The Connection Between Digestion and Immune Health
Living through a global pandemic has certainly taught us the importance of keeping our immune systems strong, but did you know that 70% of immune health is located in your stomach and intestines? New studies show a direct connection between the type of bacteria present in your gut and your body’s ability to fight off infection.
The good news is that we have a lot of control over this aspect of immunity through the foods we eat. Certain ones are especially beneficial for adding in good bacteria and keeping out bad bacteria. Read on to learn how to make simple dietary changes that strengthen your defense system and help ward off sniffles and sneezes this fall!
What to Eat
Support your gut with foods that encourage a balanced microbiome of friendly bacteria:
Fermented products are high in a beneficial bacteria called probiotics, which populate your digestive tract.
Try: kefir, olives, full fat yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, sourdough and kombucha
Fibrous foods support regular digestion and bowel movements by keeping the digestive tract flowing.
Try: artichokes, apple skin, green bananas, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, and raw cacao (yes, chocolate!)
Fluid Intake: Water and other fluids help break down food to aid digestion.
Try: bone broth, warm lemon water, and mineral-rich water
How to Eat
How we eat is almost as important as what we eat.
Eat slowly, take small bites, and thoroughly chew your food. As you chew, your body produces a digestive enzyme to help break down particles and aid digestion. Eating slowly also helps to reduce the risk of bloating, which can be uncomfortable and signal digestive distress.
Move your body often during the day to help with a smoother digestion process between meals. Walks are the perfect after dinner activity!
Take deep, full breaths before and after meals to support healthy digestion. Getting enough oxygen into your lungs can relax muscles in the intestinal tract to promote absorption of nutrients you need.
Keep a food log to track how certain foods make you feel. You may be surprised to learn what a big difference it makes to keep your gut happy with the right nourishment!
Work with a nutritionist to take it a step further and get customized advice on how to ensure that your diet is supporting your immune health. Look for a professional who takes a holistic approach and uses food and natural products to heal the body.Pro Tip: This could be a good point to reference our 20 billion probiotic digestive support supplement and a broad spectrum digestive enzyme (like our 20 billion probiotic digestive support supplement) to feed healthy bacteria and help your body break down food efficiently.