- Eat hastily, chew little
- Frequent snacking
- Toast, pasta
- Greasy fast food
- Appropriate product recommendations
- Knowledge to take away
1. Eating hastily, chewing little
For a healthy intestine, it is not just what we eat that is crucial, but also how. When time is of the essence in the morning or the lunch break is short, the bowel often suffers.
Less blood supplied to the digestive tract
For many, it has become a habit to eat quickly. However, the intestine reacts sensitively to hasty swallowing and poorly chewed food. “When we are rushed, the intestines are not ready to digest food,” says specialist advisor Anett Ullrich. When stressed, the body sets different priorities. Instead of going into digestion, it puts its energy into the blood flow to the muscles and the brain – so we are alert and can react quickly. Since food utilization is of secondary importance in stressful situations, the digestive tract is less supplied with blood.
Chewing keeps the intestines healthy
Food that is chewed briefly is used less well than porridge that is well chewed. The saying “well chewed, half digested” is really true. “Digestion begins in the mouth,” explains Anett Ullrich. “If this step is neglected, the gastrointestinal tract has a lot more work to do.” Many digestive problems can be traced back to fast eating. A lot of air gets into the stomach here. The result: unpleasant belching and flatulence. So if you chew well, you prevent discomfort and help your intestines stay healthy.
NOTICE! Eating quickly leads to indigestion and strains the intestines. If you eat in peace and chew thoroughly, the intestines can process the food better. Healthy recipes for a healthy bowel:
2. Frequent snacking
Intermittent fasting is currently very much in vogue. And with good reason: Those who eat constantly overwhelm their intestines with work and do not allow them to rest. Lent times help him regenerate.
Lent: natural diet
Regular breaks between meals are human nature. But while our ancestors often had to wait a long time to find something to eat, it is now normal to eat several times a day. However, constant snacking is not part of the natural eating behavior of humans. “Our organism is designed to store energy and then use it,” explains Anett Ullrich. “Anyone who eats many small meals throughout the day will not be able to reduce their reserves.”
Not only is the pancreas, which has to secrete insulin with every meal, overloaded, the intestines also suffer as a result. “Digestion costs a lot of energy,” says natural medicine consultant Ullrich. “The intestines need breaks to regenerate.” She recommends fasting three to four hours between meals. She also believes it makes sense to fast for a longer period of time. “Occasional breaks of 12 to 16 hours give the intestine the chance to clean up thoroughly and renew its cells,” explains the specialist advisor.
NOTICE! While constant eating overwhelms the intestine, clear meal breaks between the individual main meals help it to regenerate.
Sugar promotes tooth decay and obesity – most people know that. But high consumption can also have a negative effect on the intestines.
Refined sugar has become a habit in the Western diet. What used to be considered a precious spice can now be found everywhere. Whether in ready-made pizza, sauces or chips – Sugar is even found in products that don’t even taste sweet. Studies have shown that the average German citizen consumes the equivalent of up to 29 sugar cubes, i.e. around 90 grams of sugar, every day. This is almost double what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends as a daily maximum (50 grams). In the guidelines from 2015, the recommendation was even 25 grams.
Promotes unfavorable intestinal bacteria
A lot of sugar is also noticeable in the intestines. Researchers at the University of Alberta found that even if you only increase your sugar intake for a short period of time, it has an adverse effect on the intestines. The scientists had only served mice high-sugar food for two days in a row and found that they were much more susceptible to intestinal inflammation. “Sugar is known to promote inflammation,” says Anett Ullrich. “People with inflammatory bowel disease in particular should therefore avoid it.”
NOTICE! Sugar promotes inflammation in the intestines and thus has a negative impact on the intestinal flora.
4. Toast, pasta
Just like sugar, simple carbohydrates also stimulate without fiber the growth of unfavorable microorganisms from white bread, pasta and baked goods. “Whether viruses, bacteria or fungi,” says Ullrich. “They all love white flour products.” Eating a lot of it also promotes the growth of unfavorable intestinal bacteria. If vegetables and other foods containing fiber, such as nuts and legumes, are missing at the same time, this can lead to an imbalance in the intestine, a so-called dysbiosis. You should therefore limit your consumption here as well. If you have a balanced diet, you can of course treat yourself to a baguette or a delicious pasta. However, white flour products should not be part of the daily staple food. As with everything, the same applies here: The dose makes the poison.
NOTICE! White flour products promote the growth of fungi, viruses and bacteria in the intestine and in this way unbalance the intestinal flora.
Although it cheers our mood, the intestines do not enjoy alcohol. Alcohol not only disrupts digestion for a short time, it also damages the intestine permanently.
Digestive chaos from alcohol
For many, a glass of wine is simply part of a good meal. The term “after-work beer” is no coincidence either. For many, the beer in the evening symbolizes the end of a working day. But the alcohol messes things up during its journey from the mouth to the intestines – from the enzymes in the stomach to the speed of digestion. Depending on the type and amount, it can cause all kinds of digestive problems, from belching to diarrhea. In addition, like sugar, it promotes inflammation.
Study: alcohol promotes cancer
A variety of factors can contribute to the development of cancer. Alcohol is a clear trigger. The journal “Nature” published a study in 2018 in which scientists documented how the carcinogenic (= carcinogenic) effect of alcohol comes about: During the digestion of alcohol, acetaldehyde is produced as an intermediate product – the substance that is also found on the hummingbone skull. Not only does it cause a headache, it also damages DNA. This increases the risk of copying errors that cause stem cells to mutate. These mutations are direct causes of cancer.
Less cancer through reduced consumption
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) therefore recommends that men not consume more than 20 grams of alcohol and women not more than 10 grams of alcohol per day. For women this is about one drink, for example a glass of beer or wine, for men two. In a press release, however, the DGE also wrote that the risk of cancer increases with every glass of alcohol and that many cases of cancer can be prevented by reducing consumption.
NOTICE! Not only can alcohol cause direct indigestion, but it is also one of the triggers of cancer.
6. Fatty fast food
Most people know it themselves: After a fat burger or a pizza dripping with cheese, digestion is not at all well. “Fatty food is particularly difficult to digest,” explains Anett Ullrich. “With some people, fat digestion works worse than with others, this is often related to the composition of the intestinal flora.”
Munich scientists have now found out: A very high-fat diet unbalances the intestinal flora. The research team observed in the laboratory that changes in the intestinal flora play a decisive role in the development of colon cancer. By bringing the intestinal ecosystem back into balance, the risk of colon cancer decreased again. The task now is to find out whether the laboratory results can also be transferred directly to humans.
NOTICE! High-fat food is not only heavy in the stomach, studies have shown that it can also increase the risk of cancer.
Knowledge to take away
Our entire eating behavior is shaped by habits. While some of them protect gut health, others mess up the gut ecosystem and promote disease.
These six habits should be avoided for good bowel health:
- Eat hastily, chew little: Inadequately chewed food stresses the intestines and is poorly processed.
- Frequent snacking: The intestine has to work constantly through frequent meals and cannot regenerate sufficiently.
- Much sugar: Sugar promotes inflammation and stimulates unfavorable fungi, viruses and bacteria to multiply.
- Toast, pasta: White flour products, just like sugar, have an unfavorable effect on a balanced intestinal flora.
- Alcohol: Even if it’s just a beer in the evening, alcohol disturbs digestion and also promotes the development of cancer.
- Fatty fast food: A high-fat diet is tough on the intestines and unbalances the intestinal flora.