This is the question that many people are asking themselves and it is a search that is becoming more and more frequent on Google. Being well in one’s body also requires a good digestion. A flat stomach is strongly linked to our intestines. But why is that? A lot of research suggests that the intestine is one of the main factors in our overall health. So how can we improve the health of our intestines? and how to have a flat belly?
Why is our intestinal health important?
The intestine is 7 km of digestive tract! A good intestinal wall and a good balance of flora is essential for its proper functioning.
When the intestine is healthy, it absorbs the food you eat so your body can use all the nutrients. When the intestine is not healthy, such as when bad bacteria grow, nutrients may not be absorbed properly and may even trigger inflammation.
This inflammatory reaction can potentially manifest itself in the form of various health problems. Whatever your health problems or goals (such as boosting your immunity, increasing your energy or building muscle), it may be a good idea to start with your intestine.
Manifestation of an intestine in pain:
Bloating, malodorous flatulence, abdominal pain, transit disorder, white tongue, fatigue …
It is possible to improve your intestinal health and have a flat belly within a week. Each meal has a direct influence on the mucous membrane and the intestinal flora. Therefore, it is best to eat food of reasonable quality and quantity.
Here are 11 tips:
1. Add fermented foods to your diet
Foods fermented by natural processes contain probiotics that can strengthen the microbiome (or the trillions of bacteria that live in the digestive tract). Try adding fermented vegetables such as pickles, kefir, kimchi, soy sauce, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut and tempeh to your diet this week. You can add kimchi or miso to your stir-fries, a little soy sauce in your dressing, have a glass of kefir as an afternoon snack. These are easy ways to make intestinal health part of your routine.
2. Consume less sugar and try not to add sugar to your diet.
Real sugar or fake sugar, it’s the same fight! Artificial sweeteners can prevent the body from healing by altering the intestinal microbiota. Sugar can not only feed bad bacteria, but also suppress the growth of good bacteria. In other words, you can eat all the sauerkraut and tempeh you want, but it won’t make much difference to your gut if you consume too much sugar. If you feel overwhelmed by the elimination of sugar, start slowly. Eat your coffee without sugar or have a salty breakfast (eggs or avocado toast) or opt for no added sugar!
No more need to add sugar, or otherwise good sugar, such as unrefined sugar like rapadura, maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar (the best for our glycemia!) will be preferred.
3. Get more sleep – and if possible, let your body wake up naturally.
Waking up may be an absolute necessity to get to the office before 9 a.m., but ideally you should wake up naturally (according to the circadian rhythm) for optimal bowel health.
“The intestinal microbiota has a circadian rhythm just like us. Our intestinal microbiota fluctuates in composition and abundance according to our rhythm when we eat and sleep. If this circadian rhythm is disrupted, we’re in trouble.”said Dr. M. Andrea Azcárate-Peril, Director of the Microbiome Core Facility at the University of North Carolina.
This week, focus on sleeping according to your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Go to bed earlier if you have trouble waking up in the morning, and if possible, try to wake up naturally.
4. Consume good oils
Fat is not good for you! No it isn’t! Bad fats are indeed not good but some are essential! Organic oils of good quality (preferably cold pressed) are excellent for our health: olive, walnut, rapeseed, flax, hazelnut, coconut, …
5. Focus on stress management
A study published in 2014 in BMC Microbiology showed that psychological stress can interfere with the good bacteria and microorganisms in the small intestine. The nervous, immune and hormonal systems respond quickly to stress and cause direct effects on the gut. For some it is our emotional brain.
Although stress may be unavoidable in this day and age, it becomes necessary to find activities that calm us down and reduce our nervousness. This week, try yoga, meditation, abdominal breathing or reading before bed. For long-term stress management, focus on ways to lower cortisol levels in the body on a regular basis.
More information can be found in my article The top 5 anti-stress food.
6. Eat more fibre (natural)
Fibre is crucial for intestinal health. If you want to improve your intestinal health over the long term, do what your mother told you as a child and eat fruit and vegetables.
Fibre nourishes the good bacteria in your gut. Vegetables are powerful, add more to your daily diet. Try foods that are particularly high in fibre such as pears, berries, avocados, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, lentils, beans, etc.
7. Add prebiotics to your meals
You’re already focusing on fibre to get things done, but prebiotics are a specific type of fibre that acts as a food for the probiotics in your microbiome. You need both prebiotics and probiotics for good intestinal health. Try putting a spoonful of powdered inulin in your coffee or smoothie, and fill up on products like bananas, asparagus, onions and garlic, chicory or endive that contain natural prebiotics.
8. Add ginger or turmeric
The roots of ginger and turmeric have been historically known since time immemorial in Ayurvedic medicine. Ginger is certainly energizing, but it is also excellent for our digestive system. As for turmeric, its anti-inflammatory properties are recognized.
All you have to do is grate the equivalent of a phalanx from a dish or your detox drink.
Detox Drink Recipe :
- Boil some water,
- then add the juice of half a lemon,
- a teaspoon of honey,
- grated ginger (equivalent to a phalanx)
- and a little black pepper.
In addition to being good for your digestive system, it is also very energizing. Ideal to drink in the morning with breakfast.
9. Use activated charcoal
Activated charcoal, in powder, granules or capsules is highly recommended in case of digestive or intestinal problems.
It helps to purify our body and reduces disorders related to intestinal fermentation such as constipation, diarrhea or gastroenteritis because it regulates transit but also heartburn, aerophagia, flatulence, bloating and irritable bowel syndromes.
In addition, it lowers cholesterol and blood triglycerides (20g/day), balances kidney failure, suppresses bad breath and even has a detoxifying effect if harmful substances are ingested (to a certain extent of course).
As activated charcoal is very absorbent, it is advisable to take medicines 2 hours before or after taking it, and especially not at the same time as it would reduce their effectiveness.
He’s your main ally in getting a flat tummy!
10. Chew properly!
Good chewing is between 10 to 30 times per bite. This allows a 20% reduction in digestive work because, contrary to what one might think, it is only chewing that allows food to be reduced to “slurry”. The more food is chewed, the better your intestine will be able to assimilate the nutrients and the flatter your stomach will be. Digestion alone takes up 20% of our energy expenditure – let’s help it by being a little more careful about what we eat 🙂
11. Trust your body and gut
Your body really knows what’s best for it, so pay attention to your body’s reactions. What are your desires? Does coffee make you tired? Does kale make you swollen or does too much protein make your brain soft? While we can identify some of the health benefits of food, lifestyle changes and activities, every body is different and only you can tell what is really good or bad for your bowel.
If a workout puts too much stress on your body, or if a “healthy” food makes you feel limp, trust your instincts. Give your body what it needs instead of what you think it “should” do (for example, if you want something hot, eat a hot dish instead of forcing yourself to eat salad, or if you feel exhausted, skip your workout and take a bath).
Personally, I have noticed that my body prefers to eat raw food for breakfast or lunch, but not in the evening. Sometimes I feel that certain food combinations are not good for me. Everyone is different, everyone adapts to his body 🙂
With all these tips, your intestines will thank you, your stomach will be flatter and you will feel better about your body. Good habits to start the year off right 🙂 Now you know what you need to do to have a flat tummy!
If you have other tips to offer, give your tips as a comment!