Our immune systems fight to keep us healthy and protected against harmful intrusions. The gastrointestinal tract constitutes about 70% of that complex system! Read on to discover more about the connection between your gut and immunity, as well as ways you can strengthen your immunity by keeping your gut in check.
Our digestive systems are composed of proteins, tissues, gut flora, cells and organs, which work together to protect our bodies from bacteria, toxins and infectious diseases.1 The little-known truth is that our gut flora is a game changer in regulating immunity. Our gut acts as the first line of defense between us and anything ingested. We are all exposed to bacteria (it’s impossible not to be) and our gut flora helps filter out anything harmful before it can enter our bloodstream.
So what exactly is gut flora? Gut flora, also referred to as gut microbiota, is essentially the microbe population living in our intestines containing tens of trillions of microorganisms. One third of our gut microbiota is common, while the other two thirds are specific to each of us. Our gut flora helps the body digest certain foods and produce vitamins B & K.2
Ways to Build up Your Immunity:
Make your gut flora happy.
One way to enhance gut flora is by taking probiotics. Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that support gut flora and digestion as part of a good class of bacteria. Probiotics are most important in times of great stress and after coming off antibiotics. Stress can wreak havoc on your gut, causing inflammation. Of the trillions of good bacteria in our bodies, many of those get destroyed after a course of antibiotic treatment.
A great way to get probiotics is by capsule. You’ll want to find one with at least 15 billion CFU (Colony Forming Unit). CFU is a measure of good bacteria and yeast in that product. See the closing of this article for proven probiotics available for purchase.
Another way to incorporate more probiotics is through your diet. Some foods high in probiotics are: yogurt, soft cheeses, drinks containing kefir, kombucha drinks, sourdough bread, and even sour pickles.
Maintain a clean, energizing diet.
Incorporating lean protein, fish, and green veggies into your diet also helps support digestion. Understand which foods upset your stomach or make you feel tired, and avoid them when you can. For me, those foods are dairy and processed sugar.
Take a fish oil supplement, or enjoy salmon 1-2 times a week.
Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids and has many incredible benefits. It can help lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, assist with diabetes, reduces asthma symptoms and improve skin conditions. It also makes skin softer and more radiant, in my experience. On top of all that, fish oil reduces inflammation, especially in the gut. Fish oil rich in DHA even enhances vitamin B cells resulting in a more balanced immunity.3
Enjoy quality sleep.
For our immune systems to do their jobs properly, they need the support of restful sleep. Deprived of that, our systems work overtime trying to keep up, resulting in a loss of balance. Need a little support with sleep quality, staying asleep or falling asleep? Check out our helpful products below.
Our bodies have everything they need to fight illness and heal from the inside out. We simply need to give our immune systems the support they need through good lifestyle choices.
- 1 – http://www.foodmatters.com/article/your-gut-and-immune-system-connection-recipe-giveaway
- 2 – http://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/about-gut-microbiota-info/
- 3 – https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/foas-nfa040113.php
The views expressed in this entry are strictly my opinion and do not reflect the views of Wishing U Well. Any decision to use supplements to support your specific needs should be considered in partnership with your healthcare professional.