Here’s What We’re Doing to Keep Our Gut Healthy
As we all continue to look for ways to power through winter ~ keeping our immune systems strong and our moods uplifted ~ we are really excited by the science that explains that the majority of our immune system lives in our gut.
Harvard Medical School recently released a study showing how the bacteria residing in our guts protect us from viral infections. The study explained that there is a specific population of gut microbes that modulates both localized and systemic immune response to ward off viral invaders. We LOVE this information!
We’ve been reading over the years that as much as 70%-80% of our immune system is controlled by bacteria in our gut, and we influence that bacteria by the food we eat and life choices we make. As Dr. Will Bulsiewicz of @theguthealthMDstates, “A depressed mood may indicate a depressed gut. Mental health is connected to gut health. The gut microbiome is incredibly powerful.”
Also, according to Dr Josh Axe, things like processed foods, sugar, stress, poor sleep, and even toxic cleaning supplies and lack of exercise will create a negative tipping point in which the bad bacteria outweigh the good bacteria in your gut lining.
This science gives us that extra incentive to prioritize taking care of ourselves and our families. Here’s what we’re doing to keep our gut bacteria healthy and our moods uplifted:
1. Abundance of Greens & Hydration: There’s a reason greens work so well to improve health. They’re living nutrients that contain natural probiotics, a ton of fiber, and chlorophyll which contains oxygen. Bring on the abundant salads and roasted vegetables! As for hydration, often you think you are getting enough, but it’s important to set yourself up for success by having 8 bottles ready to grab and go, or place a large pitcher of water on your countertop. Recent studies suggest 11-15 cups of water per day!!
2. Very Low Sugar Intake: While we love Girl Scout Thin Mints, we place those boxes in the freezer because out of sight equals out of mind. Focusing on having fresh fruit like apples, clementines, bananas and pears on the counter, and pantry items like trail mix, chia seeds (for puddings) and steel cut oats (for overnight oats) allows you to have grab and go snacks that don’t skyrocket your blood sugar levels. We aim for 3 solid meals a day so our blood sugar doesn’t crash, and for snacks, we aim for low sugar, high fiber, and lots of crunch for satisfaction. If you can keep sugar out of your home, your car and your office, you’re setting yourself up for major success!
3. Detox: It’s just about that time for a seasonal 3-day vegan meal plan cleanse or juice cleanse to reset the gut as we approach spring. A recent guest new to juice cleansing had this to say about her 3-day juice cleanse: “It changed my sleep, my snacking, and my overall mood. It felt so good to be on a routine.” The best part about taking these 3 days to treat ourselves to a routine is that it sets us up for months ahead of good decision making around food and lifestyle choices.
It’s small consistent healthy choices daily that add up to a lifetime of well-being. We absolutely love knowing we have a say in how our gut microbiome influences our immune systems. We hope this information is helpful on your health journey!
To Great Health,
Fran and Michelle