbers free of charge from the digilehdet.fi service.


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