Secret to Healthy Immunity

The Microscopic Army in Your Gut

If you experience digestive symptoms such as constipation, reflux, indigestion, bloating and gas, frequent colds and flus, yeast infections or urinary tract infections or even headaches, you may be feeling the effects of imbalances within your gut microbiome. Describing the trillions of bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms that colonise your digestive tract; these mini soldiers support health and wellness by regulating your digestive processes, bowel function and immune health. They also affect our body’s ability to lose weight. Restoring balance in the microbiome can help you get on top of your health again!

The Benefit of Probiotics

You may have heard that taking probiotic supplements can have a positive impact on your health. A daily multi-strain probiotic formula that contains a handful of carefully selected organisms can have widespread benefits in maintaining optimal digestive and immune health. The following bacterial strains work synergistically to maintain everyday health:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM®): reduces abdominal pain by influencing receptors within the gut, and supports healthy immunity.

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001™): has immune boosting properties to reduce chances of infection.

  • Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (HN019™): aids gut motility to relieve constipation and keep you regular.

The Great Battle of the Bugs

Whilst some probiotic strains are effective in maintaining everyday health, there may be instances that require more of a ‘guns blazing’ approach. Poor diet, stress, pesticides, exposure to radiation, many pharmaceutical drugs and overuse of antibiotics are some of the drivers that can alter the composition of the microbiome, leading to a myriad of digestive and immune ailments. In these instances, probiotic strains that influence resident gut bacteria and promote restoration of the microbiome can get you back to your fighting best. Restorative probiotic strains include Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii) (SB) and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12®), which promote the growth and function of your own beneficial gut bacteria whilst preventing harmful pathogens within the gut.

Nourish your inner army

Whilst probiotics are invaluable in maintaining a healthy microbiome, the following diet and lifestyle measures also support optimal gut and immune health:

  • Minimise your sugar intake. Eat less canned food, breakfast cereals, baked goods, desserts, sweetened dairy products, condiments, fruit juices, lollies, chocolate and fast foods, wheat products and deep fried foods – these often contain sugar, chemicals and bad or oxidised fats which encourages the growth of harmful pathogens in the gut.

  • Avoid pesticides and chemicals. Research has shown that pesticides and chemicals in our food damage our gut lining and our protective bacterial species. If you can’t afford organic food then make sure you wash your non organic vegetables in vinegar or baking soda.

  • Avoid pesticides and chemicals. Research has shown that pesticides and chemicals in our food damage our gut lining and our protective bacterial species. If you can’t afford organic food then make sure you wash your non organic vegetables in vinegar or baking soda.

  • Eat more veggies. Research has shown that vegetables are crucial for provide fibre and phytonutrients to feed your good bacteria. Some the best ones are asparagus, sweet potato, artichokes, garlic, leeks and onions but eating a variety of different coloured vegetables at least four cups a day will build up your beneficial gut bacteria levels.

  • Eat fermented foods daily. Fermented foods like live sauerkraut from cabbage, carrots or beets, kimchi, miso and fermented drinks like milk or non-dairy kefir should be included in our daily diets to encourage the development of good bacteria.

  • Keep on top of your stress. Have you ever noticed your digestion plays up during stressful periods? Through a complex network of nerves and tissue, it’s a two way street as the gut and brain communicate with each other; also influencing your digestive and immune function. Stress busting techniques include gentle exercise such as yoga and Pilates, regular meditation and ensuring you achieve 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night. Be mindful of taking time out from work or TV when you are eating. I always recommend taking a few deep breaths before eating to bring our body into a relaxed state and direct blood flow to our gut so we can digest our food.

  • Be mindful of pharmaceutical overuse. Whilst over-the-counter medicines like anti reflux medication or pain medications may be required in some circumstances, long term use of these agents compromises the microbial balance within the gut.

To Ensure Victory, Strike While the Iron is Hot!

Anyone who has taken a course of antibiotics or is on long term medications for reflux, inflammation or cholesterol should consider taking a good quality probiotic supplement daily. Investing in good quality probiotics that are specific to your wellbeing can make all the difference in winning the battle when it comes to gut and immune health. Daily use of a multi-strain probiotic to maintain optimal balance may give you the fighting-edge to improve digestive health, reduce gut pain and constipation, and enhance immunity.

Whether you need to wage war and restore the microbiome or wave the white flag for peace and health maintenance, talk to a qualified health practitioner like myself about which probiotic is most suitable for your individual circumstances.