These foods can damage the intestinal flora

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From: Kilian Bauml


“Death is in the gut” is an old saying. Indeed, it is important to take care of your health. Some foods are taboo.

Frankfurt – The intestinal flora plays a crucial role in health and well-being. It influences the immune system and therefore whether we are healthy or not. Healthy gut flora can even help you lose weight. The makeup of the bacteria in the gut, the microbiome, is responsible for this. Good nutrition keeps the intestines healthy and can have a positive effect on the intestinal flora.

However, the same goes the other way around: a poor diet has a negative effect on the intestinal flora and therefore on overall health.

Intestinal health: These foods can damage the intestinal flora

It is best to avoid these foods:

  • alcohol harms the whole body: it can cause liver disease and gastrointestinal inflammation and promote cancer. In the liver, the alcohol toxin is ultimately transformed into substances that can negatively alter and unbalance the intestinal flora.
  • treaty Meat also harms the intestinal flora. This includes cured and smoked meat and sausages. According to experts, a Mediterranean diet is the healthiest for the intestines. This means mostly vegetarian and high in fiber. It is recommended not to consume more than 500 grams of red meat per week. According to the German Cancer Aid, a lot of red and processed meat even increases the risk of colon cancer.
  • is also harmful sugar, especially industrially produced sugar. It doesn’t matter if it’s brown sugar, white sugar or powdered sugar. It quickly triggers inflammatory reactions and damages the intestinal flora. Sugar is inherently unhealthy and therefore has little place in a healthy diet. Excess consumption of fruit sugar (fructose) can also lead to stomach and intestinal problems and cardiovascular disease.
  • Finished products and highly processed foods such as fast food often contain several unhealthy ingredients such as fat, sugar, salt, and preservatives, but little fiber.
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Healthy intestines: a balanced diet is usually enough

In order to maintain a healthy intestinal flora, you do not have to follow a special diet. “In healthy people, a balanced diet with vegetables and whole grain products is usually sufficient to maintain the balance of the microbiome,” says nutritionist Matthias Riedl. NDR.

However, if you want to do something good for your gut, you can take probiotics. These are products that contain live microorganisms and have a beneficial effect on health when they enter the intestines. Examples of probiotics are bifidobacteria in yoghurt or lactic acid bacteria in fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, reports the Federal Nutrition Center BZfE.

For a healthy intestinal flora, it is better to avoid certain foods. (Iconic image) © Thomas Trutschel/Imago

Even the brain benefits from healthy gut flora

But the influence of the intestinal flora goes even further. In addition to the link between nutritional factors, the microbiome and physical health, research is increasingly focusing on the so-called gut-brain axis, reports the BZfE. Gut and brain communicate with each other and gut health even affects the psyche, as also reports. Therefore, developing a healthy gut flora might even be a treatment option for depression. There are even now studies that suggest a link between gut health and Alzheimer’s disease. (kibah)

Editor’s note

The information given in this article does not replace a visit to a doctor. Only experts can make the correct diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment. Taking medication or food supplements should be discussed with a doctor beforehand.

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