In the midst of the Coronavirus right now, having a strong and healthy immune system is more important than ever!
There are steps you can take to make yourself healthier, and we’ve got a great series that focuses on a super important part of your immune health: your gut!
There has been a LOT of buzz about “gut health” lately … and for a very good reason.
Your gut health doesn’t affect just your digestion (although that’s super important) … but also your heart, your brain, your immune system, and even your mood.
And with a global pandemic happening, it seems like a good time to focus even more on our overall wellness!
You have about 100 trillion (!!!) microbes living in your gut right now. And there are about 1,000 different species of known gut bacteria.
(Fun Fact #1: if you were to weigh all the bacteria in your gut, they would weigh over 4 lbs (2 kg))!
Some of these bacteria are your personal army of helpers, digesting your food, making energy, and keeping your immune system strong.
And others are not-so-good, linked with digestive upset, inflammation, obesity, and even conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma.
As you can imagine, you want to make sure your gut stays in balance, with more of the good guys than the bad guys!
YOU have the power to do just that with your food and lifestyle choices!
But now for fun fact #2 … your individual gut microbiome is like your fingerprint.
No one else’s is exactly the same.
All of us share about one-third of the same microbiota makeup – but two-thirds of your microbiota “fingerprint” are unique to YOU!
Even though we all have our own unique gut microbiome, the basic guidelines for keeping it in balance work for nearly everyone!
I’m going to be sharing a LOT more info about all of this in the coming weeks, but here’s a quick gut health checklist to get you started:
- Make sure you’re getting enough fiber, including insoluble fiber. These fibers are what the good bacteria in your small intestine like to feed on.
- Eat fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, because they contain healthy bacteria that can replenish your gut microbiome. This is especially true if you have taken antibiotics, which can affect the balance of your gut bacteria.
- Avoid processed foods and sugar. The bad-guy bacteria like to feed on these!
- Cut stress. Meditate, journal, go outside for some fresh air. There’s a direct connection (your vagus nerve) between your brain and your gut, each affecting the other!
- Get regular exercise. The more active you are, the happier your gut microbiome is!
- Get enough sleep. When your sleep is disrupted, so are the good bacteria in your microbiome. And vice versa!
It’s amazing how everything works together, isn’t it?