How and why to maintain a healthy gut biome to boost your immune system
Boost your immune: Check your gut biome health now!
Let’s talk about the gut! Yes, it’s not a cocktail party conversation, but it might just become that… Did you know that nearly 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut? Yip, that’s why it’s crucial to ensure your digestive system functions properly as an essential part of maintaining your overall health.
Over the last two decades, studies have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer. Usually, it was seen as a simple system comprising one long tube for our food to pass through, be absorbed, and then excreted.
But, apparently, a person has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. These tiny guys living in your intestines is known as the gut microbiome. Having a wide variety of them can enhance your immune system function, improve symptoms of depression, help combat obesity, and provide numerous other benefits.
Unhealthy gut signs
Now, if you think that you’re gut is as healthy as can be, we suggest making sure by unticking these 7 most common signs and then we’ll move on with the rest of the readers –
1. Upset stomach: Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and heartburn can be signs of an unhealthy gut.
2. High-sugar diet: Processed foods and added sugars can decrease the good bacteria in your gut, and having sugar cravings can cause further damage.
3. Unintentional weight changes: Gaining or losing… an imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat.
4. Sleep habits and fatigue: Serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut, and gut damage can cause sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, leading to chronic fatigue.
5. Skin irritation: Gut inflammation due to a poor diet or food allergies can cause specific proteins to ‘leak’ out into the body, which can, in turn, irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema.
6. Autoimmune conditions: New evidence alert! An increase in inflammation can alter immune system functions, leading to autoimmune conditions where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.
7. Food intolerances: There is some evidence that difficulty digesting certain foods and food allergies may be related to gut health. The poor quality of bacteria may cause food intolerances. They can lead to difficulty digesting the trigger foods and unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Maintaining gut health
• Fibre intake: Increase your fibre intake to more than 40g per day. It reduces heart diseases and reduces weight gain too.
• Fruit and veg: Variety is just as vital as quantities because each supports different microbial species.
• High-fibre veggies: Artichokes, leeks, onions, and garlic contain high levels of prebiotic fibre, while lettuce, for example, has little fibre or nutrient value.
• Polyphenols: Choose foods and drinks with high levels of polyphenols (antioxidants) that fuel microbes such as nuts, seeds, berries, olive oil, coffee and green tea.
• Fermented foods: Eat plenty of fermented foods with live microbes like yoghurt, raw milk cheeses, sauerkraut, and soybean-based products such as soy sauce.
• Alcohol: Drink alcohol in small quantities to increase gut diversity, but be careful of large amounts that are harmful to your microbes and your health.
• Don’t be too clean: Don’t be hygiene obsessed because fastidious washing and overuse of antibacterial sprays are not good for your gut.
It’s up to you to fix your food and beat the bloat! Now, go eat, sleep and be healthy!
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