"The human gut plays a huge role in immune function," Shulzhenko said. "This is little appreciated by people who think its only role is digestion. The combined number of genes in the microbiota genome is 150 times larger than the person in which they reside. They do help us digest food, but they do a lot more than that.”
If you are anything like me, you absolutely HATE getting sick. The thought of that achy, sore throat feeling is enough to make me do anything to prevent it.
Many of us choke down vitamins galore and drink multiple cups of tea yet we still end up getting a nasty cold. What gives?
70% of your immune system actually lives in your digestive system. Problems ranging from autoimmune diseases to the common cold could actually be linked to immune dysfunction in the gut. Improving the health and vitality of your gut flora is very important for decreasing your risk of getting sick.
In order to keep your immune system functioning at its best and keep those colds at bay, here are my top 4 ways to improve your gut bacteria.
It’s better than drinking coffee! The benefits of bone broth are immense as bones and marrow are loaded with collagen, vitamins and minerals that can transform your health. It is also great to reduce inflammation and arthritis.
And it’s easy to make! Just fill your crockpot with water, add any vegetables like garlic, carrots, onions and thyme (to name a few), add 2-3 bones (easily bought in the meat section of the grocery store) and let it cook on high for 6-8 hours. Here is a link to one of my favorite recipes: http://recipes.mercola.com/bone-broth-recipe.aspx
I can’t say enough good things about fermented foods for a healthy immune system. These foods contain live microbes that keep your stomach bacteria alive and functioning. Most of the food that we consume is processed and has a low nutrient profile. This means that your gut has to work that much harder to break it down. By consuming more fermented foods, your digestive system has to work less and spend more energy on fighting disease!
Try adding Apple Cider Vinegar to your salad dressings. Drink Kombucha. Eat Kimchi and sauerkraut with a meal.
Stress is the silent killer. When your body is under stress, the normal daily processes of the human body are more challenging. Stress can come in the form as mental stress (work, relationships, finances etc) or in the form of physical stress (when the systems of the body aren’t functioning optimally or you are doing too much).
“When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections.”
Don’t under estimate the power of a long bath, massage or a quiet evening with a book to keep you healthy. When you feel the stress coming on, take a step back in order to take a step forward.
Omega 3’s and Zinc
Most diets are deficient in these nutrients. This dynamic duo will help repair any issues in the gut lining. Buy a Zinc/Magnesium complex at your local Whole Foods or try adding pumpkin seeds, wild game meat or squash to your meals. Omega 3’s are best ingested in pill form as most fish do not contain enough for your daily intake.
Happy, healthy winter wishes to you :)
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