Immunity just became even more important.
When we have a strong gut microbiome, our digestion is strong and our immunity is strong.
4 Steps for A Strong Gut Microbiome
As if you needed more incentive to exercise, regular exercise promotes biodiversity in the gut flora which is fantastic for you and for your immunity! Try to break a sweat every day for strength inside and out.
Get at least 7 – 9 hours each night of good, restful sleep. During sleep, our bodies produce and release cytokines, which are a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, which is our immune response.
If you’re struggling to get a restful night’s sleep, allow yourself to take a nap during the day to make up for it. A 15 – 30 min. nap can work wonders! Good sleep begets good sleep so the more good sleep you can get, the more good sleep you’ll get. 😉
A great tip is to turn off all electronics at least 2 hours before your bedtime to allow time for your mind and body to unwind for sleep.
Stress is very damaging on all of the systems of our bodies so reducing it is vital, although easier said then done. I’ve heard it said that stress is more damaging to our intestines and digestive system then processed food, so that says a lot!
Find ways to combat stress that work for you. Set aside time where you leave your devices and technology behind for several hours, or even have a tech-free day each week. Get out into nature as often as possible. Take walks each day. Write. Do yoga. Exercise.
There are a myriad of ways to help our bodies and minds deal with stress so you just need to experiment to find the ways that work best for you.
#4 Eat Well
Refined flours and sugars, processed foods, candy, and junk food. We all know they’re not good for us but here’s even more incentive to eat well.
Refined flours and sugars feed the “bad” bacteria in our guts which in turn will lead to a killing off of the good bacteria which we vitally need to protect us against pathogens such as harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
In addition, all of these refined and processed foods get absorbed quickly into our small intestines without any help from our microbes, which means that they stay “hungry” and begin snacking on the cells that line our intestine, causing what we call Leaky Gut.
Our intestinal linings are meant to be a strong barrier between our guts and the rest of our bodies, but when it becomes leaky, particles of food enter the bloodstream, causing your immune system to attack them and ultimately our own tissues. This leads to inflammation and a whole cascade of conditions such as autoimmunity, Candida infections, and more.
Eat a variety of whole foods as less refined as possible. Eat close to home. Grow a garden. Eat sauerkraut and other fermented foods to help populate the gut with good bacteria for increased immunity. Dark leafy greens with help plant your gut with healthy and diverse bacteria. Radishes, jicama, asparagus, carrots, garlic and turmeric are also excellent for a healthy gut microbiome.
Lastly, stop snacking! When we snack throughout the day our bodies are forced to be constantly digesting something, which means they don’t have the ability to do other things, like fighting off harmful bacteria and such. Give your body a break from the digestive process so that it can turn its attention to other necessary processes.
When we take good care of our bodies, our guts, and our microbiomes, they in turn will have the strength and capacity to take care of us as well, fighting off any pathogens that may enter our bodies.