One of the biggest recent medical revelations is the vital connection between gut health and wellness. Ongoing scientific research suggests that the microbiome, the good bacteria in our gut, helps prevent (perhaps even heal) autoimmune diseases. In fact, our bodies are full of more healthy bacteria than actual human cells!
Being that the gut is the center of our immune system (making up almost 80 percent), it's incredibly important to develop nourishing routines and practices. Although a healthy microbiome is partially inherited, there are many choices you can make to ensure a functioning, protected, and flourishing immune system - read on below to learn more!
Link to Autoimmune Diseases
Characterized by the immune system targeting normal proteins as though they are harmful invaders, there are over 80 types of autoimmune diseases. This high alert reaction results in a chronically inflamed immune system. Often debilitating, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease have a massive impact on everyday life. Increasing numbers of medical experts believe that microbiome imbalances can play a part in triggering autoimmune issues.
Poor Dietary Choices
The most foundational element of maintaining a healthy gut is establishing good nutritional habits. A diet with high amounts of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol can increase your gut's production of bad bacteria and weaken its lining. However, there are countless foods you can add to your diet to help facilitate better gut health. Be sure to seek out plenty of foods filled with probiotics (or good bacteria) such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso paste, sourdough, and pickles. In addition, a diet rich in prebiotics will help to feed those good probiotics. Add to your diet plenty of fruits and vegetables filled with fiber including berries, leafy green vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables.
Excessive Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics kill threatening infections, which can be helpful when necessary but can additionally have unintended consequences. Beyond eradicating harmful bacteria, antibiotics can also disrupt or even wipe out your good gut bacteria. If you do need to take an antibiotic, make sure you finish the entire prescribed dose; this ensures that you won't need to take another round and further endanger your gut bacteria. Choosing probiotic rich foods from the list above and considering a probiotic supplement can help to support your good gut bacteria while taking needed antibiotics. When taking a probiotic supplement take it at least 2 hours apart from the time of taking the antibiotic.
Creating a diet that nourishes your gut and provides nutrients for optimal health can go a long way to prevent and help to manage autoimmune disease.