The large intestine and colon contains millions of bacteria with viruses, fungi and cells in perfect balanced coexistence called “Microbioma”.
The alteration of this balance has more or less serious consequences for health and each time more researchers and doctors consider that their imbalance (Disbacteriosis or intestinal dysbiosis) is the origin of numerous diseases like Asthma, Allergies, Diverticulitis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Childhood Eczema, Obesity, Diarrhea, Constipation, Hypertension, Autoimmune Diseases, Diabetes to Cancer.
- Probiotics are responsible for maintaining that balance and are defined as living microorganisms (bacteria) with beneficial properties. We have millions of probiotic bacteria being the best know Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. Together they constitute the intestinal flora.
- The prebiotics with nondigestible carbohydrates rich in fiber and that when fermenting in the intestine stimulate the growth of the probióticos that aid to the digestion and eliminate pathogenic microorganisms.
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) from fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts.l
Galactooligosaccharides from animal and maternal milk.
Breast milk contains 200 different types and animal milk contains only 10 and different molecular structure, the body does not recognize them as their own being one of the causes of allergies, colic, bronchitis, diarrhea and eczemas in children.
Numerous studies have shown that the intestinal flora of babies fed with breast milk is different from those who did with formula because they suffered from numerous diarrhea, vomiting and eczemas.
The baby is born without intestinal flora obtained from the mother in the birth canal and breast milk in the first months, and is of such importance that to the point that can condition your health in the future. Hence, the importance of breastfeeding as the foundation of a healthy and happy baby.
Maternal milks made from cow’s milk to which FOS of vegetable origin is added will never be a substitute for breast milk.
Functions of the intestinal flora:
- They help recalibrate the immune system: 80 % of the immune system is in the digestive tract and is key to the general well-being.
- They positively impact mood and brain function.
- They help maintain urinary tract health and vaginal health (in girls) by helping to maintain healthy populations of bacteria.
- Intestinal barrier of germs and toxic junk foods (processed, refined sugars) preventing them from reaching the bloodstream.
- Synthesis of Vitamins B and K2.
- Reduction of cholesterol and Obesity by regulating the absorption of fats.
- Decreased risk of colon cancer.
How is our intestinal flora affected?
- Foods contaminated with germs, preservatives, agricultural pesticides, transgenic, excess refined sugars.
- Excesso of antacids, antibiotics, chemotherapy.
- Packed with toxic plastics of water and food (Biphenols, PCBS, Styrofoam, Foil).
- Food cooked at high temperatures (more than 120º C) in the oven, ember, microwave, fried.
- Excess electromagnetic radiation (mobile, wifi, appliances, radiotherapy, scanner).
How to keep the intestinal flora healthy?
We are submerged in a sea of toxins from food, environmental pollution, stress, ignorance on how to improve health, lack of responsibility in maintaining it reinforced by exorbitant marketing to consume with the sole interest of making monetary benefits.
I believe that it is never too late to take the reins of our health, since, although we have a health budget of 40% of GDP, we are sicker than ever because the land (our organism) is not well cultivated or subscribed.
Fermented foods are considered a superfood because they provide higher probiotic levels than commercially available supplements or yogurts with added probiotics.
Foods rich in prebiotics are the root powder of chicory for culinary use as a substitute for coffee that can get up to 65% prebiotic, dandelion root containing 24%, garlic and onions 10 %, Whole wheat and vegetables, fruits and seeds 5%.
In short, the quality of our food in basic to maintain or recover our health as said the father of medicine Hippocrates:
“May your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”
Posted by: Ana F. PEREZ
Bibliography: Rev. Discovery Salud. Nº 188.Dic.2015
Link of Interest - Nutrition
If “we are what we eat” it is important to know how certain foods contribute to improving health.