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Your Gut's Role In a Healthy Immune System

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Our GI tract is considered the “largest immunologic organ” in the human body. Research on the human gut microbiome has exploded in the last few years. Most people are aware of the rise in the use of probiotics for digestive health. But did you know that all those bugs in your intestine are important players in the body’s immune system?


It turns out our intestinal flora affects our immune system in many and complex ways and there are some simple and easy ways to improve your gut health:


  1. Eat Lots of Fiber: dietary fiber helps improve the motility in your intestine and feeds the good bacteria. Add more fruits, vegetables, legumes, oat bran and chia seeds to your diet. You can also add fiber to a smoothie every day such as a tablespoon of psyllium or flax seed for added health benefits.

  2. Take a Daily Probiotic: a good quality probiotic has at least 10 billion CFU’s and has multiple bacteria strains. Some of my favorite brands are Orthomolecular and Klaire Labs for reliable quality. 

  3. Eat More Fermented Foods: studies have shown the benefits of these foods that have been an important part of traditional diets for millennia. Eating a small amount of sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha or yogurt can add variety to your guts’ microbiome in beneficial ways.

  4. And of Course, Dump the Junk!: a single fast food meal will change the microbial balance in your gut in 24 hours (and not for the better!). Eat less sugar, processed foods and animal products and more fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains. 

The health of your gut is affected by not only your current diet and lifestyle, but also your past history. A functional medicine approach to gut health looks back through your entire life - from womb to present- to identify and address the root causes of your particular intestinal imbalances. To dive deeper into your gut health and how to improve your immune system schedule an appointment today.

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