You have uncountable microbes living in and around your body. You are giving them a place to dwell, and they protect your immune system in return. They provide nutrients, help your blood sugars and give you other benefits. There are approximately 10,000 different types of friendly bacteria in and around your body, and 99 percent of them are non-pathogenic. They are the good guys, and a great majority of microbes in your body live just above and in the mucus layer, in the large colon.
Whenever talking about the Immune system, most people think about white blood cells, natural killer cells, or your internal army that is sitting there fighting off any harmful organisms. However, over the last ten years, considerable research has come out to show that your Immune system is highly connected to your gut. Now science states that 70 percent of your Immune system lives in your gut. All health begins in the gut, and all disease starts in the gut. A weakened gut ecosystem can wreak havoc on the ability to eliminate toxins that you are putting in your body every single day. It can also enfeeble your body’s ability to fight off harmful microorganisms.
Why is gut health important to Immunity?
You need to understand that if you have a problem with your gut, you have multiple problems in the human body. For example, sometimes you may be struggling to lose weight or get that glow on your skin, your hair may fall too much, or you start getting skin acne and rash issues. We can treat all these symptomatically and individually. However, when we look at the gut, if you have even one symptom of a poor gut, which could be chronic acidity, bloating, flatulence, or abdominal pain, these are all symptoms that your gut microbiome is not working the right way. So by only fixing your gut, you can nail 80 to 90 or even 100 percent of other problems you have in your system.
Do gut bacteria fight viruses?
The gut is integrated into all aspects of human biology. Over the past twenty years, we have learned that this collection of bacteria doesn’t just help us digest our food but is also integrated into our metabolism. For example, the number of calories stored as fat vs. burnt is primarily dictated by the species of microbes that you harbor within your gut. It also appears that our microbiome is wired into our central nervous system.
The bacteria within our gut help us fight off infections. However, they can also dictate how long we have a respiratory infection or whether or not we have seasonal allergies.
If you do not want to get sick or want to recover from a sickness that you currently have, you need to consider Immunity. Immunity is that intelligence that we are all born with. Unfortunately, we often compromise it with a poor lifestyle, sleep deprivation, too much sugar, lack of exercise, and all of these things. But our Immunity is working for us every second of the day, while we are awake, sleeping, or working.
There are trillions of different kinds of bacteria. All bacteria are not harmful to us. The world has become too clean. Of course, hygiene is essential, but we have become so clean that we don’t even feed our gut microbiome with bacteria. Microbes are bacteria, and they have life. They are hungry and want to eat.
There are both good and harmful bacteria in our gut. We need both of them, but the problem is when the harmful bacteria start growing more than the good bacteria. These bacteria start feeding on the mucosal lining of your intestine. This is a bad thing because as you deplete the mucosal lining, bacteria, viruses, and germs begin to interact with the tissues of your intestine. Your body will immediately produce inflammation, which we see in constipation, colon cancers, and autoimmune conditions. The harmful bacteria start eating small holes into your gut wall. Certain particles that are supposed to exit your system through stool squeeze between these large holes into your blood system. Your Immune system wakes up to attack it. So, we first have to look at basically repairing the gut; Hashimoto’s thyroid, lupus, multiple sclerosis are some of the autoimmune conditions you can think of.
Our microbiome also regulates our hormones. So if you have a hormonal imbalance, you’ve got to think of your gut health as well., including your brain function, your mood, happiness, sadness, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Cranial nerves connect your mind and your gut, and if the communication between your gut and your brain is not proper, you have problems. So it is evident that you should take care of your gut.
Signs of an unhealthy gut
Your gut health largely depends on the balance of your gut bacteria or the microbiome. The gut microbiome can be affected by a range of lifestyle factors, including diet, age, lack of exercise, antibiotics, medications, smoking, stress, lack of sleep, and certain conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. You may be experiencing the following if you have an unhealthy gut:
There are many simple ways to strengthen your gut to have a robust, resilient Immune system. Today, many people have begun to pay attention to their diet and what they are exposing themselves to regularly. However, there is still much misinformation about gut health. Sill, there is hardly any testing done for gut health. For example, if you go to your doctor, most likely, they are not even going to test gut health. They will just run some blood work or urinalysis and come up with a diagnosis so that they can put you on medications. Your gut is like a garden. You plant a seed and feed it clean water, clean food, and it grows into a beautiful fruit or garden. Your gut is millions and trillions of microorganisms, probiotics, and a unique ecosystem that flourishes when you give it the right things to flourish.
How can we have a healthy gut?
- If we feed our microbiomes.the right food, such as dietary plant fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, they will behave the right way and support our Immune system. Probiotics help maintain the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics supports the activity of good bacteria. Probiotics are found naturally in some fermented foods such as yogurt, fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, legumes, and nuts and seeds.
- To have a healthy gut, aim for two serves of oily fish per week. Limit red meat to no more than 450 grams.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods. Processed foods are stripped of fiber and essential nutrients. They lead to a distressed digestive tract.
- You must exercise regularly as it gets your colon moving, helping to manage irritable bowel syndrome.
- Eat smaller frequent meals to prevent overwhelming. and chew your food thoroughly.
- Practice stress management and yoga therapy, meditations to keep stress at bay.
- Take plenty of water as water is a natural cleanser and helps to detox your gut.
The question is how did we get off our gut health so much? We all have got so much away from nature that it has created a dysbiosis changing the microbiome. We are constantly using products meant to keep us clean, which eventually destroys the microbiome and loses its diversity in the gut. Back in the old days, children used to go outside, play in the dirt, and be exposed to all kinds of different things. It helped improve the diversity of their guts, and they were seemingly less prone to viruses and diseases. How do kids play now? They predominantly watch televisions or are on their phones and ipads. They are not exposed to all the different microorganisms, and research shows a link between this hyper-clean environment and Immunity.
However, all is not lost. We can improve the state of our gut through mindfulness, nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle changes.
So, the next time you are on the couch, you feel lethargic, getting sick with some respiratory tract infection for the seventh time this year, and you can’t understand why this is happening to you. Then listen to your gut!