It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: 80 percent of whether we get sick or not is decided in our intestines. A natural protective shield is built in there that needs to be nurtured and cared for.
Admittedly, it is not exactly suitable as a small-talk topic, but it is nevertheless important and should be spread, because too few people still know what a feat our intestines have to perform every day: Around 80 percent of the body’s immune defence takes place in our digestive organ. Whether the evil viruses and bacteria can harm you, and to what extent, therefore depends on a healthy intestinal flora.
The intestine filters toxins, germs and pollutants out of the food we eat throughout our lives and produces immune cells that are distributed throughout the body via the lymphatic system, where they thwart pathogens. Thousands of different types of healthy bacteria live in the intestine and are always hard at work. In the course of a 75-year life, about 30 tonnes of food and 50,000 litres of fluid pass through the intestines. This can lead to irritation.
Scientists are investigating the connection between the development of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, arteriosclerosis, depression, Alzheimer’s and autism. In many of these diseases, researchers have found changes in the gut flora. Beneficial gut bacteria can be taken either through food or in capsule form. The good bacteria are called probiotics. They are found in probiotic yoghurt, kefir or sauerkraut. Prebiotics are foods that stimulate the growth and activity of good gut bacteria. For example, cold rice, garlic, chicory, green bananas or asparagus.