70-80% of your immune system is in your digestive tract. Read on to find out how knowing this and improving your digestive system will increase your immunity.
“One common problem with most digestive systems is that the lining of the gut (your digestive system) is damaged.
The gut’s lining is extremely thin, often just one cell thick. This damage can be extremely problematic because 70 to 80 percent of your immune system is found in your digestive tract. When this delicate lining is damaged or worn down by a poor diet or large food particles, bacteria and toxins that should normally stay in your gut’s inner tube pass through it into the bloodstream, where the immune system must deal with them. These leaking particles tax your immune system.
Thus, with a poorly functioning digestive system, you don’t just get digestive symptoms, you also get an exhausted immune system. To add insult to injury, you can also get pain.
An overactive immune system leads to inflammation in the body. Your immune system creates swelling to fight hurt and unhealthy cells inside your body. This is one of the reasons why your body feels so cranky and achy when you are spent.” ~ Frank Lipman, M.D. from Revive
Did you take note? 70-80% of your immune system is found in your digestive tract!! Knowing this, we really ought to pay attention to digestive systems, eh? How?
By choosing the right types of foods and drinks you can make a huge difference to the condition of your digestive system. Its not necessarily about taking certain magical supplements or drugs either.
If you stop eating crap (more on what is crap in a minute) you’ll allow you digestive system to heal and therefore improve not just your digestion, but your immunity as well.
You’ll also notice a massive increase in your energy levels, you’ll sleep better, your skin will improve and you’ll just FEEL BETTER.
Because your digestive system will function better, you’ll absorb more nutrients from your food which has long reaching benefits. The types of foods that you should be eating are also much higher in nutrients than the ‘crap’ foods you should avoid as well.
So what is ‘crap food?’
Well there are the obvious items such as cakes, biscuits, pretty much all ‘sweets’, alcohol, drinks other than water (eg. soft drinks, cordials, etc).
Then there are the less obvious; grains-meaning breads, cereals, pastas, wraps, crackers, baked goods of almost all kinds, too much dairy, especially highly processed yoghurts, milk, ice cream and too much cheese.
A lot of pulses and beans (often eaten by vegetarians, but by others too) are also damaging to the digestive tract and also inhibit your body from absorbing key minerals from the other foods you eat.
Eating these foods regularly means you do have a damaged digestive system. To what degree you wont know, but wouldn’t it be better to not worry about the degree of damage and do something about it instead?
So what can you do?
Firstly, cut out or at least drastically cut down on the above foods.
Secondly, there are supplements that improve the function of your digestive system as well as help give it the chance to repair.
Probiotics are essential and eating just yoghurt is not enough. Take a probiotic once or twice daily.
Digestive enzymes can also be useful taken with meals. They’ll improve the digestion of what you’re eating, but they cannot override a bad diet.
Glutamine is another inexpensive supplement that really helps with gut repair. Taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will ensure best results. Just mix 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of pure glutamine in 1/4 glass of water, stir and drink. Don’t have anything else for about 20-30 minutes.