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The care of today’s microbiota, tomorrow’s health

EFEsalut launches “Alimentació Sostenible”, a new podcast in collaboration with Nestlé. Do you know what microbiota is? How to take care of it? The first episode of the podcast relates global health and gut microbiota.

We often underestimate or do not know the importance and weight of these small organisms that live in our bodies: intestinal microbiota it is the great forgotten when talking about health. Let’s switch turns!

Noelia López, Nestlé nutritionistaccompanies us once again to delve deeper into the benefits of a greener diet, even if this time he does so by premiering a new podcast, “Sustainable Food“.

Because food influences many and varied health disorders, but also the microbiota. Do we know the symbiosis that exists between one and the other? How does it affect our health?

Do you know what the gut microbiota is?

Imperceptible, but with a vital significance in our lives. The intestinal microbiota (what we mistakenly know as flora) is that set of tiny organisms that inhabit and colonize our intestines. It is estimated that around 100 trillion bacteria of 1,000 species different co-exists in our body although, of course, we are not able to see them with the naked eye.

How the microbiota influence our health

The Nestlé expert explains that microbiota and health, be it intestinal or even immunological, are concepts that are closely related. What’s more, it has come to be connected with the appearance of certain digestive conditions such as allergies or obesity.

“Its importance in health is such that there are already specialists who refer to the microbiota as another organ of our body”, says the nutritionist.

SUSTAINABLE FOOD-cover
Alimentación Sostenible, new podcast from EFESalut and Nestlé

How do they weigh so much?

And the fact is that, although unknown, bacteria have an infinite number of functions in our body, such as…

  • Protective functionsince it acts as a barrier against toxic substances or pathogens
  • They help us metabolize some nutrients that bring us our food
  • They regulate the amount of neurotransmitters or insulin
  • They collaborate in the production of vitamins such as K or B12which play a very important role in the regulation of metabolism and energy balance.
  • Immunological function. In the world of immunonutrition, The gut microbiota plays a crucial role.

For these factors it is essential to maintain one good intestinal healththat makes it difficult for less beneficial organisms to develop and for more favorable ones to grow, which manufacture substances that protect us, such as short-chain fatty acids, which protect us from infections among other things.

In addition, substances capable of modulating the inflammationthey act as anti-inflammatory, acting on the immune response.

Watch out for…

In short, Noelia López talks about a symbiotic relationship between the microbiota and us. To take care of it we must take into account factors like

  • Food
  • Management of emotions
  • Stress and cortisol control
  • Exercise and avoid sedentary lifestyle
  • Correct use of antibiotics

Are we all born with the same microbiota?

One thing that the expert highlights in this new podcast is that we are not born with the same microbiota as others, but, from birth, we shape it individually, being conditioned by aspects such as breastfeedingthe type of birth or until coexistence with pets. Although nutrition is important, it is not the only factor that comes into play.

To start taking care of the health of our microbiota…

Through food we provide the bacteria “food” and “home” to survive and, in return, these give us substances that our body could not manufacture without their help, as is the case of some vitamins or short chain fatty acids like butyrate, a very interesting molecule in sleep regulation.

Therefore, to take care of our microbiota, we must do so by guaranteeing:

  • Healthy and nutritious food
  • Recommended amounts of fiber

Is the cooking method important?

Something that draws particular attention is that the way of cooking foods rich in hydrates such as potato, sweet potato or pasta is conditioning the microbiota.

  • If we talk about rice or pasta: boil them until al dente point afterwards clarify with cold water and let rest in the refrigerator for several hours. This process causes a change in resistant starch that causes…
    • …Foods are better tolerated
    • …It promotes the correct growth of the microbiota

Examples of recipes

Noelia López provides a series of recipes in which we can apply this process, such as:

  • Lentil salad with rice
  • Rice with curry chicken
  • Winter salad with a touch of potatoes and tangerine crickets
Huesca, gastronomy, nutrition alphabet, Laura González, Nestlé Cuisine, rice, legumes, beans, dish, traditional
Lentil salad with rice/EFE/Nestlé Cuina

Other soluble fibers that act as probiotics

In addition, there are other fibers that act as probiotics. We can find them in foods of vegetable origin and in breast milk.

  • pectins: we find them in foods such as apples, carrots, blackberries, oranges, grapes, blueberries… To take advantage of them, the Nestlé nutritionist recommends making homemade compotes
  • Mucilages: present in flax or chia seeds.
  • Inulin: We find it in foods such as artichokes, garlic, leeks…

Let’s not forget about the probiotics themselves

Some fermented foods contain live foods, also known as probiotics, which have the ability to transform our microbiota if we consume them frequently and in a healthy way. But not just any living microorganism is a probiotic, it has to be a specific strain, like the lactobacillus.

We are what we eat

What we eat plays a fundamental role in everything, including our microbiota. For this reason, the Nestlé nutritionist insists… even if it is a practice specific to dates, Do not do restrictive diets! Our health may depend on it.

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