The Importance Of Good Gut Health And Immune Function
Did you know that having a strong immune system depends on having a healthy stomach? Why? Because good gut bacteria are essential to a healthy immune system. The gut is home to 70% of the immune system and a rich ecosystem of bacteria. So you know that what you eat can affect your weight and how you feel physically during the day.
On the other hand, you should be aware of how much of an effect eating has on the immune system. The immune system is strongly affected by dietary intake. A person's diet and way of life directly impact the gut immune cells interacting with the microbiome, the collection of bacteria and fungi that live in the digestive tract.
Let's look at how your diet affects your immune system and how your gut and the immune system interact.
Food and Our Identity: Why We Are What We Eat
The immune system is affected by the composition and variety of gut bacteria, which are influenced by one's diet. These microbes flourish and maintain powerful immunity when their hosts (i.e., us) consume high-fiber plant meals. The microbiota and the immune system are intertwined. The availability of nutrients in the gut affects the immune system's ability to train its cells.
Research shows that the stomach is even more complicated and essential to our overall health than we thought before. This is because the stomach's effects on the body, brain, and immune system extend far beyond the digestive process. The immune system, a network of cells, tissues, and organs, provides disease resistance and protection. So if you get sick, having a strong immune system to help you fight off infections and recover from injuries is something you'll prefer.
About Diet, Your Gut, And Your Immune System!
If you want to keep your health in check, you need to listen to your digestive system.
Anything you put into your stomach is not technically "within" your body. Instead, a single layer of cells lines the intestinal wall, separating what stays in the gut from what is absorbed and carried throughout the body. These cells, along with the mucosal layer, gut bacteria, and immune system, make up the intestinal permeability barrier.
The intestinal barrier is only permeable to a limited set of substances. This is what we mean when we say that your digestive system serves as a gatekeeper. To prevent the entry of pathogens, it has three layers of defense:
1. Gut Microbiota
The term "gut microbiota" describes the community of microorganisms—bacteria, viruses, and fungi—that live in the digestive system. The microbiome in the gut helps keep the intestinal lining in good shape. As a result, it can out-eat and out-space potentially harmful bacteria. Bacteriocins are antibacterial chemicals produced by the gut microbiota that is effective against harmful bacteria. They also modulate the immune system's response and provide energy for intestinal cells (through short-chain fatty acids).
2. Mucosal Lining
Mucus covers a healthy gut barrier, preventing leakage. These mucosal cells act as a biochemical and physical barrier, keeping harmful bacteria and chemicals out while letting beneficial nutrients in. Diets low in fiber can weaken the body's natural defenses, making it easier for disease-causing germs to enter the body.
3. The Immune System
The digestive tract contains 70% of the immune system. GALT, or gut-associated lymphoid tissue, is a specific type of tissue in the intestinal wall. The GALT is responsible for producing and storing immune cells that contribute to the immunological monitoring of the intestine's contents. As a result, they can detect, identify, and eliminate foreign substances harmful to the body.
The gut's immune cells communicate with gut bacteria and are directly impacted by a person's diet and way of life. These microbes in the intestines are at their strongest and can best protect their hosts (us) when we eat a varied and well-balanced diet.
Improved Resistance To Illness Through Nutrition
The gut microbiome and the immune system depend on a proper diet. The immune system can be strengthened by adopting a healthy, balanced diet and way of life, while being weakened by using harmful foods might increase vulnerability to infection. Eat various foods to give your body the necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy immune system.
Food And Its Nutrients' Role In The Body
- Vitamin A: This help in the production of white blood cells, which helps the immune system function normally—for example, Kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): It is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system; it acts as a coenzyme in the breakdown of antibodies and cytokines (molecules produced by immune cells). For example, potatoes, beans, steak, chicken, and fish.
- Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic Acid): It helps produce and grow T cells crucial to immune system function (needed to protect the body from pathogens). Folate is naturally occurring, while folic acid is available in vitamin supplements. Folate-rich foods include pasta, cereal, bread, and fruits like cantaloupe.
- Vitamin B12: It plays a role in DNA and protein synthesis, affecting the immune system by facilitating the creation of new immune cells and antibodies. For example, lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs.
- Vitamin C: The antioxidant properties of vitamin C aid in proper immune system function and immunological response. A wide range of fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C—for example, oranges, grapefruit, raw peppers, strawberries, etc.
- Vitamin D: It is crucial to immune system health, as it regulates inflammatory responses and antibody production. For example, Cow's milk, margarine, fortified orange juice, fatty seafood like salmon and sardines, etc.
- Copper: It provides vital support for energy production and defense against oxidative stress in immune cells—for example, seafood, nuts, seeds, oysters, raw chocolate, etc.
- Iron: It is required for the production of cytokines, which play a crucial role in immune function and the proper functioning of T lymphocytes (which are needed to protect the body from infections) (molecules produced by immune cells)—for example, iron-fortified foods, oysters, shrimp, mackerel, and tuna.
- Selenium: It is essential to immune function and linked to T-cell proliferation (needed to protect the body from infections)—for example, oysters, eggs, brazil nuts, etc.
- Zinc: It helps the immune system function properly by stimulating cell production and activity. For example, oysters, cattle, pork, cheese (cheddar, swiss, gouda, brie, mozzarella), turkey, and baked beans.
- Probiotic: Probiotic-containing fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir contain live cultures and may help increase the diversity of bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Prebiotics: Some prebiotics is the dietary fibers found in vegetables and fruit or concentrated in supplements; these fuel good gut bacteria and encourage their proliferation, strengthening the intestinal lining.
Despite popular belief, more is not necessarily better. Consuming an excessive amount of a nutrient has not improved immunity. However, certain foods and components can nourish and increase the gut microbiota and preserve the gut barrier.
If you are worried about your dietary intake, get a supplement. Supercharge your Immune System with YourHappy Immunity (Fizz).
A diversified, nutrient-dense diet is crucial for satisfying our nutrient needs and boosting the health of our immune system and gut flora.
Does having a healthy stomach help your immune system?
The diversity of good bacteria in a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for a functioning immune system. In addition, it controls the immune system to protect healthy tissue from harm or infection.
How can I improve my gut health and overall wellness?
Consuming fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt that contain living cultures may help increase the variety of bacteria in the digestive tract. Probiotic yogurt and kefir can boost gut flora health. Boost your Immune System by supplementing YourHappy Immunity (Fizz).
What causes damage to the microflora of the gut?
Low-fiber, high-sugar, and high-meat diets exhibited reduced bacterial diversity and more "bad" bacteria linked to obesity. In addition, heating fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut might kill beneficial microorganisms.
Exactly how does having a healthy gut affect your body's defenses?
The gut's microbiome—a complex collection of bacteria and fungi directly altered by diet and lifestyle—interacts with immune cells. Changes in the composition and diversity of gut bacteria affect immune cells.
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