How to heal gut dysbiosis?
Intestinal dysbiosis can be defined as an imbalance in the intestinal flora. Indeed, it can be a decrease in the number of good bacteria or an increase in bad bacteria.
As a general rule, gut dysbiosis can be healed with the right nutrition. Healing factors for dysbiosis include: prebiotics, probiotics, increased fiber, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, lentils, more home cooking, physical activity, and a reduction of salt, red meat, and refined sugars.
Read on to understand how to heal guy dysbiosis and keep our intestinal microbiota in shape.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to heal gut dysbiosis? Introduction
- 2 The right attitudes to adopt in our way of eating
- 2.1 Foods that can weaken our intestinal microbiota
- 2.2 Beware of the gluten-free diet
- 2.3 The Mediterranean diet
- 2.4 Some dietary recommendations
- 3 Physical activity and intestinal dysbiosis
- 4 How to heal gut dysbiosis? Conclusion
How to heal gut dysbiosis? Introduction
Dysbiosis can result from a significant decrease in the number of bacteria in our intestinal flora, an increase in bad bacteria, or simply an inherited intestinal flora that’s naturally poor in good bacteria.
After learning about the events that cause dysbiosis and their consequences on the body, we find out how to correct the deterioration of the intestinal flora and evaluate their effectiveness.
Identifying and correcting our diet is often the first therapeutic means to consider when faced with a pathology induced by intestinal dysbiosis. So how to heal gut dysbiosis?
Among the non-dietary means, it is possible to treat intestinal dysbiosis by:
- Beneficial bacteria such as probiotics.
- Tip: Learn more about the health benefits of probiotics in our other post Why are probiotics good for you? Health benefits explained
- The contribution of a nutritional substance promoting these bacteria’s growth, like prebiotics.
- The combination of the two: probiotics and prebiotics.
- Taking antibiotics.
- Gut microbiota transplantation (or fecal transplantation) is the most radical way to correct dysbiosis.
This article will discover the different treatments to adopt to treat intestinal dysbiosis.
The right attitudes to adopt in our way of eating
While changes in the gut flora occur rapidly with diet changes, these changes can be quickly limited if the new diet is not permanent.
Foods that can weaken our intestinal microbiota
Research has been conducted on changing dietary patterns in several countries.
The results showed a generalization that an unhealthy diet is associated with increased mortality related to diseases influenced by the gut microbiota.
These diseases include obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, and depression.
Food is a regulator of inflammation. Numerous studies have linked certain foods to chronic inflammation that causes disease.
Not recommended for obese people, these foods can promote or aggravate diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.
When they are essential to a balanced diet, they should be consumed in moderation.
These inflammatory foods are:
- Salt: excessive salt consumption appears to aggravate autoimmune diseases in numerous human studies.
- Foods cooked at too high a temperature: overcooking releases highly inflammatory toxic substances,
- Foods high in refined sugars and low in fiber: like potatoes, turnips, and beer.
- Meats (except poultry).
- Omega-6 fatty acids are essential to our health. Still, they should be consumed in limited quantities, such as olive, sunflower, sesame, and almond oils.
- Palm oil.
Beware of the gluten-free diet
Gluten is a network of different proteins in cereals that form an elastic substance when the flour of the cereals is mixed with water.
Because of its physical qualities, gluten is widely used in the food industry to prepare ready-made meals, and is present in varying quantities in cereals.
A tiny portion of the population suffers from a gluten-induced autoimmune disease called “celiac disease.”
This disease manifests itself by atrophy of the small intestine’s mucous membrane, responsible for a significant decrease in food absorption, chronic diarrhea, and weight loss.
In addition to this pathology, many people complain of digestive problems, which they often associate with gluten consumption.
These people then impose a gluten-free diet on themselves, which considerably complicates their diet and significantly increases the cost.
Yet, a gluten-free diet may not be without risk, and researchers have administered a gluten-free diet to healthy volunteers for a month to study the consequences.
The results showed that this disrupted the gut bacterial population with a decrease in some helpful bacteria and an increase in potentially harmful bacteria.
If you wish to adopt a gluten-free diet, it is recommended that you always seek advice from a health professional.
The Mediterranean diet
Following a Mediterranean diet does not mean that it encompasses the cuisine of different countries around the Mediterranean.
Following scientific publications, this diet has become a reference in the “health” diet because it effectively reduces the risk of: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.
What does the Mediterranean diet advise?
The Mediterranean diet favors: fruits and nuts, vegetables, dry vegetables, and cereals, whose abundant consumption must be daily. These foods are often enhanced with aromatic herbs and olive oil.
The consumption of dairy products must be varied: goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, or cow’s milk are chosen. Consumption should be moderate with a frequency not exceeding one product per day.
This diet also recommends not exceeding 6 eggs per week.
In addition, fish and white meat (such as chicken) should be eaten no more than three times a week. Red meat consumption is minimal, less than once a week.
Daily water consumption is abundant and moderate consumption of red wine is also allowed.
What is the impact of the Mediterranean diet on the intestinal microbiota?
Following a Mediterranean diet is associated with a favorable metabolic profile of the microbiota.
This means that this microbiota will protect you from weight gain and diabetes.
Adopting a Mediterranean diet will result in a high production of short-chain fatty acids due to the high fiber content of the recommended foods.
Some dietary recommendations
Here are a few tips on maintaining good eating habits and healthy intestinal flora. These recommendations are categorized into increasing, reducing, and moving toward.
- Fruits and vegetables: at least 6 per day, fresh, frozen, or canned.
- Unsalted nuts such as walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, etc. A small handful per day is recommended.
- Pulses such as dried beans, lentils, or chickpeas: at least 3 times a week. Combined with a cereal product, they can replace meat in terms of protein and amino acid intake.
- Home-made cooking.
- Physical exercise.
In his daily life, we try to reduce:
- Pork, beef, lamb, offal, etc. (less than one pound per week)
- Deli meats at less than 0.3 pounds per week.
- Sweetened products and drinks.
- Dried fruits such as dates, grapes, and apricots are also very sweet and should only be eaten occasionally.
- No more than two drinks per day with “alcohol-free” days of the week.
- Foods that are too salty.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Organic products
- Seasonal and locally produced foods.
- Fish consumption (fresh, frozen, or canned): maximum 3 times a week, alternating fatty and lean fish.
- Whole-grain foods include whole-grain bread, pasta, rice, and semolina.
- Rapeseed, walnut, and olive oils. We limit added fats such as butter, margarine, and cream.
- Consumption of dairy products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt) is limited to one per day.
Physical activity and intestinal dysbiosis
To be healthy, regular physical activity is essential. In fact, the World Health Organization has classified lack of physical activity as a risk factor for mortality.
Exercise is effective in several areas:
- Reducing the risk of cancer, depression, and dementia.
- Reducing mortality after treatment for breast, colon, or endometrial cancer.
- Improving diabetes, cognitive activity, and quality of life.
- Prevention of weight gain and abdominal obesity.
Depending on the intensity of the physical effort, physical activity and intestinal microbiota are linked by variable reciprocal relations.
What physical activity are we talking about?
High-level sports activity can cause severe dysbiosis in some athletes when it imposes physical stress related to overtraining, an unbalanced diet, and a state of stress related to the failures and hopes that competitions bring.
These dysbioses are characterized by increased bacteria that degrade mucus and weaken the intestinal barrier.
In addition, prolonged intense efforts divert part of the blood reserved for the oxygenation of the digestive tract to the muscles. By reducing its oxygenation, this detour further weakens the intestinal barrier.
Combined with diets that are too low in fiber, thus reducing the intestinal microbiota diversity, these mechanisms combine to promote bacterial translocation.
This could explain the intestinal and depressive disorders observed in certain high-level athletes.
For healthy adults, the recommended exercise is a minimum of 180 minutes per week of moderate-intensity endurance or 90 minutes of intense endurance.
Exercise can be divided into 2 to 5 weekly sessions. It should be supplemented 3 times a week with muscle strengthening and flexibility activities.
This type of physical activity should not exceed 6 hours per week for people with health problems.
Running and walking are activities that do not require expensive equipment and are also accessible to everyone.
To be effective, the walk must be fast. Of course, speed does not have the same meaning for a young athlete as it does for a senior who has never had regular physical activity.
The walk should at least cause a slight and discreet breathlessness when speaking.
Ideally, physical activity should be a lifetime thing.
The relationship between physical activity and gut microbiota
Studies have shown that germ-free mice have much lower physical performance than mice with a dense and varied microbiota.
In fact, in obese mice on a high-fat diet, physical exercise preserves the richness and diversity of the microbiota, thus preventing the increase in intestinal permeability that could be induced by excess dietary fat.
In humans, regular physical activity of moderate intensity brings many beneficial effects such as:
- Induction of an anti-inflammatory status of intestinal lymphocytes, thus reducing general inflammation.
- Stimulation of the secretion of antimicrobial substances by the innate immunity, regulating the growth of the microbiota.
- Strengthening the intestinal barrier
- And the improvement of the mucus quality, reducing the risks of bacterial translocation.
Thus, endurance activity also reduces the inflammatory syndrome common in older people.
Regular physical activity improves our health. In fact, it balances immunological activity and reduces the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
How to heal gut dysbiosis? Conclusion
Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance in our gut microbiota, which can lead to health problems such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and a weakened immune system.
To heal gut dysbiosis naturally, and maintain a balance of our intestinal flora, we just need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and choose healthy and varied foods.
However, treating intestinal dysbiosis involves not only our food but also regular exercise.
Indeed, regular physical activity is also essential to maintain a good balance of our intestinal microbiota.
It is unnecessary to invest in expensive sports equipment to move your body in a sporty way. Walking and running are sports that are accessible to everyone and do not require any equipment.