Your immune system is largely regulated by your gut health. By taking some measures to improve your gut integrity and bacteria balance you can give your body a seriously good fighting chance against illnesses and disease ranging from the common cold to full blown autoimmune diseases. Start with these simple steps:
Take good probiotics on an empty stomach. Skip the drugstore shelf when buying probiotics. Not all brands and types are created equal. Keeping the integrity of a probiotic is a tough gig for manufacturers. I don’t trust the cheap-O brands and even the more coveted ones you need to purchase with caution. Choose a brand who has third party testing to back up their potency. Companies with good storage and shipping practices as well. I also like solid based probiotics like Primal Defense.
Bone Broth. Season it, sip it, soup it, cook with it. Bone broth provides some serious intestinal and gut lining healing. Packed with minerals, amino acids, proteins and collagen which reduces intestinal inflammation and the collagen when heated gets broken down into gelatin which supports mucus in the gut that protects intestinal cells.
Supplemental colostrum – my absolute favorite immunity supplement! Safe during pregnancy and for children to take, this mega immune booster comes from the first milking of a cow after it gives birth. (yes, humans produce colostrum for their babies as well). This is know as liquid gold. It is packed with the building blocks for immunity that sets a babies gut up for disease fighting throughout their life. It can tremendously help autoimmune sufferers by resignation,ing the body to know health tissue from unhealthy tissue so it stops attacking its own healthy tissue. Click here to read more. Be sure to supplement with colostrum from grass-fed cows by a company that has strict testing policies for quality and contamination, like Jarrow.
Mind your veggies. Vegetables provide the prebiotics in the form of fiber to feed the good belly bugs. Which means the good guys survive and thrive! They also provide nutrients and minerals for repair and electrolytes for hydration. Try steaming or blending your greens into a smoothie for easier digestion.
Easy on the refined carbs and white sugar – sugar is like crack for the bad bacteria in your gut. They love it, lap it up and cant wait to get another fix! Don’t feed into the inflammation and the havoc that an excess of bad gut bacteria can cause. Cut out sugary beverages, limit carb intake to 1-2 small servings per day derived from whole food sources like berries or sweet potato instead of baked goods, candy and breads.
Digestive Enzymes – enzymes act like solvents to breakdown and unlock more nutrients from your food more thoroughly. Take about 15-30 minutes before a meal and immediately following. A full spectrum digestive enzyme goes to work assisting your body in breaking down everything from fats, carbs, proteins, dairy, plant fibers and more. Look for one with amylase, protease and lipase at a minimum. I personally use these. I have spoken to some higher ups at Enzymedica and really liked their formulations and initiatives with their good manufacturing practices. I also used them to predigest my breastmilk to stop my daughters acid reflux issues as a baby.
Love the fat. Eat nourishing fats like coconut and MCT oils provide anti-fungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits for the gut.
Get fermented! Foods like sauerkraut, miso, kimchi and tempeh are loaded with probiotics for help encourage better gut balance. They can also help diminish candied (yeast) overgrowth.
Switch to grass-fed meats. Factory raised animals are fed wheat, corn and other inflammatory foods that get passed along to your gut causing inflammation. The hormones they are injected with are known to cause leaky gut syndrome. Choosing grass-fed meats ensures you are getting nutrient rich foods that are better for your digestion.