Do you know that your gut plays a significant role in affecting your immune levels? 70 percent of one's immunity is believed to be dependant on how well your gut is functioning. During this pandemic, a lot of attention are being shined upon the importance of protecting one's health through sanitary measures, like frequent hand washing and disinfecting one's environment. However, it is equally, if not more important, to also pay attention to the things you eat and drink, as it can majorly affect your immunity. On this week's journal, we will be explaining a number of healthy habits you may want to adopt in order to maintain your immunity levels high at all times. Read on!
Pay attention to your food intake
Unhealthy lifestyle tends to include certain dietary imbalance that may disrupt good gut health. This can lead to lack of good bacteria in your gut, that may contribute to inflammation, leaky gut, lowered immune system dysfunction, as well as potential development of allergies and other chronic diseases. If this is the case, you might also want to consider elimination diet to find out if you have any food sensitivities. Some foods like gluten, dairy, soy and eggs may trigger reactions in some people. The simplest yet also tricky first step needed to achieve optimal gut function is by paying attention to what you eat. Limiting consumption of processed food is crucial. Additives contained in this type of food, such as artificial sweeteners, salt and saturated fats that, may lead to digestive issues. On the other hand, a diet rich in antioxidants, fiber, minerals may help regulate the digestive tract and promote a healthier gut microbiome. Gut lining can also be gradually repaired by consuming foods rich with omega-3, zinc, and glutamine. As the gut wall houses 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system, foods that are beneficial for your gut flora are most likely to have immune boosting properties as well.
Consume more fermented foods
Fermented foods are widely known to be beneficial for your health, especially for the digestive tract. They are rich in probiotics, healthy bacteria that helps to break down fiber in the body and reduces gas production. Consuming fermented foods, like kimchi, miso, and yogurt frequently can also help combat indigestion and bloating. A balanced gut flora is important to achieve optimal gut health, which can also benefit your immunity in the long run.
Drink plenty of fluids
Benefits of hydrating frequently has been discussed countless times, and it is truly good not just to keep you far from dehydration episodes. Even if the weather's not as hot, or if you're spending more time indoors, rehydration is important to ensure a well-running metabolism and digestion. When you don't drink enough as well as equally not consuming enough fibers from fruits and vegetables, constipation may likely to happen. However, keep in mind that you shouldn't be consuming just any fluids. In this case, it's better to reduce or steer clear of sugary drinks, as it may contribute to imbalance in gut flora as well as increasing your chances of dehydration. If you're bored of plain water, some variations of herbal tea can be an option.
Limit alcohol and caffeine
Following previous point, you should not be consuming just any form of liquid. While water is generally good, some people also have the habit of consuming caffeine every day or even alcoholic drinks. Caffeine intake of 1-2 cups per day should be alright for your gut health, however alcohol consumption may potentially disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Alcohol may also increase acid production in some people that can lead to gastric reflux and heartburn. Therefore, it's beneficial to control your intake of these type of beverages, in order to keep your gut health in check.
Find ways to relax
Lastly, while not being tied to eating habits, this point is very important to implement if you're trying to keep a healthy gut and maintain immunity. A stressed individual may experience a dip in immune levels, as well as some digestive problems. This happens because when you're stressed, the body reacts by producing stress hormones and affects your gut's nervous system. It can then lead to an imbalance in gut bacteria, before causing various conditions like leaky gut, ulcers, and other chronic digestive issues. Stress management becomes an important tool to help alleviate or even prevent this condition from happening. Simple habits like frequent exercising may help, as it is known to ease your mind and improve physical health. Moreover, exercise can help you have a better digestion, as it may promote regular bowel movements and promote better food absorption.