The intestine plays an important role in our body. It is responsible for the absorption of usable substances from our food and at the same time a possible point of attack for pathogens. In order to be able to fight against them, the intestine has about 80% of the cells of the immune system. If something becomes imbalanced in the intestine, your entire body's own defence system may be weakened. So if you keep your bowel health in good shape, you are also doing your immune system a favour.
Intestine and digestion - how it works
The intestine is made up of the small intestine and large intestine. The intestinal mucosa is the inner lining of the intestine and on it is the intestinal flora (microbiota), which refers to all the intestinal bacteria in the body.
After food has been absorbed, the small intestine ("the main place of digestion") continues the digestive work. In order to provide as large an area as possible for the absorption of nutrients, the wall of the intestine in the small intestine is folded up and additionally provided with crypts and villi. The villi are equipped on the outside with thread-like cell extensions called microvilli. The folding and the intestinal villi with their microvilli enormously increase the contact surface of the small intestine. With a length of about 6 metres, the small intestine is the larger part of the intestine. This is where the main work for digestion and absorption of nutrients is done: Digestive juices help break down the nutrients into their smallest building blocks so that they can be absorbed into the blood through the intestinal wall.
The large intestine ("remnant metaboliser") consists of colon and rectum. With a length of up to 1.5 metres, it is the smaller part of the bowel. The appendix with appendix appendix is also part of the large intestine. One of the tasks of the large intestine is to remove water and salts from the intestinal contents - absorption. This prevents the body from losing fluid unnecessarily. By removing water and salts, the remaining food pulp is now thickened. Cells secrete mucus in the large intestine, which then makes the faeces more slippery.
Our gut flora - a world of its own
Apart from "reuse", the large intestine also has a special task. It is the home of the intestinal bacteria. There are hundreds of different types of bacteria: Together they form the intestinal flora on the intestinal mucosa.
One of the important tasks of the intestinal bacteria is to support digestion. Without them, some food components can only be processed poorly or not at all. These include fibre, for example. So to process them, the intestinal flora produces special enzymes that break down the fibre. This produces breakdown products that serve the body in the form of energy. The intestinal flora also takes care of the absorption and formation of many vitamins and some hormones. Especially the B vitamins: Vitamin B7 (biotin), B2 and B12. The hormones produced by the intestinal flora are the happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine and also the sleep hormone melatonin.
Together with the intestinal mucosa, the intestinal bacteria form a kind of protective wall that keeps pathogens away. The intestinal flora does this by producing lactic acid, which most bacteria cannot survive. A healthy intestinal flora is vital for a strong immune system. With a few tips, you can build and sanitise the intestinal flora.
GALT - the intestinal immune system
The intestines decide what is good for your body and what is not. This works with the help of the GALT: the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. In the GALT up to 80% of the immune cells are located and produce antibodies against pathogens. Your gut-associated immune system has learned to recognise the body's own cells, micro-organisms and valuable nutrients and distinguish them from bad viruses and bacteria. All this information is passed on by your intestine over the blood and the lymph channels to other defense centres in the body: Thus the GALT supports the entire body-own defense system effectively.
How to keep your bowel healthy
Here we give you a few tips on how to keep your intestinal flora in balance and thus support your immune system in its work.
1. A varied diet
A fit intestine needs above all fresh and untreated fruit and vegetables. For good digestion and a healthy intestine, you also need a lot of fibre.
However, you should avoid sugary foods, too much sausage and meat and ready-made meals with lots of preservatives. Avoid large portions, take two smaller ones and chew slowly and thoroughly.
2. Walk when you have to
Going to the toilet is a natural need and should not be denied or ignored. This can manifest itself, for example, in constipation, which can cause widespread illness.
3. Drink enough
For your intestinal health you should always drink plenty of liquids. Up to 2 litres of water are recommended. Liquid stimulates your digestion and helps to ensure that food is processed optimally.
4. Exercise a lot
A short digestive walk will do you good. Whether you are walking, briskly walking or even jogging. It stimulates your digestion and keeps you fit at the same time.
5. Reduce stress
"Stress hits your stomach." The brain is closely connected to the digestive tract, it's called the intestinal-brain axis. The nerve cells in the intestines and brain send each other signals all the time. If we feel unwell and are stressed, this has an effect on our intestinal health. Our digestion then reacts with constipation, diarrhoea or flatulence, for example. Digestive teas are particularly helpful in this regard. If you have stomach ache, put a soothing hot water bottle on your stomach.
These foods are good for your intestine
Fibre is particularly good for a diet suitable for the intestines. They are divided into water-soluble and insoluble substances. In addition, pre- and probiotic foods have a great influence on your healthy intestinal flora.
Water-soluble dietary fibres:
They are broken down by the intestinal bacteria and serve as food. Furthermore, they act as healthy nutrients for the cells of the intestinal mucosa and help to fend off nasty pathogens, thus strengthening your immune system.
- Flea seed husks
Water-insoluble dietary fibres:
They stimulate intestinal movement by swelling in the intestine, as this fibre is hardly broken down by bacteria. The swelling increases the volume of stool and also accelerates excretion.
- Wholemeal products
- Wheat bran
- Cereal grains
Pre- and probiotics for your intestine:
Lactic acid products stimulate the intestinal bacteria and maintain the balance of your intestine.
- Natural yoghurt
- Cider vinegar
Your intestines are important: so listen to your gut for a healthy immune system and intestinal health. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and also try our food supplements, which can make a positive contribution to the balance of the bowel and help to maintain a normal immune system.
And now you can enjoy the taste. But it is also important to take enough time while eating, because relaxed eating and thorough chewing additionally relieves the intestines.
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