III. Heal Your Gut & Immune System
Having an optimally functioning gut and healthy immune system requires two things: (1) integrity of your intestinal lining and (2) a thriving population of beneficial bacteria. Your gut does a whole lot more than just digest your dinner. It plays a key role in strengthening your immune system.
Here are some simple tips to heal your gut and strengthen your immune system.
A. Eat Healthy Food (duh)
You’ve heard this a million times, so I’m going to make it one million and one: You are what you eat.
The food you eat is one of the most powerful tools you have to heal your gut and boost your immune system. By eating nutrient-dense, non-inflammatory foods that support a healthy microbiome, you give your gut the tools it needs to heal. Here are some simple ways to incorporate gut-friendly/anti-inflammatory foods into your diet:
- Eat REAL food: Make your meals using fresh vegetables and fruits, high-quality protein, and healthy fats.
- Minimize inflammatory foods: Refined oils and sugars, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods can and will irritate and inflame your gut. Keep these foods to a minimum to reduce your overall inflammation.
- Incorporate gut-friendly foods: Probiotic-rich and fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt replenish your gut with beneficial bacteria.
B. Take Gut Healing Supplements
Supplements provide our bodies with a concentrated dose of needed nutrients. Our food alone just won’t give us every gut-healing nutrient we need, despite being an excellent foundation. For this reason, I recommend:
- Probiotics: A balanced ecosystem of bacteria residing in your gut is crucial when it comes to your overall health. Taking a daily probiotic ensures you have plenty of beneficial bacteria. Be sure to rotate your probiotics to ensure a diversity of strains.
- Glutamine: A type of amino acid, glutamine reduces inflammation and helps replenish the lining of your gut.
- Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes help your body break down food and ensure it’s more readily used by your body.
- Note: Contact me if you need to find professional grade, high quality supplements. Most over the counter supplements are, for lack of a better word, junk.
C. Avoid Toxins!
Every day, in every way, we’re exposed to toxins… so work to minimize those exposures. Here’s one simple example how: The Environmental Working Group (also known as EWG) has a free “Healthy Living” app you can use on your phone. It scans barcodes to provide you a grade on the quality of your toiletries, your cleaning supplies, and even your food. Get it and you won’t be disappointed!
If your body becomes overloaded by toxins, it won’t properly filter them out. This toxic overload can become a “toxic burden.” A body with a high toxic burden will be overworked and burnt-out; this will in turn deplete your immune system of the energy and resources needed to fight off potential threats. A high toxic burden also negatively impacts your gut and promotes dysbiosis.
I hope this helped clear up any confusion or questions you might have about the link between your gut and immune system. Remember these three simple rules:
- Eat healthy food
- Take gut healing supplements
- Avoid toxins
If you have any questions or need help healing your gut, please feel free to send me an email or visit my website. You can also click the let’s chat button below! I hope you enjoyed this two part series.