Careful, fragile! To escape digestive discomfort, the gut microbiota needs to be pampered. That’s how.
At lunch, Marie hastily swallows a sandwich because she has folders to return. She doesn’t forget her prescribed cold antibiotic or gastroesophageal reflux medication that she has been taking for months. Leaving the office, she jumps in the car to meet some friends for a drink. Later, she’ll heat up a frozen pizza that she’ll enjoy in front of the TV with a soda with sweeteners.
Marie lives like millions of people: she is stressed, she no longer has time to buy fresh fruit and vegetables to cook them, so she relies on the food industry and takes drugs without thinking too much about it. The problem is, our gut bacteria don’t appreciate this lifestyle. Bad habits that can lead to an imbalance in our intestinal flora and promote many diseases. To avoid this dysbiosis, a few tips to get rid of bad habits.
Avoid junk food and alcohol
Texture agents, dyes and additives of all kinds, which saturate industrial foods, but also the abundance of sugars disturb the balance of our bacteria. Also, contrary to what Marie thinks, replacing sugar with a sweetener isn’t a good idea. “They may alter the mucus layer in the digestive tract and promote an unhealthy pro-inflammatory process”specifies Professor Perlemuter, gastroenterologist at the Antoine-Béclère hospital, in Clamart, and author of From gut to brain. How your bacteria can relieve stress, hypersensitivity and depression (Pocket). Regular alcohol consumption is also associated with an alteration of the microbiota and with an activation of the inflammatory process.
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However, it is useless to sink into the phobia and permanently banish processed foods from our meals. As Professor Rémy Burcelin, research director at the Inserm U 1297 unit in Toulouse reminds us: “We must not prevent the microbiota from going to life school. » Like us, he has to live with his environment. You must therefore learn it to know it and adapt. “To remain stable, it has to live in a slight imbalance. Which means: you have to eat everything in small quantities and avoid a diet where you eat without varying foods, even if they are considered good for our bacteria.says the professor.
take time to eat
If food is important, how we eat it can be just as important. ” The to chew it is the first important stage of digestion. For this reason it is necessary to avoid swallowing meals quickly without chewing. Studies have in fact shown that the digestive flora can consider insufficiently chewed foods as foreign bodies, which can lead to alterations of the intestinal wall.explains Professor Thierry Piche, gastroenterologist at the Nice hospital.
Don’t overdo the antibiotics
Antibiotics attack bacteria, both good and bad. When we administer antibiotics for viral infections, we will therefore mainly kill the good bacteria without acting on the viruses… In adults, the intestinal flora, undermined by these drugs, will regain its balance after some time. “On the other hand, in children, before the age of three, the microbiota is immature”, recalls Professor Perlemuter. Giving antibiotics inappropriately at this age can therefore create permanent dysbiosis.
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Beware of antacids
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of drugs used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and stomach ulcers by decreasing acidity. “However, this gastric acidity forms a barrier against some microbes”explains Professor Piche. Therefore, when he travels to countries where the risk of gastroenteritis is high, he advises people to discontinue PPI treatments while traveling in favor of other gastric medications.