The Step-By-Step Way To Get Gut Fit, Body Fit, & Immune Fit… So You Can Fend Off Any Virus

Open any newspaper and you’ll see good news for the U.S. when it comes to COVID-19. Cases are going down, restrictions are easing, and many of us are looking forward to a fun-filled summer with friends and family — loved ones that we may not have seen in over a year!

I want you to get the absolute most out of the coming months, so let’s talk about strategies to get gut fit, body fit, and immune fit so that you can embrace life fully, without dealing with constant colds or allergies that threaten to hold you back.

THE GUT: At the Center of it All

Take a close look at the gut, where 70% of your immune system lies, and it’s pretty clear that it’s the gateway to your immune system. These two systems might seem far away, but really, they’re closely connected. In recent years, scientific research has validated this connection beyond any doubt:

  • There are cells in the lining of the GI tract that exist mainly to secrete antibodies into the gut. 
  • Your gut bacteria and intestinal lining play a major role in immune regulation, including something called “immune tolerance” which is the body’s ability to distinguish outside invaders from your body’s own tissues. A loss of immune tolerance is one of the key characteristics of autoimmune disease. 
  • Studies have shown that there is a measurable shift in the gut bacteria in those that develop digestive issues like colitis, especially in one bacteria in particular, called Lactobacillus johnsonii, which accounts for as much as 30 percent of the gut bacteria in those with colitis. 
  • Studies suggest that one of the best ways to diagnose tuberculosis might be in the gut; because even though this disease affects the lungs, it causes noticeable shifts in the gut microbiome. 
  • It’s possible that the loss in gut bacterial diversity experienced as we age may contribute to why older people are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease. 
If we want to have confidence in our immune system, tending to our gut is key.

And even though it feels like the threat of COVID-19 is slowly slipping away, there are endless reasons to continue investing in your long-term immune health. The last year may have been a particularly extreme example, but the truth is that we’ll always be facing superbugs, including bacteria, viruses, and other immune threats throughout our lives.

5 Foods that Boost Immunity

I like to take a food-first approach to health, so when I counsel my patients on improving immunity and gut health, the first place I start is with food. If you want a full explanation of the best dietary approaches to support gut and immune health, check out my book, Happy Gut®. To get started today, increase your intake of these five immune-boosting foods.

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