Healthy bacteria found throughout the intestinal tract are good for the whole body. It is believed that depending on their species and quantity, they could play a protective role against infections, cholesterol problems and even overweight. But this intestinal flora can be unbalanced, due to a poor diet, taking medication (especially antibiotics) … In this case, bad bacteria are gaining ground and would expose them to certain disorders.
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Fermented cabbage or sauerkraut
Eating sauerkraut – which some describe as a superfood – mobilizes beneficial bacteria from the intestine, which are more resistant to possible attacks by aggressive microorganisms. This action is due to “lactofermentation”, that is to say the transformation of cabbage sugar into lactic acid. It is this mechanism that makes it a probiotic. Preparing sauerkraut at home is very simple: just cut the cabbage into pieces, wash it and let it sit for about three weeks in a closed container, after having salted it.
Sauerkraut is rich in vitamin C. It is a source of calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
Due to its fructo-oligosaccharide content, honey can be considered as a pre-biotic food, capable of stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, fighting certain toxic substances (thanks to its antibacterial effect) and fighting against constipation. Do not forget that its calorific power is close to that of sugar, it is therefore advisable to moderate its consumption if you want to keep the line.
Honey is a source of potassium and antioxidants.
Miso (fermented soy)
In addition to the fiber intake, soluble and insoluble, of the main product (soy), miso is actually a paste resulting from the fermentation of the dry vegetable with a cereal and a mushroom. There are different types: from the softer, light beige color, to a denser version, with a brown or reddish tone. It is usually added to the soup. Having a drink before or during a meal helps improve digestion and take care of the intestinal tract. Only reservation: once incorporated into the preparation, it should not be boiled again.
Miso is a source of iron and zinc.
It is recommended to eat it if you are taking antibiotics, as it helps to prevent these products from getting rid of the good bacteria in the intestine. Certain studies ensure that they are particularly indicated if the antibiotic targets in particular the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori. Present in the intestine of 80% of the population, it can cause, in certain cases, chronic gastritis, an ulcer or – more rarely – gastric cancer. Yogurt could help the antibiotic to work while preserving the intestinal flora.
Natural yogurt is a source of calcium and phosphorus. It is rich in vitamin D.
According to the Biomedical Network Research Center – Physiopathology on Obesity and Nutrition (Ciber-obn), the polyphenols in wine are good for the heart but also for the intestinal flora. They could destroy pathogenic microorganisms in the stomach. To benefit from its beneficial effects, you must limit yourself to a daily drink. Please note that alcohol abuse can have negative effects on the body.
Like chicory, artichokes are a wonderful source of inulin, a natural prebiotic, good for the intestine. This sugar is not digested by the small intestine, but fermented by the bacterial flora of the colon. The beneficial bacteria of the flora use it to develop and their effects are thus increased tenfold. Leek, garlic, onion and asparagus are other examples of foods rich in inulin and can therefore be considered prebiotic foods.
The artichoke is a source of iron, copper and vitamin B9.
Mini drinking formulas containing acid-lactic acid bacteria are particular recommended after diarrhea because they help restore intestinal balance. Some doctors even recommend taking them during diarrhea to reduce their duration and facilitate the renewal of microorganisms usually present in the intestinal tract. As some studies have proven, these products also help reduce the abdominal bloating that accompanies this type of intestinal disorder (both diarrhea and constipation).
Probiotic yogurt is rich in calcium and lactic acid bacteria.
In Russia, the consumption of this milk product originating in the Caucasus and which, a few centuries ago was known as “the grains of the Prophet Muhammad”, is 5 liters per year and per inhabitant. It is one of the easiest foods to digest (their proteins are already partially digested), which is why many nutrition specialists recommend eating it for people with a sensitive stomach or a tendency to get many infections.
Kefir is a source of calcium. It is rich in vitamins B12 and B1.