A Strong Immune System Starts in Your Gut
Having a healthy gut microbiome is essential for a strong, robust immune system. In fact, 70% of our immune system is located within the gut in what is called the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). When our trillions of gut microbes are in balance, they help us digest our food, fight off infections, support our brain and perform many other vital functions. Additionally, these microbes produce metabolites that signal and aid the immune system and various other processes in the body.
Your Gut is the Gatekeeper
Your intestinal tract acts as the barrier between you and the outside world. Essentially, it’s like the gatekeeper that decides whether or not to allow foods, nutrients, toxins and other substances into circulation.
Your intestinal barrier is lined with only ONE single layer of cells, and because of this, it can easily become damaged. These cells regenerate rapidly, but overtime with the excess abuse we inflict on our gut, mainly through a poor diet, gluten, stress and medications, we can develop “leaky gut” or “intestinal hyperpermeability”.
How Leaky Gut Affects Our Immune System
When we have leaky gut, this defense mechanism doesn’t function at an optimal level and unwanted substances such as toxins, pathogens and even undigested food particles can enter our body through the damaged gut lining.
This results in a hypersensitive immune response, which can lead to allergies, excess inflammation, hormone imbalances, anxiety, depression, sensitivity to stress and a variety of other symptoms. When the immune system becomes overloaded, the body may start to react to foods or chemicals and will not be able to fight off infections as easily.
Leaky gut also sets the stage for pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi to flourish, making the immune system work that much harder to keep things in balance and maintain homeostasis. The more energy the immune system is forced to use fighting off infection, the less energy we have for healing, detoxification, growth, repair and maintenance.
To learn more about how you can heal your gut, check out 7 Simple Tools to Improve Your Gut Health!
“I Don’t Get Sick. Does This Apply to Me?”
Maybe you don’t deal with frequent infections or known allergies, or maybe you just don’t think it’s a big deal when you get them. Supporting a healthy gut and immune system is incredibly important for our health today and in the prevention of chronic illness down the road!
Our immune system does SO much more than just keep us from getting a cold or flu. It’s responsible for the health of our system as a whole. Like I said earlier, when the body is busy using its energy, resources and nutrients fighting off infection, which can include hidden infections, it’s going to have trouble dealing with everyday maintenance, such as keeping our inflammation levels in check, keeping our brain sharp as we age, regulating our hormones and maintaining a healthy heart.
Did you also know that autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, hashimoto’s thyroiditis and crohn’s disease can develop because of leaky gut and immune system dysfunction?
The Next Step
Research is clear that the health of our gut is CRUCIAL to thriving in life! If you are wondering how you can support your gut and immune system, email Winnipeg Nutrition at firstname.lastname@example.org to meet with one of our Registered Holistic Nutritionists!
Don’t want to meet in the clinic? We offer ONLINE consultations, so you can receive quality, personalized care without leaving the house!