While the exact causes of autoimmune disorders and chronic inflammation aren't completely understood in many cases, doctors increasingly believe that an imbalanced gut microbiome may lead to these conditions. Taking steps to support gut health may contribute to your overall health and well-being due to its connection to the immune system. Read on to learn more about this crucial link.
What Is Gut Health?
Gut health is a general term that describes the balance of microorganisms in your digestive system. Your stomach and intestines are home to trillions of bacteria. Some are harmful, but others are highly beneficial. When someone has a healthy gut, the good and bad are well-balanced. If the bad bacteria outnumber the good, you may enter a state called gut dysbiosis and develop symptoms like gas, bloating and impaired immunity as a result.
What Is the Connection Between Gut Health and Immune System Function?
Your gut and your immune system go hand in hand. An imbalance of microorganisms in the gut can activate immune cells and potentially create an overactive immune response that could lead to inflammation. Research also suggests that your immune system relies on your gut for support when fighting disease and illness. There is even evidence to suggest that gut dysbiosis may raise the risk for some forms of cancer.
Can a Healthy Gut Help with Overall Health?
There is a mounting body of evidence that suggests a healthy gut is beneficial for overall health. When you maintain a good balance of microorganisms in your gut, you support immune system function. As a result, you may be less likely to come down with illnesses and/or to experience chronic inflammation. Plus, having a healthy gut lowers the risk of unpleasant digestive issues that can interfere with your daily activities and overall well-being.
How to Improve Gut Health for Immune System Function
Eat a Fiber-Filled Diet
Dietary fiber is crucial for gut health. It supplies substances that may help beneficial bacteria grow and thrive and supports regular bowel movements. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods may also contain beneficial vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D, which are necessary for immune system function. Try filling half your plate with tasty fruits and vegetables at every meal. Then, add whole grains to the remaining fourth and cover the rest with a lean protein like fish or poultry.
Don't Overuse Antibiotics
Antibiotics may be necessary to overcome certain infections like those of the urinary tract. However, many illnesses will resolve without their use. Taking antibiotics only when needed can help support a balanced gut microbiome because these drugs have the potential to kill the good bacteria along with the bad.
Stress has been shown to disrupt the balance of gut microbiota and may also weaken the immune system. While you may not be able to avoid stress, you can find ways to deal with it in a constructive, healthy way. Try deep-breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga to promote relaxation. Talk to friends, family members or a mental health professional about your worries and anxieties. Spend time outdoors, read, listen to music and engage in other activities that you enjoy, to take a break from stressors.
People who lead sedentary lifestyles are more at risk for gut dysbiosis than those who exercise regularly. Strive to exercise five days a week for at least 30 minutes. Choose exercise that you enjoy. Hitting the gym is one option, but you can also swim, dance, play a sport, ride a bike, or simply go for a brisk walk outdoors. In addition to supporting gut health, regular exercise may strengthen your immune system and promote bowel regularity to alleviate constipation, gas, and other digestive issues.
Probiotic supplements are one of the best supplements for immune system health because they may help to correct imbalances within the microbiota of the gut. Supplements provide live strains of probiotics to increase levels of beneficial bacteria to rebalance the gut microbiome.
When choosing probiotic supplements, look for ones with clinically proven advanced key ingredients like Body Kitchen Gut Balance. Our supplement can support immune health and begin modulating the inflammatory response within 12 weeks with clinically studied orange and grapefruit flavonoids that resist breakdown in the presence of stomach acid to reach the intestines where they can provide the most benefit. Plus, our formula features 6 billion colony-forming units (CFU) per unit from three live strains to support overall immune system health.