HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE HEALTH THROUGH YOUR GUT!
With over 70% of your immune cells residing in the gut there is no better time than to look after your gut and its inhabitants in the fight against Covid and staying well this winter.
The inhabitants I refer to are of course the trillions of gut bacteria that have taken up residence inside your gut. They have created their own ecosystem that can speak with our own cells in the gut lining to help regulate our immune response.
What do your gut bacteria do for you?
Bacteria in our gastro-intestinal tract feed off food particles that we can’t digest and absorb. They help us to breakdown these fibres and use it to make short chain fatty acids a which act as a direct source of food for the cells lining the gut but also give us B vitamins which we can use for energy. They also make vitamin K which is an important factor for the blood clotting process. The important thing to remember is that the different strains of bacteria work together to keep our gut lining strong and healthy – without this we can develop hyper-intestinal permeability or leaky gut! which can result in poor immune function and even autoimmunity!
Food gut bacteria love!
The kind of food our gut bacteria love are the ones we largely can’t digest and absorb which are high in fibre; beans, lentils, wholegrains and some fruit and vegetables fibres. Fibre is such as important part of our diet, it should be considered a nutrient in itself and as a Nation, we simply don’t eat enough of it. Include plenty of variety from these kinds of fibre rich foods aiming to have at least 1-2 servings of fruit and 5-6 servings of vegetables every day and include some wholegrains i.e. oats, rice, rye, pasta, quinoa into your diet. Including food in your diet that makes you feel happy and healthy from the inside-out is all part of my Eat better and Feel better online 4 week programme which starts soon https://evienutrition.co.uk/weight-loss-programmes
How broken sleep affects your immune health
Our immune system is dependent on a few different factors other than diet; poor immune health has been identified in those with disrupted sleep patterns and broken “circadian rhythm”. The Circadian rhythm is our in-built 24 hour clock that should tell us when to get up and when to go to bed, however it is far too easy to stay up late with all of the entertainment we have at hand; iphones, ipads, TV, indoor lighting which all means we can ignore the fading light outside and stay awake long after we should probably have hit the pillow! With improved sleep patterns you can improve your immune health through your gut!
How to sleep your way to better health
The fascinating interactions that occur between our immune cells and the gut microbiome have become a point of great interest in recent scientific studies looking at how together they regulate our immune system and how the bacteria use “Zeitgeber’s” (time-givers) to know when and how to respond.
Almost every cell in our body has molecular machinery to “time-keep”, this means they respond to our light-dark cycle via the “suprachiasmatic nucleus” (big word alert!) in the brain by light entering through the eye which sets the internal body clock. But the bacteria in our gut doesn’t have this internal machinery to time-keep without our help.
The gut microbiome responds to our daily rhythm by using zeitgeber’s as cues; the most important of these is our light-dark cycle and also our feeding times, our hormones and body temperature .
We now have a better understanding of how our circadian rhythm and the gut microbiome are working together in harmony and how this affects our immune system response to infection but the question is…are you disrupting your circadian rhythm?
One thing we can all do is get up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night and eating at the same time every day is an important cue to help train the gut microbiome to respond effectively. This is how your gut bacteria can fit in with our own biological internal clock – they listen to these cues and rely on us being regular time keepers with our mealtimes and sleep. Do you follow a set pattern of wake/sleep and eating times? or is sleep a problem area for you?
Which sleep type are you?
There are two kinds of poor-sleepers, the first is the kind that drops off to sleep immediately but wakes only hours later and the second kind spends hours trying to get to sleep and when they do fall asleep it is still restless and broken. Either way, sleep is a critical function that accounts for a third of our life and missing out on a good night sleep could be affecting your health in more negative ways than you realised. Find out how to get the best night sleep possible by downloading my workshop “Nutrition for Sleep” on request for just £5 – it is a game-changer for your health.
Finding your root cause for broken sleep
If you want to find the root cause of what is affecting your ability to get a good night sleep, you may benefit from working with me on a one to one basis. I have helped hundreds improve their sleep through dietary and lifestyle modifications. We all unique, getting specific, tailored advice may be the best starting place for you right now. Get in touch to find out how I can help you and book your FREE discovery call. https://evienutrition.co.uk/contact