Did you know that one of the most powerful solutions for immune system protection has very little to do with wearing a mask, sanitizing our hands, or social distancing? The IMMUNE-GUT connection is one proactive way to protect yourself in an immune compromised environment. Just protecting yourself from the outside is kind of like a soldier going into battle with full armor, but no weapons. A strong immune system connected with a healthy gut, is your weapon against illness.
The Importance of Gut Health
Gut health is a essential part of immune system health. According to healthline.com, a healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep cycles, and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases.
The gut is “bacteria headquarters”. We consume both good and bad bacteria in the foods that we eat, and it’s important to keep it all balanced for an optimal gut micro-biome (gut-environment) to promote good immune health.
One of the side effects of a buildup of bad bacteria is gastroenteritis. This can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and in extreme cases, hospitalization due to dehydration. Probiotics can both cure and prevent this nasty infection.
There are many ways to get probiotics through food and beverages. The most common form is yogurt. Many people choose this option to get their daily dose of probiotics because of the taste, and because it’s considered to be a healthy snack. Adding fruit, flax seeds, or granola to yogurt can really give it some spunk! If you’re not into the taste and texture of yogurt or are dairy-free, you can also go with a probiotic supplement. There are many different brands on the market to choose from.
Another popular probiotic food is fermented vegetables such as fresh raw sauerkraut, or pickled beets. Two spoons of raw sauerkraut can give you a good daily dose of probiotics. The good bacteria from sauerkraut supports the lining of the digestive system. A strong gut lining stops unwanted substances and toxins from releasing into the body and causing an immune response.
In addition to yogurt, sauerkraut, and capsuled probiotic, there is also kombucha, a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea probiotic drink. Check your local grocery or health food store and see what varieties of kombucha they have to offer. There are even breweries, now, that offer kombucha on tap!
Whatever method you choose to increase your gut health through probiotics, the end result will be better digestion, a stronger immune system, and a healthier gut full of good bacteria!
WANT TO DIVE DEEPER INTO GUT HEALTH? Click HERE to check out my interview with Becky Wells, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.