Did you know that the lining of your intestine (also known as the second brain) plays a huge role in the health and strength of your immune system? That’s why you should pay close attention to the following conditions and address them before they offset the delicate balance of your gastrointestinal system:
- Irritable bowel
- Chronic antibiotic use
- Chronic sinusitis
- Seasonal allergies
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Sleep disturbances
- Anxiety or depression
- Poor diet (low fiber, high carbs)
- Sugar cravings
- Overweight/inability to lose weight
When my clients come to me about any of these issues, my first goal is to improve the balance of good and bad bacteria in their gut. To this end, I recommend they start taking the following steps right away:
# 1. Consume Organic, Whole Foods
The first step in restoring some of the balance in your gut is to consume organic, whole foods: nutrient dense meat stock, grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught fish, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Make sure your diet is free of pesticides and chemicals and high in fiber, prebiotics, and nutrients.
#2. Take a Probiotic Supplement
Probiotic supplements can help restore the ratio of good and bad bacteria in your gut. However, because there are many different strains, you need a trained professional to decipher which probiotics are best for you to take based on your symptoms.
#3. Reduce Carbohydrates
Reduce or eliminate the amount of processed carbohydrates you consume in your diet. Getting rid of crackers, pasta, breads, and sweets will help you reduce sugar cravings over time and limit the overgrowth of bacteria and yeast in your gut.
#4. Consider a Food Sensitivity Test
This is a type of blood test that can help you determine if you have an immune response to any of the foods in your diet, which can cause many of the symptoms outlined above and prevent you from moving forward with your goals. The food sensitivity test must be administered by a trained professional.
#5. Consider a Digestive Stool Analysis
You can find a variety of such tests, but keep in mind the main focus of the test is to look for infections and/or identify an overactive or underactive immune system, inflammation, food intolerances, digestion and absorption capabilities, and levels of good and bad bacteria.
We’ve seen great results from this approach. And we’re all happier when we eat tasty, healthy food—which makes taking the first step that much easier!
Please feel free to contact Nicole Eckman, RDN, CLT with any questions you may have about getting your immune health up to speed! You may call her at (970) 281-5620 or email her at Nicole@enlightenmentnutrition.com.
Image from iStock/Eraxion.