Feed the intestinal flora: Food & prebiotics | polyphenols & supplements

Everyday nutrition is essential to build up the intestinal flora and keep it intact and – not to forget – diverse. To get an idea of how many different intestinal bacteria there are, you can find a list in my blog article “Intestinal Flora Analysis“. It is not only the lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria that belong to an intact intestinal flora. There are many more and you can only multiply them with the right nutrition. There are food supplements with secondary plant substances and, as is well known, prebiotics & probiotics which can help you to build up the intestinal flora.

But how is it that I, of all people, who had successfully built up his intestine and thus got rid of his chronic sinusitis, now comes around the corner again with such a blog article? The nutritional sin “Low carb with high protein” was it. Never makes it last!

Building muscle with simultaneous weight loss means many proteins and preferably no carbohydrates, as these are too rich in energy. Of course you eat animal protein, it tastes better! And low carb and many animal proteins over a longer period of time? The biggest mistake for the intestines.

At some point I noticed that I slept worse and the consistency of the stool was not as firm as it should be. The gut flora analysis of BIOMES (Blog article “intestinal flora analysis“) was clear. I had too many Proteobacteria (Proteobacteria metabolize proteins) and also Clostridia (putrefactive bacteria). The test result mentioned that proteobacteria belong in principle to the human intestinal microbiome, but since there are supposed to be some harmful comrades among them, the number should be kept low.

Luckily, BIOMES also offers direct recommendations with recipes etc. And these recommendations were surprising: Not only the standards such as prebiotic food and probiotics, but also and above all polyphenols, bitter substances & Co. should I consume. This reminded me of my research for the book “Slim with Intestine“, in which, however, there was not such a strong reference to polyphenols in their entirety, at least as far as I can remember.

Nevertheless, I also wanted to continue to consume proteins. You need them, especially if you’re into sports. So I developed the theory that protein-rich nutrition does indeed allow all proteobacteria to multiply, but that polyphenols and the “good” intestinal bacteria inhibit the “bad” proteobacteria and only the non-pathogenic proteobacteria multiply.

According to this realization I have by the way put the project Low Carb aside forever. Losing weight is more difficult now, but you can benefit from it for a longer time. Not having to give up low carb does not necessarily mean high carb.

You can definitely eat a protein-rich diet without the intestinal flora falling into dysbiosis.

My new credo

My new diet must …

  • Feed the good intestinal bacteria and keep them healthy.
  • Kill or at least inhibit the bad intestinal bacteria.

And this permanently and not just as a cure.

At first I started looking for how I could do as much as possible for my “good” intestinal bacteria as efficiently, quickly and with little effort. You will know a lot from my other blog articles. There are some new features.

The ways I found for me at that time to build up my intestinal flora were good, but the earth keeps on turning. Science is now very interested in the topic and there is a lot of research in this direction. Studies are published regularly and various authors publish these findings. Let’s see what else comes.

Until I have new insights, I will stick to what I write down here for you. I will gladly share new infos with you!

In the following section, I will first give you my “secret tips”, with which you can get quick results when you have acute problems with the intestinal flora. In the later section I will go into my nutrition in general.

By the way, the SUCCESS, i.e. a well-formed stool and a restful sleep, came much faster through the measures I am explaining here than through the intestinal cleansing and the intestinal flora cocktails etc., which I explain in my old blog articles. It all worked out back then, but the effect of polyphenols is just amazing. If I had had the knowledge of today then, I would probably have gotten rid of my chronic sinusitis (chronic sinusitis cure) much faster. I’m sure of it!

It is therefore worth keeping up to date and following what science has to offer in terms of “intestinal microbiom” in order to gain new insights.

Intestinal flora boosters, polyphenol bombs & Natural antibiotics

Polyphenols are not everyone’s taste. If you prefer to swallow capsules, you can get all kinds of polyphenol extracts in capsule form. (Amazon*)

Drinks, tea & herbs

Cistus incanus (cistus) – My intestinal flora tea

Cistus incanus tea is a real polyphenol bomb (Which polyphenols are in Cistus incanus?). It provides about 3x as many polyphenols as green tea, but you can drink much more of it, as it is not a stimulant like green tea. Now I drink a good liter of Cistus incanus tea every day on weekdays, into which I also stir in a little of my prebiotic mixture of resistant starch, apple pectin and acacia fibers (more about this later!). Half a teaspoon per 250 ml hot tea is quite sufficient. So I also take different prebiotics besides the polyphenols.

Important: Instead of just pouring boiling water over the tea, I boil a brew. The Cistus incanus herb must be simmered for 5 minutes to allow the polyphenols to escape from the plant components. Fortunately, polyphenols are heat resistant, so you can’t let the cistus tea simmer too long.

Green tea

Green tea is known to have many healthy ingredients. Also with green tea, however, it is above all the polyphenols that our good intestinal bacteria like (see: effect of green tea on intestinal bacteria)

Traditionally, green tea should not be poured over with boiling hot water, because otherwise too many bitter substances are released and a bitter taste is not desired. Well, but what tastes so bitter are the polyphenols. So it is best to let the green tea simmer longer like the Cistus tea to dissolve the polyphenols, but at least pour boiling water over it. You can drink two cups in the morning without having to go all the way around. Green tea has less caffeine than coffee.

Cranberry juice

Contains relatively little fructose but a lot of polyphenols. If you want to know more about it, then look here: Cranberry juice & intestinal flora

Daily 100ml cranberry juice is already helpful!

Have you tasted my prebiotic cocoa yet?

Vital substance concentrates

Cellagon and LaVita are vital substance concentrates that are only sold by specialist consultants, alternative practitioners etc., so I looked around for an alternative that is available over the counter.

Who, like me, does not tolerate fructose so well should try the vital complex. The ratio of polyphenols to fructose does not beat berry juice.

A longer-term intake makes sense, so we always order 3 bottles (Amazon*) for the whole family to save a little money. Because that stuff’s expensive. I trust the manufacturer Dr. Wolz, because I have also had good experience with other products such as the DARMFLORA plus select capsules from Dr. Wolz (see blog article “Intestinal toning cure”).

Various prebiotics

Just as secondary plant compounds benefit the most diverse “good” intestinal bacteria, if you want to increase the diversity of species, you should also use as many different prebiotics as possible. In BIOMES’ intestinal flora test (Intestinal flora analysis), diversity is an important criterion for assessing intestinal health.

Well, everything that can have a prebiotic effect, I have already painstakingly collected in my blog article “prebiotics“. The fact that it can also be done more easily can be seen from the range of different ready-mixed products such as fiber strength*. I myself do not tolerate inulin and oligofructose very well. It makes me sleep worse. Therefore, ready-to-use mixtures are out of the question for me and I mix my prebiotic mixture myself. You also save a little money. For example: off:

Anyone who has a kitchen appliance with a stirring function and (important, because otherwise it will collect dust) a lid can mix together the ingredients just mentioned and, if desired, other prebiotics, pulverized as they are.

Intestinal flora cocktail

On weekdays I replace breakfast with the following mixture:

  • 1 teaspoon of the prebiotic mixture into a glass
  • 1 -2 teaspoons of psyllium seed husks into the glass
  • Mix with a teaspoon
  • Fill up with cold Cistus incanus tea
  • Optional: 1 shot of soy milk and 1-3 drops of oregano oil.

But since the mixture has almost no calories, this “ Intestinal Flora Cocktail” is also no showstopper for interval fasting. In case I haven’t mentioned it before. On weekdays I strictly adhere to the interval fasting and except on training days I even skip dinner (warrior diet).

Spices

Basically all spices, especially

  • Turmeric (Included in curry)
  • Cinnamon
  • Carnations
  • Star Anise

If I eat oatmeal with soy milk, my cinnamon consumption escalates. 🙂 With all imaginable dishes with wholemeal rice I try to spice up with curry or turmeric.

Natural antibiotics

Essential oils like oregano oil

Essential oils are especially effective against unwanted bacteria in the small intestine, because most of the components of the essential oils are absorbed by the small intestine, good bacteria are largely spared, or I have not found any studies that prove the contrary: effect of oregano oil

Oregano oil consists to a large extent of phenols, which, unlike the polyphenols of the following natural antibiotic, are largely absorbed in the small intestine Therefore, oregano oil, the antibiotic of poor people, also acts in the body. In combination with Cistus incanus tea, it has protected me in winter from colds.

Cistus incanus

I use it as an antibiotic for the large intestine because the polyphenols there are metabolized by the good intestinal bacteria and the resulting metabolites act against the bad intestinal bacteria. Some polyphenols such as catechin even act directly on the pests in our intestines. Catechin forms hydrogen peroxide, which makes the cell membrane permeable to pathogenic germs. This and more can be read in the book “Intestine and secondary plant substances: Influence of secondary plant substances on the intestine and microbiome”. Cistus incanus has become a constant companion during the cold season for me – as I have just mentioned.

If Cistus incanus is too bitter for tea, Cistus incanus extract is available in capsules. For example: at Amazon*.

Intestinal flora Nutrition

In the blog articles about secondary plant compounds for the intestinal flora and prebiotics I have already mentioned many important foods for a healthy intestinal flora. In this article I will deal with everyday life. So what, what not (so much), how, but also the when.

For most of the findings here, you can find studies in the articles just mentioned or elsewhere in my blog. Therefore I omit those in this blog article. Most readers are not interested in microbiological gibberish anyway.

currency

Fermented vegetables
  • sour cabbage
  • Kimchi
  • sour pickled vegetables

Fruit

You should be careful with the fruit, because today’s cultivations contain a lot of fructose. Fructose in these quantities is poison for the intestines. In principle, of course, every type of fruit is healthy. But you should rather choose the varieties that have not been bred extra sweet.

If you like bananas, you should try to eat green bananas unripe. <Green bananas have more resistant starch and less fructose.

Dark berries

Basically, berries are very healthy due to their polyphenols, especially for our intestinal bacteria.

The darker the more polyphenols, the stronger the polyphenols, so it can be summarized in general terms. The red/blue polyphenols are mainly found in berries such as currants, blueberries, raspberries etc.

Aronia berries and cranberries are at the top of the polyphenol list. Personally, I have experimented with raw cranberries. Disgusting, but very healthy, as juice however bearable!

Fructose intolerance

In order that the intestinal bacteria of fructose intolerants can also get hold of these polyphenols, one can fall back on beetroot or red cabbage in cases of fructose intolerance. Relatively little fructose but a great many polyphenols are contained in food supplements such as Vitalkomplex by Dr. Wolz*, more on this below.

Grain

The full grain variant is always to be preferred! Oats and rye, for example, are popular sources of carbohydrates for intestinal bacteria, but also natural rice.

Rice pudding and porridge with soy milk, cooled for 12 hours, sweetened with xucker, provides resistant starch (oats provide beta-glucan) as well as isoflavones, which in studies have also led to an increase in good intestinal bacteria.

Prebiotic and protein intake: legumes, soy products such as tofu / nuts

Every little bean, every little bit of it.

A very important topic, because too much animal protein is poison for the intestinal flora. How can you eat enough proteins without meat, fish and co.?

Straight sportsmen, who have to eat a lot of proteins, can expect too much from their intestines, because when they think of proteins, they think primarily of animal products, starting with milk (as a concentrated source of protein, especially low-fat curd cheese) and of course meat. Dairy products at least still provide lactose, which is what Lactobacillus species are mainly interested in.

Nevertheless, I take the view that cow’s milk is not a food for adults. If it has to be cow’s milk, then it should be fermented together with probiotics or in the form of yoghurt. Raw milk also has a reputation for helping the intestinal flora. However, there are sources that associate whole milk with less diversity (see below!)

Similarly, there are messages that see cow’s milk as a trigger for cancer.

The milk protein casein, of which you have probably already heard, binds polyphenols to itself. So if milk, then not together with red berries. So rice pudding with red fruits makes less sense. Or the classic: green/black tea or coffee with cow’s milk. Man, people who have good polyphenols…

Meat is virtually a “strong” anti-prebiotic, because there is nothing in meat or fish that our good bacteria like. Pathogenic germs such as clostridia, proteobacteria and other putrefactive bacteria are again pleased about many proteins that are difficult to digest.

Pulses basically provide many proteins, but also prebiotics such as resistant starch. If pulses are combined with cereals (whole grain, because it contains more fibre), they also have a high biological value, which is similar to that of chicken eggs. (More on this topic in my blog articles: Small with gut experiences).

Known combinations: kidney beans + corn, oatmeal + soy milk, rice + soy milk.

Dark legumes, such as kidney beans or black beans, have a particularly positive influence on the intestinal flora, as they have a particularly high concentration of polyphenols for legumes. Green beans, on the other hand, are rather unsuitable as a source of protein for athletes, but they provide more dietary fibre for the intestine than kidney beans, for example.

Soya and tofu

Provides high-quality protein and isoflavones for our intestinal bacteria. More about the positive effects of isoflavones here: Isoflavones for the intestinal flora

Soy yoghurt

A cup of soy yoghurt, preferably in organic quality, not only provides soy protein and isoflavones, but also, of course, lactic acid bacteria of the Lactobacillus species and Streptococcus thermophilus.

In combination with oat flakes & Co.

Oat flakes sweetened with soy milk and Xucker and seasoned with cinnamon are a very good combination as a source of protein. Due to the high energy density of the carbohydrate-rich oat flakes, however, one should also think about enough exercise/sport.

  • Oat flakes (cereals) combined with soya (legumes) have a high biological value. Oat flakes provide the good intestinal bacteria with Beta-Glucan
  • Soymilk additionally supplies the good intestinal bacteria with isoflavones
  • Xucker (xylitol) in combination with Daidzein has a positive influence on the intestinal flora.
  • Cinnamon as a polyphenol source has also a positive influence on the intestinal flora.

TIP: It is best to boil the oat flakes in the soy milk at least 12 hours earlier (porridge) and let them cool down, so that resistant starch is formed, which additionally feeds the intestinal bacteria. Besides, the food then has even less calories.

Nuts

In addition to proteins, all nut varieties provide healthy fats, dietary fibres and also polyphenols. Again, you have the choice. When it comes to eating the nuts with the most polyphenols, then one chooses hazelnuts, peanuts, but also almonds, because these are particularly rich in polyphenols. However, this fact should not be used as a justification for snacking an infinite number of nuts. The fat of nuts may be healthy, but it is still energy-rich.

Creatine

For athletes, however, it is important that only meat and fish provide the creatine that is important for athletic performance. As a vegetarian, vegan or weekday vegan you should supplement creatin*.

Insects?

In the blog article about prebiotics, I mentioned that there are no studies but there are obvious signs for me that Chitin – the substance the shells of crustaceans and insects are made of – could have a prebiotic effect.

I even find it logical, because the ancestors of man, starting with many species of monkeys, were not only herbivores but actually omnivores. They ate also insects and eggs and had an excellent source of protein and energy. But for thousands of years this was the case and in many (from our point of view) “uncivilized” cultures insects are still regularly on the menu. Doesn’t it then make sense that our intestines naturally house intestinal bacteria that can process the non-digestible remains of the insects, such as chitin?

Our everyday life and also the supermarkets make a diet with insects impossible. So this is dreams of the future. I haven’t eaten any insects myself, but I am very curious. I think that if there are more offers, the demand will also increase.

At some point, even with us, we “civilized” people will eat insects. If this topic should interest you now more than the actual topic of this blog article, then I am a little disappointed, but nevertheless I wish you a lot of fun on this page from the consumer center: https://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/wissen/lebensmittel/auswaehlen-zubereiten-aufbewahren/insekten-essen-eine-alternative-zum-fleisch-33101

Alcoholic

Red wine

When it comes to alcohol, red wine is one of the polyphenol bombs. The fermentation process releases more polyphenols from the grape than the pure juice production. So, instead of long drinks or white wine rather one, two, dr…, vi… glasses of red wine. For the benefit … of the intestinal bacteria. No, seriously. One glass a day should be enough, right? Alcohol is addictive!

Dark beer

Dark beers contain considerably more polyphenols than light beers. So, off to the nearest Irish Pub and order a Kilkenny or even a Guiness! Cheers!

Fat

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the intestinal flora, therefore linseed oil should be used frequently.

Rapeseed oil is also relatively rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Olive oil is rich in polyphenols.

Saturated fatty acids, especially those of animal origin, should be avoided.

Sweeten

Polyols

Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol and maltitol

Xylite

You will certainly know xylitol or xylitol (or birch sugar) under the brand name Xucker. It has 40% fewer calories than household sugar and does not cause the insulin level to jump up. In this study, the influence of xylitol on the intestinal flora was examined:

An influence on the most important intestinal germs (anaerobic streptococci, lactobacilli and bacteroides) could not be detected numerically. Partially pathogenic germs (yeast fungi, staphylococci, clostridia) and aerobic germs (such as Enterobacteriaceae, Streptococci and Lactobacilli) decreased but did not disappear.

In the study mentioned here, a positive effect of xylitol in combination with daidzein (an isoflavone) on bacteroides was found.

This has led me to use Xucker instead of sugar, both in cooking and in baking and sweetening muesli.

Yakonsyrup

If you tolerate inulin and oligofructose, you can also sweeten with Yakonsyrup. A slow quantitative rantasten to the individual tolerance should be made.

When to eat?

In my opinion, this is a very important point. As I have already stated in my blog article on “interval fasting & intestinal flora“, our digestive tract is not designed to work around the clock. It needs a break, e.g. to carry out the “self-cleaning program” Migrating Motility Complex (MMC). This cleansing program makes itself felt in the stomach by means of stomach growls.

So on weekdays I allow my digestive tract the whole morning in addition to the night. In other words, I skip breakfast (interval fasting). On two more days I even skip dinner. This is called the Warrior Diet. (Which I have coordinated with my training times, because muscle growth needs energy.)

You can read here that interval fasting has other health benefits besides the advantages for the intestines and the intestinal flora, not to mention weight control: Interval fasting & Autophagy

How to eat?

Chew good

Chew well, so that the digestion works well and the chyme is salivated well. Because saliva already contains enzymes that start the digestion.

Do not forget oregano oil after dinner

After the meal I take a sip of water in my mouth and dribble 3-4 drops (this is the professional maximum dose, the stuff is sauscharf, no joke, I warn you all!!) into the small lake that has formed between the tongue and the lower chewing board. Close your mouth, mix quickly (1-2 seconds) and swallow and immediately drink a glass of water afterwards. For oregano oil beginners, oregano capsules are probably better suited.

In this way, I want to prevent pathogenic germs in the small intestine from attacking the chyme. Because almost always there is something in it, which even the bad ones are happy about.

Prebiotic drinking

  • Chicory coffee (Amazon*)
  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Cranberry juice
  • Cistus incanus tea
  • If it has to be alcohol (I’m no angel either!):
    • Dark beer
    • Dry red wine

Anti-prebiotics / anti-probiotics

Milk fat

A diet rich in milk fat has led to an increase in Bilophila wadsworthia. This is a bacterium that is particularly prevalent in people with appendicitis or inflammatory bowel disease / colitis. (source)

Proteins

(Animal) proteins feed proteolytic bacteria, whose metabolic products are usually harmful to us and displace the good bacteria. So it makes sense to support protein digestion if you think that too much protein (despite reduction of proteins in the diet) arrives in the colon. There are enzyme products* that can support digestion.

In brief: Harmful for the intestinal flora

  • High-sugar diet (also soft drinks etc.)
  • Nibbles (e.g. chips, flips, salt sticks)
  • Very high-protein and high-fat diet
  • Medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Laxatives
  • Hormone preparations
  • Antidepressants
  • Allergy medication (antihistamines)
  • Saturated fats such as lard etc.
  • Whole milk
  • Artificial sweeteners

Sources:

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