Many of us experience gas and bloating as a result of eating certain foods. Our initial instinct is to think that these foods are probably not good for us. After all, gases are not a pleasant thing.
On the other hand, weight loss or sugar balance that occurs as a result of one diet or another is still not an indication that it is the diet that is really good for us in the long run, even if this diet is “pleasant” to our digestive system and even leads to desired metabolic results.
Studies from the last decade show that it is very possible that these foods, which cause us gas, are perhaps the best for us. How can it be? The answer lies in our gut flora (the bacterial system in the gut). Many studies show that the variety of intestinal flora is one of the most important things for our overall health. Diverse intestinal flora has been found to reduce the risk of being overweight, contribute to sugar balance, improve mood, reduce the risk of arthritis and autoimmune diseases and much more.
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How to increase the variety of intestinal bacteria?
Probiotics are the good bacteria, but taking a probiotic supplement does not regularly change our gut flora. In order for our variety of bacteria to be large and stable, we need a growth medium in the gut that will provide the growth conditions for those bacteria. Prebiotics are the same foods that are a breeding ground for probiotic bacteria and probably much more important to provide the growing medium, than the bacteria themselves, since bacteria of all kinds are in the air. Only those who find a suitable growth medium will multiply in our intestines.
What does all this have to do with foods that cause us to gas?
It turns out that it is precisely the foods that cause flatulence, such as legumes and vegetables from the cruciferous family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) that are the prebiotic food and breeding ground for the good bacteria.
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What is in these foods that is a breeding ground for the good bacteria?
The answer is a variety of dietary fiber. It turns out that what we do not eat for us, dietary fiber, is food for the good bacteria. Fiber is made from monosaccharide molecules, most often glucose, but also other monosaccharides such as fructose and more.
The bonds between the sugar molecules in the dietary fiber, are such that our humans do not have the enzyme that breaks them down. For us the same food is a dietary fiber and not a source of energy. But it’s really not that he goes in and out of the bathroom. By the way, the good bacteria utilize some of the fiber as food! They have the enzyme that breaks down the bond between the monosaccharide molecules. And when the good bacteria have food, they grow and multiply. The side effect of the digestion of fiber by the good bacteria are the gases that are formed in our digestive system.
What affects the variety of our gut flora?
A lot of things, from exposure to toxins in food to our sleep patterns. Yes, yes, our sleeping habits turn out to affect a variety of gut bacteria. Regular and regular exercise also improves and increases the variety of intestinal bacteria. But it turns out that the most significant factor of all, is the variety of plant foods we eat.
Everyone knows it is important to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. This is not new. But if you eat a large amount of them, but in a relatively limited variety, it’s good but really not enough. Just cucumber, tomato and gamba in a salad, it really is not enough. Try to have at least 6.8 different types of vegetables in the salad. Do not forget the onion, which contains a large and healthy variety of dietary fiber.
Not only the quantity determines, but the number of types of vegetables you eat. I recommend that you make a weekly list of all the types of vegetables you eat. You should get at least 18 types of vegetables and green leaves a week. at least. This is the parameter that will most determine the health of your digestive system.
It is quite possible that the price will be multi.gas. High.fiber foods produce gas, but your benefits from such a diet will be many. One can take comfort in the fact that if one maintains a diet high in dietary fiber, the body learns to adapt to the diet and gradually the gases also moderate. On the other hand, if your diet is low in whole grains and does not contain a large variety of vegetables and green leaves, even if it has contributed to your weight balance, in the long run it is not at all certain that this diet is good for your health.
And here’s an idea for a family challenge:
Make a table with a column for each member of the family and hang it on the fridge.
Every family member who eats a vegetable / fruit / green leaf of any kind during the week, writes it on the page, under his column. The challenge is to be the family member with the longest column, the one who ate the largest variety of vegetables and fruits. This challenge can change your entire diet and significantly improve your health.
2 breakfast options that will improve intestinal health:
Fruit + a variety of nuts and almonds. These are high.fiber foods and they will give you energy and satiety for several hours, along with an important contribution to the health of the digestive system.
Whole wheat bread / 100% whole spelled, preferably with sourdough and without oil or sugar. For application, a natural and home.made spread, herbal of course, and high in fiber is recommended. It could be avocado in season, fenugreek spread you made at home, zucchini and onion spread (baked in the oven and ground afterwards), gambas spread and more and more options. Along with the bread and dip one should eat a rich vegetable salad with at least 5.6 types of vegetables. This is a full breakfast and the vegetables in it will not only provide you with more fiber of different types, but will also contribute to the balance of sugar levels after eating.
Dr. Gil Yosef Shachar (MD) is the head of the Maimonides Medical Center. Wrote the introduction to the Hebrew edition of the book ‘The Microbium Revolution’, published by Focus – Books for Health.