The Connection Between A Robust Immune System And Digestive Health

Your digestive system is responsible for 80% of your immune system! By the number of cells, you are 90% bacteria and for every cell in your body you have a number of cells of bacteria living in and on your body. This can seem weird, but there are bacteria living inside your intestinal tract, otherwise known as your “gut.” The health of these organisms is extremely important to the health of your body.

Since bacteria and the health of your immune system are integrally linked together, When your gut bacteria is balanced, then your immune system is balanced, and conversely when it’s out of balance, so is your immune system.
If you are wondering what the signals that your immune system is out of balance here are some of them:

  • Food and seasonal allergies
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Colds and flus that linger for weeks

Food sensitivities are a major sign and cause of an immune system imbalance. Food, specifically undigested protein, can imitate virus or bacteria reactions of our immune system which creates an antibody response. Some people experience life-threatening reactions like anaphylactic shock to nuts or shellfish.
It’s possible to also have a non-life threatening, chronic reaction to a food (mostly undigested protein), which can over-stimulate our immune system and lead to seasonal allergies, eczema, and many inflammatory conditions. When we find out the foods that you aren’t digesting properly you can gain control over these potentially “food sensitivities” triggered conditions.
Once the intestinal tract is damaged and allows undigested particles to be absorbed into the blood stream through a “leaky gut.” these proteins can stimulate our immune system for days. This makes it difficult to figure out our food sensitivities. Even a small amount of gluten, dairy, corn, or soy can cause our immune system to remain over-stimulated and we will feel our symptoms continuously, even once reducing these possible triggers. 
The best way to keep our immune system balanced is by having a healthy and strong digestive system, which means that our gut bacteria needs to be in balance.
The way that we eat in North America hasn’t helped to keep our gut bacteria balanced. Other cultures consume fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and natural yogurt, which feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut. In North America, we consume too much refined sugar, chlorine, and antibiotics.  These are primary causes of a gut bacteria imbalance.
When your gut is hosting beneficial bacteria, your body, including digestion, immunity, brain, is able to create balance. When the primary bacteria in your gut is an overgrowth of yeast, molds, and fungus, many digestive symptoms, like bloating, gas, pain, constipation, diarrhea, distention, and a “leaky gut” can prevail.
So how do we suggest that you keep your gut bacteria balanced?

  • Eat whole, unrefined foods. 
  • Remove all refined sugars and grains which feed the “bad” bacteria.
  • Eat naturally fermented foods daily
  • Take a daily probiotic supplement. These supplements contain high amounts of beneficial bacteria and can pervade the gut.
  • All digestive symptoms are signs that food that you are eating isn’t being properly broken down and is feeding the “bad” bacteria.

Once you realize how important the correlation between your digestive system and immune system are, it’s clear that keeping gut bacteria healthy is the best way to get and maintain optimal health!