With winter just around the corner, it is only a matter of time before the colder weather and holiday celebrations are upon us. Alongside the excitement for snow days, home-cooked feasts, and holiday traditions, you may also be feeling apprehensive about what all of these things mean for your health.
After all, it’s no secret that this time of year is often accompanied by a plethora of germs that can leave you feeling under the weather. That is why caring for your immune system should be a critical part of your winter preparations.
When it comes to caring for your immune system, you are probably already doing a lot of the most common tricks, like eating foods rich in vitamin C and ensuring your body is getting plenty of antioxidants. While these tricks will work, nothing can boost your immune system as much as a healthy gut will.
Not convinced? Let’s dive into the science of the immune system and its connection to the gut together.
How Does The Immune System Work?
As you already know, the immune system is the body’s defense against germs and other potentially harmful invaders. What you might not know is that your immune system is divided into two parts – the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.
The innate immune system
Innate immunity is what protects your body from the day you are born. The majority of this part of your immune system consists of physical barriers like your skin that work to keep germs and other pathogens from entering your body. In addition to those barriers, the innate immune system also contains special cells that are responsible for quickly attacking and neutralizing threats that have entered your body. These cells work on a broad level and cannot distinguish between different pathogens. Because of this, the innate immune system isn’t able to handle every invader that may enter your body.
The adaptive immune system
Also referred to as “acquired immunity,” the adaptive part of your immune system is developed over time and is better at recognizing and responding to specific pathogens. Your adaptive immune system is developed through exposure to new germs. During the first exposure, your immune cells learn how to effectively defend your body against that specific invader. After that, any time you are exposed to that specific pathogen again, your body skips over innate immunity and immediately activates your adaptive immune system.
The Connection With Your Gut
Now that you understand a little more about how your immune system works, you may be wondering how it is connected to your gut health. Let us explain.
One of the many unique things about the immune system is that it isn’t located in one particular part of the body. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Immune cells can be found virtually everywhere within the body.
With that being said, research has found that about 70% of those immune cells are located in the gut. This gives those ever-important immune cells direct exposure to the trillions of microorganisms that live in your gut microbiome.
Since your immune system and gut are so closely connected, there is no doubt that the health of one can impact the other. Let’s discuss the three main ways your gut health can affect your immunity.
1. Nourishes the immune system
Just like any other system in your body, your immune system is reliant on nutrition to function. Nutrients like iron, selenium, amino acids, vitamin D, and vitamin C are particularly crucial. Your gut extracts and absorbs all the nutrients from the food you eat and disperses them throughout your body. Therefore, if your gut is healthy and you’re eating plenty of healthy foods, your gut will be able to pass those important nutrients along to be utilized by your immune cells.
2. Improves adaptive immunity
As you learned earlier, adaptive immunity is strengthened by exposure. Each exposure to a new pathogen results in your body essentially coding your immune cells to look out for and attack pathogens that display similar markers. Since your gut microbiome is home to trillions of bacteria, it helps with this coding process. Put simply, your immune system is exposed to and learns from both the good and bad bacteria, which ultimately helps it prepare to fight off pathogens that are actually harmful when they appear.
3. Keeps harmful microorganisms in check
Ideally, your gut microbiome will house more good bacteria than bad. When that’s the case, it’s not only good for your gut health but also for your immune system. How? All the good bacteria in your gut will compete for resources with the bad bacteria. This helps keep all the dangerous bacteria from overgrowing and drawing the attention and resources of your immune system, which means those immune cells can focus their attention elsewhere.
Supporting Your Gut and Immune System
There is clearly a strong connection between your gut health and immune functionality. Therefore, if you want your immune system to be prepared for all the germs it will encounter this winter, the best place to start is by supporting your gut.
Many of the most common healthy habits like exercising, eating healthy, and staying hydrated are great steps to start supporting a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut microbiome. However, if you want to ensure your gut microbiome is as healthy as possible, you’ll want to take it a step further. Here are four of the most effective ways to support your gut.
- Probiotics. These are compounds that seed the gut with good bacteria to give it a helping hand. They are a great way to replenish depleted colonies of good bacteria and help ensure that the colonies of harmful bacteria don’t have a chance to take over. There are several foods that contain probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or you can add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine.
- Prebiotics. Just like any other living organism, the bacteria in your gut need to eat, and prebiotics are their favorite food. Prebiotics are soluble fibers that good bacteria break down and use to promote healthy digestion and motility. As with probiotics, there are several food sources for prebiotics like berries, apples, cocoa, bananas, and asparagus. Alternatively, many probiotic supplements will also contain prebiotics.
- Digestive enzymes. Just like their name implies, the role of digestive enzymes is to assist in the process of digesting food. They play a vital role in your gut’s ability to break down the food you eat, and they are naturally produced throughout your entire digestive tract, from your mouth to your intestines. However, sometimes our bodies don’t produce enough digestive enzymes to efficiently get the job done, which is why it is important to include them in your diet. These important enzymes can be found in foods like pineapple, mangoes, ginger, and kiwi. However, digestive enzyme supplements are the best way to ensure your body has enough of these compounds to get the job done.
- Superfoods. As we’ve already mentioned, every system in your body needs an array of nutrients to function, and your gut is no exception. That’s where a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich superfoods comes in. There are a variety of superfoods available, including acai berries, hemp, chia seeds, and (our personal favorite) organic Wild Microalgae®. What is organic Wild Microalgae? It is a rare form of blue-green algae that is a near-perfect superfood. It is known for its impressive nutritional profile, which contains all 20 standard amino acids, 13 vitamins, over 60 trace minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and more. All of which are crucial for your gut, and other body systems, to function optimally.
Meet Essentials: Your Daily Gut Support Pack
When it comes to keeping your immune system strong and healthy, the best thing you can do is support your gut. That’s where Essentials comes in.
Essentials is your one-stop-shop for all those important compounds needed to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. These convenient daily packs contain an assortment of powerful, organic supplements specifically designed with your gut in mind. Each of these convenient daily packs contains probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and organic Wild Microalgae to help your gut and your immune system stay as happy and healthy as possible.
The best part is you can put it to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly, nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of blue-green algae that is available in many forms including algae tablets, algae pills, and algae powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.