Easy Diet Tips to Avoid Intestinal Problems

14 July, 2020
We'll show you how to avoid intestinal problems through an adequate diet. Improve your quality of life with the following tips!
 

Intestinal problems are a fairly common disease in the population. They cause major discomfort for many people and can affect our everyday life and diets. To avoid intestinal problems, you must follow a series of dietary guidelines. This way, you’ll ensure proper digestion and good health levels for your intestinal microbiota.

Fiber intake to avoid intestinal problems

Fiber is an essential nutrient for our intestinal health. One of its main properties is to improve intestinal transit, thereby reducing problems such as diarrhea or constipation.

Furthermore, insoluble fiber has the ability to ferment intestinal bacteria, and it leads to the production of short-chain fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties.

You should accompany your fiber intake by drinking sufficient amounts of water. This way, soluble fiber will increase the volume of the fecal bolus and improve intestinal transit by stimulating peristalsis.

To ensure a proper fiber intake, it’s crucial to include whole grains and foods in your diet. You should avoid highly refined flours and white pasta, both of which have very low amounts of fiber and produce a high insulin spike.

Consuming probiotics every day is also key

Another key aspect of intestinal health is eating probiotic-rich foods on a daily basis. The most representative element of this group is yogurt, but there are other types of food that also contain large amounts of these microorganisms, such as kefir.

 

Consuming these products every day improves the quality of our intestinal flora. The consequences of a healthy microbiota are numerous, ranging from the production of vitamins with an antioxidant capacity to the improvement of processes related to depression [1][2].

Strawberry yogurt is a great food to improve our microbiota and avoid intestinal problems

Apart from that, experts have linked proper microbiota health to complex diseases, such as some types of cancer. To this day, it’s still unclear to what extent our diets can influence the diversity of bacteria in the body. However, frequent consumption of probiotic foods is highly recommended.

In some cases, supplementation with probiotics may also be beneficial. It’s important to not confuse probiotics with prebiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms that have the ability to colonize the digestive tract, while prebiotics are mostly insoluble-fiber-rich foods with the ability to ferment in our intestine.

Beware of foods that create gas!

There are certain foods that can increase the production of gases on an intestinal level. Legumes and other vegetables, such as asparagus, have this capacity. In people who have frequent gas problems, it would be a good idea to limit the consumption of these foods to once a week.

 

Normally, when we consume them mashed, these types of products cause significantly less gas and bloating. However, to avoid the risk of discomfort, you shouldn’t consume them in days prior to sports events for example.

On the other hand, fiber fermentation can also contribute to gas production. Therefore, gas could be an indicator of good intestinal health.

Low-fat meals

Eating very fatty foods can cause heavy digestion. The presence of fat slows down the speed of digestion and increases the likelihood of discomfort. Therefore, opting for low-fat cooking methods such as a griddle or oven could be a good option.

Another interesting idea is to avoid fatty sauces and dressings. Taking these steps will help our digestion be noticeably lighter and faster.

There are also some herbal supplements that increase the size of the fecal bolus and make intestinal transit faster. Plantago ovata is one example of this. However, it’s important to combine this type of supplement with an abundant intake of water, and not exceed its consumption indications to avoid possible diarrhea or cramps.

A low fat chicken salad is a great way to avoid intestinal problems

Conclusion on how to avoid intestinal problems

 

The best way to avoid intestinal discomfort or problems is to be mindful of what we eat. It’s important to eat a diet rich in fiber and probiotic foods to ensure the good health of our microflora.

These strategies also help to prevent diseases related to our digestive tract. Avoiding foods that contain a lot of fat, and cause bloating and gas will help ease our digestive processes. As we mentioned before, we should also make sure we have adequate water intake during the whole process.

  1. Quigley EMM., Microbiota-brain gut axis and neurodegenerative diseases. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep, 2017. 17 (12): 94.
  2. Selway CA., Eisenhofer R., Weyrich LS., Microbiome applications for pathology: challenges of low microbial biomass samples during diagnostic testing. J Pathol Clin Res, 2020.