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Immunity & Gut Health

Strengthening the body’s natural immune system is not something we think about every day.  But when we’re already sick, it’s flu season or we’re in the middle of a pandemic it’s more likely we’re thinking about strengthening our first line of defense – our body’s very own security team! Where is the team?  In the gut!  And about 70% of it lives in your digestive tract.

About 70% of the body’s immune system is in the gut.

FOUNDATIONAL WELL-BEING

There is an abundance of information available online on how to boost your overall health and well-being.  One of the consistent suggestions is to focus on improving your gut health through the food we eat.  The gut is at the center of our body  – and science now backs that good gut health is critical to almost every mind and body function.  From absorbing and distributing nutrients to producing feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, as well as eliminating toxins and waste.  But we’ll stay on track and talk more about boosting immunity!   Here are 3 of the essential ways to boost immunity.

1) GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Think of your body like a computer…or smartphone.   When it becomes a bit glitchy we shut the device down and reboot.  Sleep reboots OUR system.  No matter a person’s age, when someone is sleep-deprived their body creates stress hormones like cortisol to keep you awake and alert. It can also suppress your immune system. One study reported that people who sleep six hours or less hours a night are 4x more likely to catch a cold than those that slept seven or more.   

Aim for 7 or more hours of sleep a night for a stronger immune system.

2) REDUCE STRESS

Getting enough rest goes a long way to help one feel ‘less stressed’.   But many people need to do more to combat daily and intermittent stress that enters their lives.  Stress can do many damaging things to the body, including reducing the body’s lymphocyte level.  Lymphocytes are the white blood cells that help fight off infections and viruses.   There are many ways to reduce stress, from slowing down (meditation and yoga) to speeding up (running and spinning). Whatever you choose to dissipate stress, do it now and often! 

3) FEED THE GUT’S GOOD BACTERIA WITH PREBIOTIC FIBER

Food!  Most of us love great food – especially if we THINK it’s good for us (win-win)!  But is it REALLY good for us?  And maybe more importantly, is it good for the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut microbiome?  Study after study confirms the good bacteria in our gut needs to eat, too.  Every. Day.

The probiotics that already live in our gut need fiber – specifically prebiotic fiber – to survive and thrive.  Not all fiber is prebiotic. Only fiber that can resist stomach acid, not be absorbed in the upper GI tract and be able to nourish good bacteria in the gut is classified as prebiotic fiber.  Nourishing the microbiome with prebiotics will help the good bacteria flourish and crowd out the bad bacteria, giving it the power to strengthen its immunity capabilities to protect the body.  Daily intake of prebiotic fiber from foods like bananas, raw dandelion greens and raw garlic are what your gut needs to strengthen the immune system.   The 5-6g of prebiotic fiber in every pouch of Gutzy Organic® plant-based snacks make getting your daily intake convenient and delicious!

Feed your gut with nourishing prebiotic fiber.

YOU Can Strengthen Your Immune System

We have a lot more control over how our bodies work to protect us from outside forces like disease and viruses.  We recommend getting more rest, engage in stress-busting activities, and have #agutzyaday (or two) to help nourish the good gut bacteria and live a #begutzy life.

And here are some the article we read that informed this post – enjoy! Harvard Health, John Hopkins Medicine, American Society for Microbiology, Cleveland Clinic, Marie Claire.