Eighty percent of your immunity is found in your digestive track. What do you feel in your gut? That’s a question often asked when trying to make a decision. But what about when trying to figure out your susceptibility to illness? Surprisingly, you should be asking the same question.

According to an EcoWatch article, “Our gut wall houses 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system. You might not attribute digestive problems with allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases (irritable bowel syndrome, acne, chronic fatigue), mood disorders, autism, dementia and cancer,” said Dr. Mark Hyman. “Many diseases seemingly unrelated are actually caused by gut problems.”

In other words, the health of your gut directly determines the health of you. Most people are familiar with taking probiotics as supplements. But probiotics are naturally occurring bacterium that live in our intestinal tract, and help to keep our bodies in balance by fighting off bacteria we ingest from our foods and breaks them down to prevent food-born illnesses such as salmonella. They also populate themselves in healthy numbers so that when other bacterium are ingested, the healthy ones crowd them out, preventing illness.

“If your bacteria are sick, so are you,” said Dr. Hyman. “The foundation of good gut health begins with what you eat.” This is such an important point. I wrote a previous article discussing how what you eat impacts your gene expressions. Now, I am pointing out how the foods you eat can also impact your immune system. No matter how you shake it—good health is dependent upon healthy eating. It is imperative.
So, how can you improve your gut bacteria and immune system? From my own experience and from my research, here key strategies:
  • Eat fresh whole foods that are rich in fiber, like vegetables, and foods that are low in sugar, as well as non-gluten grains and legumes
  • Reduce the bad bacteria in your system through probiotics (here is one I swear by: PhysiQ)
  • Increase vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C and Zinc
  • Repair your gut lining with Omega-3 fatty acids

Remember, how you nourish and feed your body and the bacteria that inhabits it, establishes your health condition. Now that you know that changing your diet can improve how you feel and reduce illness—check your gut, see how you feel and get busy eating well.