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Boost Your Immune System With a Healthy Gut

lady looking over shoulder smilingWith so much heightened awareness about the immune system in recent years, let’s take a look at a crucial aspect of this critical system—your gut. Your immune system relies heavily on the condition of your microbiome, a community of microorganisms made up of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi residing in your gastrointestinal tract.

Did you know that a healthy microbiome can contain up to 1,000 different species that each play a unique role in your body? Some aid in digestion and other bodily functions, while others, if uncontrolled, can lead to disease and ill health.

Your immune system is designed to recognize and neutralize invaders, so ensuring it’s performing at its best is crucial.

Who Will Benefit From the Gut Zoomer?

The Gut Zoomer assesses bacteria, yeast, viruses, and parasites in the gut microbiome, alongside relevant digestive and inflammatory markers. The panel measures hundreds of species of microbes at once, providing the most comprehensive digestive health test on the market.

If you’re experiencing any of the common symptoms of leaky gut, microbiome imbalance, GI disorders, or abnormal digestion, you may benefit from this panel.

Your Microbiome and Overall Well-Being

There’s also been a lot of talk these days about gut health and mood. Your microbiome plays a significant role in producing serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and feelings of happiness. Remarkably, over 90 percent of serotonin is produced in the gut, so you can thank your microbiome the next time you feel happy!

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Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

Here are some ways to help achieve a more robust immune system:

Nutritious Meals—start by nourishing your body with real food, not fake “food” with many multi-syllabic ingredients. Instead of processed, prepackaged items, aim for a diverse mix of plants and vegetables in your diet. By eating a greater diversity of plants, the diversity of your microbiome will be greater, which is a very good thing.

Deficiencies in certain micronutrients can impair immune system function, so choose your meals wisely. Another simple and convenient way to support your gut health is with prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, and fermented foods.

Regular Exercise—it’s no surprise that exercise is a cornerstone of good health. What may be surprising is the immune system degrades after only six weeks of inactivity. So be sure to move more each day and pick a form of exercise that you’ll stick with.

Maintain a Healthy Weightit’s important to note that many individuals suffering from COVID-19 also struggle with obesity, often accompanied by diabetes. Improving your overall health by maintaining a healthy weight can also help you have a more robust immune system.

Restful Sleep—don’t underestimate the importance of restful sleep. Are you catching enough Zzzs? Less than seven hours of sleep per night takes a toll on your immune system, sending you into an elevated fight-or-flight state and reducing immune function. So be sure to get sufficient shut-eye nightly to keep your immune system at its peak.

Hand Washing—we know you’ve heard the advice to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face; these are simple but effective ways to protect the immune system. However, be aware of the effects of antimicrobial soaps on your microbiome. Only use them when necessary and rely on warm soap and water for regular handwashing.

Factors That Disrupt Your Immune System

While it’s essential to strengthen our immune system, it’s crucial to be mindful of the things that disrupt it:

  • Processed Food—a diet full of processed “foods” fails to nourish you and deprives your gut microbes, allowing opportunistic bacteria to thrive and compromise your immune system.
  • Antibiotics—excess use of antibiotics may kill both unwanted bacteria and desirable microbes. You should consider antibiotics a last resort to maintain the health of your microbiome.
  • Pesticides and Herbicides—chemicals used in factory farming may disrupt the microbiome and affect hormone production and regulation. Some people can’t detoxify these toxins because of genetic variants, increasing the burden on their bodies.
  • Tobacco Use—smoking weakens the immune system and suppresses antibodies designed to protect against foreign invaders, making you more prone to infections, pneumonia, and Influenza.
  • Excessive Alcohol—excessive consumption may lead to nutritional deficiencies and reduce the number of white blood cells, making it harder for your body to fight off disease.
  • Stress— excess physical, emotional and mental stress triggers a “fight or flight” reaction, resulting in inflammation and reduced white blood cell count, increasing your susceptibility to infection.

Take Advantage of Our Free Consultation

Interested in learning more about optimizing your immune system and overall health? Contact Taste Life Nutrition for a complimentary 15-minute Health is Wealth Consultation with Denver Functional Nutritionist Nikki Burnett today!


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