Gut Function and Immune Health

Gut Function and Immune Health

  • 30 April 2020

Did you know that your gut makes up about 70% of your immune system cells?

It is made up of millions of microbes (little bacteria), which are collectively known as the gut
and all these microbes influence our immune system and how well it functions
(amongst other things).

Along with this, our gut also acts as a barrier between the ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ of our bodies. If
this barrier does not work properly, it is unable to prevent harmful substances from passing
through, into our body, where they can wreak havoc. What to do?

The good news is that we can support our gut function through our lifestyle.

Our gut is highly sensitive to a variety of factors such as stress, medication and the food we eat.
So by managing stress levels, being mindful of the medication we take and eating a wholesome
and varied diet
, we can support our gut and our immune system.

What are probiotics and prebiotics?

You may have heard of the term probiotics - these are healthy bacteria that live in our gut.
By eating foods high in probiotics such as yoghurt and fermented foods, we can increase the
probiotic concentration in our gut.

You may have been recommended to take probiotics by your doctor while you are on
antibiotics. This is because antibiotics kill all bacteria - good and bad.

But this is not the only thing: these gut microbes get most of their nutrients from the food we eat.
And this is where PRE-biotics come into play. These are found in high fibre foods such as
vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds and legumes.

Some good guidelines to stick to, to ensure that you are supporting your gut health and getting
enough fiber and pre-and probiotics are the following:

  • Eat wholegrains daily

  • Eat legumes every other day

  • Eat 3 portions of vegetables daily

  • Eat 2 fruits per day

  • Eat Nuts and Seeds regularly

  • Eat fermented foods regularly

  • Stay hydrated

    • This will all support our immune system and overall health.