Welcome to the Go Nutrients blog, where we strive to provide high quality content in addition to our leading brand of liquid nutrients. Health and fitness go hand-in-hand to provide a healthy lifestyle.
Wow! 70% of the immune system is in our digestive tract. It is amazing how well the immune system fights off enemies when your gut is healthy. Let’s look at how this most valuable player is the immune system’s MVP.
Those embarrassing noises coming from your gut could say a lot more than it is ready for supplies. We all know how to feed the growling beast, but do you know why? How about what? You may even need to consider when to feed it.
The gastrointestinal system is the primary way the outside world comes in contact with our internal systems. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins and more enter it each day. This makes the gastrointestinal system the perfect place for most of our immune system to exist. The immune warriors get right to work battling the newest unwanted invaders.
Now that we know how the gut and immune system work with each other, let’s talk about ways to keep them healthy.
Anxiety, Depression, Stress and Your Digestive System
Research has discovered a link between your digestive system, brain chemistry, and moods. Patients dealing with anxiety or depression disorders may find some relief from a healthier gut.
Studies in mice found a connection between balancing the digestive system microbiome and brain chemistry. When researchers changed the levels of disease-causing and healthy bacteria, the mice showed changes in behavior. They either became more anxious or showed increased boldness.
The opposite is true as well. Your brain can influence your gut’s microbiome. A vicious cycle starts if you don’t take preventative steps. A balance between the good and bad bacteria is necessary.
Let’s take it one step further. Your immune system is part of that same cycle. A happy gut leads to a happy brain. When your moods are level, then your body is under less stress. That lowers the chance your immune system will become overwhelmed.
Chronic stress negatively affects your immune system. When your body is under constant stress, it over produces cortisol and increases inflammation. The immune system now has to work even harder to overcome.
Research found that people under higher levels of stress, that were exposed to rhinovirus, had worse symptoms of the common cold. As the levels of stress in men with HIV increased, the immune system’s ability to fight off the disease progression decreased.
We all have bowel movements, but we don’t all have the same cycle. Today’s technology has created an exciting capsule, the wireless motility capsule (WMC). It is non-invasive and supplies doctors with a lot of information about exactly what happens after you swallow.
We now understand that the entire process can take from 10 to 73 hours. That is a wide range of time, which is the reason there is not one set standard for how often you should have a bowel movement. It could be as often as 3 times a day or as few as 3 times a week. The important thing is to know what is regular for you.
If you are not having regular bowel movements, it is constipation. Questions to ask yourself…
- Did I drink enough water?
- Did I eat enough fiber?
- Have I traveled recently?
- Did I eat food that was new to me?
- Do I need to get my feet moving more so my bowels will too?
- Have I been so busy that I haven’t made time for a bathroom break?
- Don’t spend too much time there, though. That may cause hemorrhoids or aggravate ones you already have.
Chronic constipation may indicate other medical issues as well. Examples are Irritable Bowel Syndrome, thyroid issues, Diverticular disease, diabetes, and more. If you are experiencing constipation, that is not easily cleared up with some lifestyle changes, see your doctor for help.
You may need to inspect any medications you take. It is important to always look closely at the side-effects associated with any medications. This can help you decide the next steps to take if one occurs.
The list below shows broad categories. Not every medicine in the category will cause constipation. Research your particular medications to find out the best answers.
- Anticonvulsants – Seizure medications
- Antidepressants –
- Allergy Medications (Like Benadryl)
- Blood Pressure meds
- Narcotics that contain codeine
- Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e. Advil, naproxen…)
- Psychiatric Medications
Keeping your gut happy and healthy also keeps your immune system in good working order.
Probiotics and a Healthy Digestive System
Most of us hear the word bacteria and assume it is all bad. Not true. Probiotics are live bacteria in some foods that are good for us. They help to keep our gut in good working condition.
When we are sick with a bacterial infection, doctors prescribe antibiotics. Those medications do wonders to make us feel better and drive off the bad bacteria. The downside is that antibiotics also kill off the good bacteria. To help replenish the good bacteria quickly, you need to consume more probiotics.
Fermented foods are a substantial source of probiotics. When adding them to your diet, consider doing it in stages. Start with ½ a cup at a time. The drastic change with larger amounts could cause an upset stomach.
To increase the probiotics in your gut, consider eating more foods containing the bacteria. Some examples are:
- Buttermilk (Not pasteurized)
- Gouda and other fermented soft cheeses
- Kombucha (Fermented green or black tea)
- Sauerkraut (unpasteurized)
- Sourdough Bread
- Sour pickles (no vinegar used for pickling)
- Yogurt with live and active cultures
There are also many good supplements on the market. Do your research. Not all brands produce high-quality products.
Prebiotics and a Healthy Immune System
Prebiotics help grow good bacteria in your gut. Think of them as the food your gut uses to replenish the bacteria it needs to stay healthy. Probiotics are the actual live cultures or bacteria.
Prebiotics are in many high-fiber foods, but not all. They are plant fibers that your body does not digest. They pass to the lower digestive tract to become food for the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Not all dietary fibers are equal. When looking for fibers that contain prebiotics, look for ones that have fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) or inulin. Some foods have added prebiotics.
Your immune system benefits from prebiotics. They help keep good and bad bacteria well balanced in your gut. This healthy balance allows your immune system to work at its best.
Some foods high in prebiotics are:
- Burdock Root
- Chicory Root
- Dandelion Greens
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Konjac Root
- Wheat Bran
- Whole Oats
Not all of us want to run out and scoop up those dandelions for a snack! Don’t worry. There are many prebiotic supplements on the market. Don’t forget to do your research. You don’t want to waste your money on poor quality products.
Processed Foods and Your Immune System
Fruits, vegetables and high-quality meats are important for many reasons. Your immune system benefits from them because they do not have things in them that your digestive system doesn’t recognize.
Processed foods have artificial ingredients such as fillers and preservatives. The digestive system sees these ingredients as foreign invaders. Your immune system then kicks in to fight them off. All of this causes unnecessary stress on your digestive and immune systems. Even if you only replace half of your processed foods with whole foods, that will help your immune system stay stronger.
Sugars are a parasite’s fuel source. That same parasite is an enemy to the immune system. The more sugar you feed intestinal parasites, the more damage they can cause the digestive system. You can see where this cycle can go on-and-on. Consider cutting back on sweets by trading them for whole foods.
There is quite a bit of information covered above. The take-away is that your immune system depends on your digestive system to stay healthy.
Look at it this way. If the walls of your house were weak and full of holes, many unwanted invaders could get in. Many of them intend to do you harm. In response, you build up those walls, patch the holes, and lock the doors and windows. That is the same as keeping your immune system strong. If you want your body to protect you, then you need to protect it.
The Go Nutrients team hopes you enjoyed this article and find more valuable information here that makes living a healthy lifestyle easier. We are a leading brand of alcohol-free, high potency liquid herbal supplements and vitamins. Our focus is on delivering premium products that are safe and effective. Plus, our products are MADE IN THE USA!