Intestinal health always seems to carry such a “magic”: many people experience diarrhea or changes in bowel habits when they are nervous and depressed, and many studies have found that it is also related to nerve and mental diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Depression, autism, etc.
Not long ago, Professor Connie Rogers, a nutrition scientist at Pennsylvania State University, gave some secrets to keep the gut healthy.
Vegetables and fruits are indispensable, only try fiber to know
Although different nutrients have different effects on the intestinal tract, the role of dietary fiber should not be underestimated if the intestinal tract has a healthy microbiome.
In fact, before 1970, there was no “dietary fiber” in nutrition, only “crude fiber”. Until later, nutritionists found that this “non-nutrient” is closely related to human health, and also played an important role in the prevention of certain diseases, and changed “crude fiber” to “dietary fiber”.
Dietary fiber is a kind of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the human body and can be divided into two categories: water-soluble and water-insoluble. Common barley, beans, carrots, citrus, oats and other foods are rich in water-soluble fiber, but the best source of non-water-soluble fiber is whole grain foods, such as wheat bran, brown rice, oatmeal and so on.
Dietary fiber has a strong swelling function and water absorption effect, can absorb water in the intestine to form a gel-like substance, increase the volume of chyme, accelerate gastrointestinal motility, soften stool, and prevent constipation. In addition, it has a relatively strong adsorption capacity for fats and oils, which can be excreted together with feces, reducing the digestion and absorption of fats. Third, it can also adsorb carcinogens in the sticky intestine, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines, etc., and expel them from the body, reducing our risk of bowel cancer. Finally, dietary fiber can be fermented in the large intestine to promote the reproduction of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of saprophytic bacteria, thereby improving intestinal health.
However, I don’t know if you have had such an experience: People who eat similar fiber intake will eat well, but when they come to themselves, they will often have flatulence, excessive fart, diarrhea, and even constipation.
This may be related to the different tolerance of each of us to dietary fiber. In this regard, experts suggest that you can try to ingest different types and amounts of dietary fiber foods, feel the body’s tolerance to different fibers, “listen” to your body’s feedback, and see which is most compatible with our intestines, Then make adjustments.
In the 2019 “Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents”, the daily amount of vegetables and fruits for adults is recommended as follows: 300 to 500g of vegetables per day and 200 to 400g of fruits. At the same time, pay attention to increase the intake of potatoes.
Probiotics to report
Experts also mentioned that intestinal health can be improved by adding probiotics to the diet. Yogurt is a good example. Other natural fermented foods, such as sauerkraut or kimchi, are also good choices.
However, in the past two years, the benefits of probiotics seem to have been fired too much, so that more and more “rumors” have followed. Here, we must first understand: probiotics and probiotic supplements are two completely different concepts.
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as follows: when a sufficient number of living microorganisms are given, they have a beneficial effect on the health of the host. The most important role of probiotics in the human body is to maintain a balance of harmful and beneficial bacteria in the body. At the same time, it can also form a biological barrier to resist the invasion of harmful bacteria.
The probiotic supplement is a probiotic cultivated by the manufacturer based on the original bacteria, cultivated by the bacteria, stored by powder dormancy technology, and then made into a probiotic supplement.
So far, we have not been able to determine that probiotic supplements have the same health benefits as probiotic foods. Therefore, it is recommended to choose foods with probiotics.
So, what do we all need to pay attention to when choosing this type of food? Lactic acid bacteria drinks are not equal to probiotics. Lactic acid bacteria are a general term for bacteria that can ferment to produce lactic acid, but not all lactic acid bacteria are probiotics. Only lactic acid bacteria that reach the intestine alive in sufficient quantities and have a beneficial effect on the host are the probiotics defined by the food industry. “The list of strains that can be used in food” specifies the following common strains: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Lactococcus, Staphylococcus, etc.
Starch is more diverse
I don’t know when to start, Starch Brothers did the job of “not strenuous”. On the one hand, it is the main force for the energy supply of our body, on the other hand, it is also a nail in the eyes of the majority of weight loss lovers, and a thorn in the flesh. However, fortunately, he still has a buddy-resistant starch (RS), which has worked hard to expand its territory and win glory for the family in recent years.
The World Food and Agriculture Organization defines RS as the sum of starch and its degradation products that are not absorbed in the small intestine of healthy persons. RS has characteristics similar to dietary fiber, partially digested in the small intestine, fermented and completely absorbed in the colon. 
Common RSs in life can be divided into four categories:
o Physiologically unacceptable starch, present in grains, seeds and legumes;
o Naturally digestible starch, present in raw potatoes, raw bananas and high amylose corn starch;
o Aging starch, starch that crystallizes during cooling and is difficult to be decomposed by amylase, exists in cooked cold potatoes and cold rice;
o Chemically modified starches, chemically synthesized artificial resistant starches, are commonly found in milk, biscuits, and bread.
The existing research evidence shows that a high RS diet can increase fecal wet weight and volume, accelerate intestinal transit, relieve constipation, and effectively improve intestinal health. In addition, it also has the effect of inhibiting pro-inflammatory microorganisms, that is, with the increase of RS intake, pro-inflammatory microorganisms such as acidophilus, E. coli, and Bacteroides significantly decrease.
In addition, if the intake of resistant starch is too much, it will cause excessive growth of colon bacteria, and produce carbon dioxide, methane and other gases through fermentation, causing gastrointestinal discomfort.
Therefore, if we want to increase the intake of resistant starch, we should first choose the correct food containing resistant starch, and secondly, we should also pay attention to reducing the intake of other carbohydrates, together with other nutrients and dietary fiber food.
Sports “forever” is king
What are the benefits of exercise on the intestine? In 2017, Professor Jefffrey Woods from the University of Illinois and Dr. Jacob Allen from the National Children ’s Hospital proved for the first time that exercise performance does not depend on diet and other factors to affect the intestinal flora.
They conducted experiments on 18 skinny adults and 14 fat adults who lacked exercise—aerobic exercise 30 to 60 minutes 3 times a week for 6 weeks. In addition, these subjects can maintain their daily diet. The researchers took samples of the subjects ’intestinal microbes before and after exercise.
The results showed that after exercise, the concentration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the feces of the subjects increased, but once the inactive lifestyle was restored, the concentration of this substance decreased. SCFA, also known as volatile fatty acids, plays an important role in maintaining the normal function of the large intestine and the shape and function of colonic epithelial cells. In addition, at different stages of the study, the proportion of intestinal microbes in the two groups of subjects also changed differently.
However, some studies have found that for patients with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, as exercise intensity and exercise time increase, the risk of intestinal injury and intestinal dysfunction also increases. Therefore, for this group of people, low to moderate intensity exercise is beneficial.
In fact, regardless of human health, under the burden of 60% of maximum oxygen uptake, two hours of exercise is the threshold for intestinal problems, and running or exercising under high temperature conditions may worsen the intestinal dysfunction.
Therefore, everyone must make an exercise plan based on specific physical conditions.
The “National Fitness Guide” gives a “three two one” principle, that is, three kinds of exercise methods, two kinds of exercise intensity and 1 hour of exercise per day. Aerobic exercise, strength exercises and stretching exercises are three indispensable parts of a complete fitness.