fbpx

Do you feel like you’re constantly run down? Always getting a cold or feeling under the weather? It could be worth looking at your gut health, even if you don’t have any digestive symptoms.

Around 70% of our immune system is in the gut, so it makes sense there is a strong connection between the microbes and the way the body defends itself from invaders. There is a complex interplay between the beneficial microbes and pathogenic viruses and bacteria in the gut. This also takes place in other microbiomes such as the nose, mouth, genitals and skin.

What is the connection between gut health and the immune system?

There are 3 main ways our gut bacteria supports your immunity.

  • Firstly the microbes all compete for space on the surface of the gut, and they all want the same nutrients so the good ones crowd out the bad bugs. The beneficial microbes can also make the environment hostile to pathogens by sending out substances that inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. In the vagina our bacteria lowers the pH level to make it less inviting for pathogens.
  • Secondly, the bugs help us reduce the chance of ‘leaky gut’ by holding the walls between the cells together tighter which can strengthen the cells in the intestines.
  • Thirdly the microbes in our gut can modulate the immune system by turning on or off some important messengers.

The microbes in our gut play an important role in the induction, training, and function of our immune system. We need to look after the good ones to keep a healthy balanced microbiome.

How your gut bacteria get damaged

There are lots of lifestyle and dietary changes that affect our gut bacteria. In particular, the overuse of antibiotics and other medication, reduction in fibre and fresh foods, increase in processed foods, high intake of alcohol, chronic stress, may mean we end up with a collection of bugs that lack the resilience and diversity to support the immune system.

This may be one of the reasons for the dramatic rise in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, as well as general low immunity.

Look after your immune health by looking after your gut health. Think about the bugs when you eat. Feed the bugs! They like:

  • Fibre – vegetables, pulses and whole grains
  • Lots of vegetables and fruit – aim for 7 a day
  • Exercise – regular exercise improves the beneficial bacteria
  • Rest – sleep and reducing stress improves our digestion and supports a healthy digestion

To get your digestion and immunity into shape work on your diet. I can help you find a diet that works for you, your lifestyle and health goals. Contact me to get started.

8 Less Obvious Tips For Weight Loss

I'm going to write more posts about weight loss, including how to get the right balance of carbs and proteins, the importance of exercise and sustaining dietary change. But here are some less obvious tips you may not have thought of: 1....

Struggling to lose weight on a vegan diet?

Many people find they lose weight if they change to a vegan diet. A study from Oxford University found people who ate fish, vegetarians and especially vegans had lower BMI scores than those who eat meat. Sometimes cutting out processed foods is enough for people to...

What is the FODMAP diet?

You might have heard of a FODMAP diet to help gut health, but what does it mean, who should use it and how does it work?? Let me explain a bit more about it.   What does FODMAP stand for?   The term stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides,...

Are your gut bugs working for you or against you? How to improve your gut microbiome

Do you know how to improve your gut microbiome? Why is gut health important? If the collection of microbes inside our gut (called a microbiome) doesn't function properly, then nothing else works well. The thyroid, hormones, immune system are all linked to gut health...

Nutrition Myth – Thinner Is Healthier

There is a problem with obesity in this country, as a population we are all getting fatter. There are serious health conditions associated with being overweight. If your body shape is thinner you may think the health risks associated with...

High Fat Diets & Your Gut Health

Recent research has highlighted diets high in fat can alter the composition of microbes in the gut in a negative manner. In a study this year researchers tracked a group of 217 people split into 3 where they ate 20%, 30% or 40% of their calories from fat over 6...

Improve Your Gut Health - Beat Bloating