Did you know that roughly 70% of your active immune cells are found in your gut? Think of them as your very own internal defence force. When you are first exposed to a virus, your immune system uses antibodies to bind to the virus in the respiratory and digestive tracts. These antibodies work to prevent the virus from entering the body further, and also identify it to be destroyed.
Your immune cells can’t do their job if your gut is not very happy. Understanding the link between gut health and immunity can help improve the body’s ability to fight infections. If overworked by large volumes of unfriendly bacteria and yeast, the immune system may become extremely sensitive. This can cause allergies, as the immune system begins to attack any particles that appear to be a threat – even something as innocent as pollen.
It can also cause the immune system to become worn down and tired, meaning it is not as effective at killing off the microorganisms that actually pose a threat – making you more vulnerable to infections, colds and flus.
Put simply: a healthy gut is key to a healthy immune system.
Restore some balance with probiotics
Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut flora by introducing healthy bacteria to the gut, which in turn helps control levels of unfriendly bacteria and yeast. There’s only so much space in the gut, so the more friendly bacteria you add, the less room there is for unfriendly bacteria.
Probiotic supplements are a great way to increase good gut bacteria quickly and directly, and certain probiotic strains have been studied specifically for their beneficial immunomodulatory action.
OptiBac Probiotics For Daily Immunity Capsules are formulated especially to help support the immune system. They contain four different strains of bacteria and 2.5 billion live cultures to increase your friendly bacteria and reduce unfriendly bacteria. And, unlike most probiotics, OptiBac For Daily Immunity also contain natural antioxidants like green tea, grape seed extract and pine bark extract as well as added vitamin C to give your immune system that extra boost it needs.
Food sources of probiotics
Probiotics can also be obtained from our diet. Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics. Some examples of popular fermented, probiotic-rich foods include sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, miso, kombucha, kimchi, kefir and of course natural yogurt. If opting for yoghurt, go for plain or Greek yoghurt and avoid sugar-laden, flavoured varieties.
Top tips for good gut health
Finally, lifestyle changes can also help to keep your gut happy and healthy:
1) Slay your sugar dragon! A diet high in processed foods and added sugars can decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut, allowing bad bacteria to thrive. Keep these foods to a minimum.
2) Keep stress in check. The gut and brain communicate continuously. When the brain triggers a stress response, the resources needed for good gut health get diverted to other parts of the body, causing the digestive system to slow and acid to build up, which can result in changes in gut flora.
3) Watch your meds. Some medications, like antibiotics, kill bacteria and damage the gut. As a result, it affects the normal digestive processes and weakens the microbial colonies in the gut. A probiotic supplement is often recommended following a course of antibiotics.