By Isabelle d’Eat Energize, nutritionist and runner
As we enter the winter months and the news reminds us that viruses and seasonal epidemics are lurking in ambush, let’s talk about what can help us face these threats…
Did you know that your immunity depends in large part on the quality on the quality of your intestinal microbiota (also known as intestinal flora)? ?
Isabelle reminds us that this intestinal microbiota is made up of some 10,000 billion bacteria that help protect our body against undesirable agents. Barrier effect: by adhering to our intestinal mucosa, these bacteria prevent pathogenic micro-organisms from colonizing the intestine.
It is therefore important to pamper our microbiota, which can be altered by ageing, but also by eating too much sugar, taking antibiotics, smoking, stress or even… intensive sport.
To take care of our “good” bacteria, we can use pre- and probiotics. To understand: if we compare the microbiota to a lawn, prebiotics are the fertilizer, probiotics are the seeds.
Prebiotics are therefore important for nourishing the microbiota’s good bacteria. They are found in foods rich in soluble fiber, such as cereals and legumes, as well as in many fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in omega-3, such as oily fish, are also considered prebiotics. Polyphenols, found in potatoes, onions, dark chocolate… also have a positive impact.
Probiotics are often lactic acid bacteria that help strengthen the microbiota. It is found naturally in various foods (yogurt, lacto-fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut…) or in dietary supplements. It’s a bit like the reserve team in soccer! These supplements will be consumed for a maximum of 3 months. For best results, take them with meals and avoid combining them with hot foods. There is a quality label (ESLP) that can help you choose the right probiotics.
Other substances, such as curcumin and shiitake extract, also have a positive effect on the microbiota. This fragrant mushroom from Asia stimulates the body’s natural defenses.
And last but not least, don’t forget precious vitamin D, to be taken from October to April, and combined with a magnesium-rich diet to reinforce its action.
Good to know too: microbiota influences mood. So happiness is also on the plate… Good news, isn’t it?
Find Isabelle on Instagram (@eat_energize)!