top of page


Good intestinal function is not only important for good digestion. The intestines also play a very important role in the functioning of the immune system, producing hormones, vitamins and neurotransmitters. The intestines have a strong relationship with the brain: the brain-gut axis. 80% of the information flow between the brain and the intestines goes to the brain, 20% goes to the intestines. The intestines are sometimes called 'the second brain'. The name 'the first brain' may be better, as in evolution the intestines emerged much earlier than the brain. Disruption of the intestines not only cause unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas, they can also directly affect brain function. An overstimulated brain, exercise intolerance and mood disorders are among the possible consequences.

Millions of bacteria live in the intestines. Simply put, you have good (gram positive) and bad (gram negative) bacteria. These bacteria perform essential functions for digestion, nutrient absorption, protection of the intestinal wall, immune function and mood. You feed the good ones with 'healthy food' (green leafy vegetables, nuts, etc.), the bad ones mainly with sugars and alcohol. So you can make choices there,

Of course, what you eat makes a big difference to the functioning of the intestines. But there are more factors that influence intestinal function:

  • relaxation is the basic condition for good intestinal function. During stress, the intestines virtually come to a standstill because all energy is needed elsewhere in the body

  • movement. In particular, walking and knee bends have a stimulating effect on the intestines

  • chew well. Food that has been finely ground by chewing and mixed with specific enzymes that are secreted in the mouth is much easier for the intestines to process.

  • Relaxed abdominal breathing massages all abdominal organs, including the intestines.

  • Pulling in or tightening the abdomen actually hinders intestinal function. This can happen as a (un)conscious habit to appear slimmer or as part of the general stress response.

Practical tips and links:

  • In case of serious intestinal complaints, consult a doctor and/or nutritionist. Disruption of the intestinal flora and food intolerances require a specific approach. Want to keep your intestinal bacteria in balance?

  • Always chew well, eat slowly. The food should become liquid in the mouth and not be swallowed in whole chunks.

  • Exercise often and varied.

  • Do not keep your stomach pulled in, this hinders intestinal function.

bottom of page