Nutritional Therapist  Lisa Mehlman explains how your digestive system supports your immune system:

 

We are once again coming up to coughs and colds season,  so how does a person improve their immunity?

 

Photo Credit: mcfarlandmo via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mcfarlandmo via Compfight cc

Most people assume that it is white blood cells and lymph glands that drive immunity but actually your intestines contain more immune cells than the entire rest of your body.  It seems that the gut plays a much bigger role in the human body than just digestion.  Your gut is also home to many millions of microbes.  In healthy individuals the gut microbes stimulate the immune system.

 

A new theory on disease emerged in a recent study carried out the Oregon State University Department of Biomedical Sciences.   It is thought that a communication breakdown between the microbes in the human gut and other cells involved in the immune system and metabolic processes is at the root of some illnesses.  The communication problem is believed to be due to various aspects of modern lifestyle, including poor diet and overuse of antibiotics.

 

As well as lowered immunity poor gut health contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. Symptoms can include food sensitivities or allergies.

 

Photo Credit: cyclotourist via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: cyclotourist via Compfight cc

 

So how do you go about achieving a good level of healthy gut microbes? Fermented and cultured foods such as Kimchi or Sauerkraut improve gut health and should be eaten daily. You should remove all food toxins from your diet, increase fibre, treat any intestinal pathogens such as parasites and take steps to manage stress. There are also supplemental probiotics that you can take daily.

 

For further information or guidance please make an appointment to see Lisa at Ashlins by calling 020 8520 5268.

 

*If you’re suffering with an infection or are worried about your immune system, please seek advice from your GP*