Gut Health and Immunity: How to Optimize your Gut to help boost your Immune System
By Dr. Mary Clifton
One of the most important things you can do to naturally build up your immunity is to support your body's BUILT-IN immune system.
The human body is a healing machine. It is designed that way. But with today’s ever-increasing level of toxicity and stress, your gut is constantly under attack.
And with EIGHTY percent of your immunity living in your gut, your gut is your 1st response zone before any pathogen or virus hits.
There is a one-cell thick layer of gut lining that protects your body from toxins, bacteria, undigested food particles and things we have to google, like lipopolysaccharides … and of course…viruses.
In addition to helping bolster you up against potential cold & flu viruses, maintaining a healthy gut also helps with other conditions that can totally interrupt (or ruin) our lives.
Your digestive system affects everything from your immune response, stress levels, sleep patterns, skin clarity, energy reserves… and the list goes on.
You have 500 species and three pounds of bacteria in your gut, and they are a diverse and interdependent ecosystem. They must be in balance for you to be healthy.
Too many of the wrong ones (like parasites, yeasts or bad bacteria) or not enough of the good ones (like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium), can lead to serious damage to your health. Your GI system is home to trillions of bacteria - and millions of microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites, etc.) living within your body. These “critters” are essential to the most basic biological mechanisms required for human life such as digestion, energy production, and detoxification. When you have leaky gut, or gut dysbiosis, that means there is an upset to the natural balance of microorganisms in your gut.
Scientists have actually nicknamed the gut your “second brain” because this complex system has the power to change your mood and is a central mainframe for your immune system.
While there is no quick fix to a less than optimal gut - you CAN see a vast improvement in symptoms, sometimes in as little as 7 days.
Why? Because your gut lining regenerates every 7 days. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, this is your entrypoint. Your GUT is your first line of defense.
Here are five things that you can do to get better gut health now:
- Eat a high fiber diet. The healthy bacteria in your gut consumes some of the fiber you eat to help strengthen the wall of the gut and also to help promote blood flow to the gut.
- Choose a good probiotic. Microbiome diversity supports a healthy gut, but also increasingly tied to healthier systems over the entire body, including the skin and thyroid.
- Choose alkaline foods. Healthy bacteria thrive in an alkaline environment. More salads and less meat will promote a better pH in the gut and help healthy bacteria thrive.
- Choose less sugar and fat. Sugary, fatty foods modify the gut microbiome and effect the balance of the endocannabinoid system is just 48 hours.
- Eat less processed foods. Processing concentrates sugar and fat and decrease water and fiber in foods. Whole natural foods are always superior to processed foods.