Have you ever heard of the intestines as our “second brain”? . Well, that mention makes perfect sense, given that they are home to hundreds of millions of neurons. Dr Patrick Véret, a doctor from France who was interested in the nutrition and acupuncture aspects of alternative medicine, speaks about the intestinal neuronal system in his book on Nutripuncture. Besides its normal functions of digestion, assimilation and absorption of nutrients, the digestive system is responsible for the fermentation of sugar, the putrefaction of proteins, the metabolism of fatty acids and cholesterol, etc. The intestines are the basis of our health.
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It stands to reason that when our gut microbiota is out of balance (i.e. bad bacteria take over good protective bacteria), our morale and immunity are weakened. Our natural defense mechanisms are weakened, which opens the doors to autoimmune pathologies, being among other things due to the dysfunction of a certain type of white blood cell. In microbiology, these are B lymphocytes, which are responsible for producing antibodies and T lymphocytes, which also help regulate immunity. Subsequently, pathologies surface. This is the case with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases – IBD (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease), neurodegenerative diseases (eg Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis), and other autoimmune diseases (eg: rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, etc.).
With modern diets and a pressing routine, today’s nutrition strains our digestive system and makes us more vulnerable to health disorders. Is there a way to prevent this? Obviously, it’s up to you to be the master of your body! How?
1. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber, as they are the basis of your bowel movements. They will help to prevent certain intestinal transit disorders such as constipation.
Dietary sources of fiber: whole grains, apple, plum, prunes, celery, cucumber, lettuce, oats, coconut, olive oil, flax seeds, parsley, legumes, etc.
2. Eat foods rich in butyrate, a very important element for the protection and nutrition of the intestinal lining. In addition, it protects against inflammation, strengthens a weakened immune system and prevents the multiplication of cancer cells.
Food sources: whole grains, oat bran, oatmeal, barley, berries, apples, kiwi, oranges, green vegetables, white beans, etc.
3. Increase your fluid intake. Water is the most essential liquid. Knowing that our body is made up of about 70% water, it is necessary to drink enough to ensure our vital functions (eg: blood circulation, transport of oxygen and nutrients, digestion, etc.). A water deficit combined with an overly acidic body, in particular due to a diet rich in sugar, salt and proteins (especially of animal origin), predisposes us to the appearance of diseases and their faster development. The amount of water to drink varies from one person to another, depending on their state of health (eg kidney problems, cystic disorders, acidosis, etc.). For those who suffer from constipation, a glass of water on an empty stomach can greatly help activate your bowel movement and provide relief.
4. Pay attention to your consumption of meat, cold cuts and dairy products. In 2015, the WHO (World Health Organization) and IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) based on 800 studies to declare that “each 50 gram serving of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of cancer. colorectal by 18% “. In addition, Dr Jacob, Professor Henri Joyeux and hundreds of other health professionals agree that animal protein and dairy products leave a very acidic residue in the body, have a high fat content. and methionine and can be hard on digestion (heartburn, bloating, gas, etc.)
Sources of vegetable proteins: legumes, nuts, almond butter, organic tofu, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, lettuce, avocados, figs, sweet potato, etc.
5. Make sure you get enough sleep and RECOVERY sleep. How does this relate to our digestive system? First, a restful sleep strengthens the immune system. In Chinese medicine, the immune system controls the digestive system. In addition, it is during the phase of deep sleep that our body plunges into the process of cell, tissue, muscle regeneration, etc.
Some foods may not be suitable for people with digestive disorders (dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, acidosis, IBD, GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux, etc.) or type 2 diabetes.
For example, a person with a weakened digestive system may have difficulty digesting legumes because they are the source of intestinal fermentation and have a higher content of saponins and lectins, which can lead to bloating. gas, stomach dilation, inflammation, etc. Hence the importance of adapting to each case individually
Now you have a good foundation for taking charge of your digestive health. For more detailed and in-depth information and to find out what is right for you. I am always at your disposal to establish your own personalized plan according to your state of health and your specific needs during private consultations.