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How to replenish your intestinal flora?

The digestive microbiota plays an essential role in the proper functioning of our body. If it is abused, many disorders can appear:allergies, obesity, lower resistance to infections... Hence the importance of having a robust and diversified flora. Our advice to strengthen it.

The one hundred trillion bacteria and yeasts that populate our intestines live in perfect harmony with our body. They render it great services:aid in digestion, production of vitamins, nutrition of the intestinal wall... But all it takes is an antibiotic treatment, a disordered diet or chronic stress for the balance of our microbiota falters.

Hostile bacteria are then likely to proliferate and establish themselves permanently. The consumption of industrial foods also impoverishes the flora. "The additives they contain can modify the composition and diversity of the intestinal flora by promoting pro-inflammatory bacteria", underlines Thierry Souccar, author of Stop sabotaging our immunity .

Therefore, what solutions are available to us to reconstitute our intestinal flora?

The Mediterranean diet, friend of the microbiota

The friendly bacteria that live in the colon are particularly fond of dietary fiber. Consuming little meat and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables promotes their growth. But not all fibers are created equal.

“Fructans are among those that exert the best prebiotic effect, that is to say that they stimulate the multiplication of bacteria favorable to health”, explains Dr Didier Chos, president of the European Institute of Dietetics and Micronutrition. (IEDM).

It is found in Jerusalem artichoke, leek, dandelion, asparagus, artichoke or even onion. Pasta and potatoes cooled after cooking, unripe bananas and legumes (red beans, lentils, etc.) are also to be preferred because they contain resistant starches which are fermented by the good bacteria in the flora.

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Avocado is also valuable for increasing the diversity of the microbiota. An American study, published in August 2020 in the Journal of Nutrition , proves that regular avocado eaters have a much richer and healthier flora than others.

Fermented foods, mines of probiotics

Homemade yogurts, buttermilk, fruit kefirs, sauerkraut, Japanese miso and other tempeh are fermented foods to put on the menu regularly because they provide living germs (probiotics) that maintain and/or restore diversity flora.

Brewer's yeast and kombucha, a fermented tea from China or Russia, also contain it. The lactic acid bacteria or yeasts they contain are not all destroyed by the acidity of the stomach. "According to scientific studies, about 35% of them manage to exert biological effects", underlines Thierry Souccar.

Warning:pasteurized yoghurts and commercial fruit stirred yoghurts contain few active bacteria. Unpasteurized plain yogurts from the supermarket contain it provided that they have been made recently, because the fresher the yogurt, the higher its lactic acid bacteria content. When its expiry date is approaching, its probiotic properties become almost non-existent.

What to think of probiotics in the form of food-supplements?

When the microbiota is very weakened, an appropriate diet is not always enough to rebalance it. Supplements may be needed to restore a good intestinal ecosystem. But don't pick just any probiotic off your drugstore shelves.

"Only products that provide at least 10 billion live bacteria per dose have a beneficial effect on health," says Dr. Chos.

In addition, each probiotic is made up of specific microbial strains that give it particular properties. Some fight against irritable bowel (Arkobiotics Vivomixx), others boost immunity (Lactibiane Immuno), reduce the effects of stress (Zenflore) or reduce allergic reactions (Lactibiane ALR).

But "the effects of probiotics are also variable depending on the doses prescribed and may differ from one person to another," adds Dr. Chos. In case of serious problems, it is better to consult a doctor specialized in micronutrition.

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