“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine
Stress, processed foods and poor eating habits are among the culprits involved in dysfunctional digestion. Digestive concerns not only impact your ability to digest food, but can also impact other body systems as well. Take for example, how the immune system is impacted by digestive problems:
- Low gastric pH impairs the body’s immune acidity defense
- Malabsorption leaves the immune system low on nutrient resources
- Gut bacterial imbalances increase the potential for disease-promoting pathogenic bacteria to grow
- Constipation enables the reabsorption of toxic waste when stool sits in the colon too long taking away the immune system’s attention from other vital functions
- Increased permeability of the gut cells allows food and other particles to leak through to the bloodstream and contact the immune system creating the perfect storm for allergies
Here are some basics when it comes to improving digestion, immunity and reducing the incidence of allergies:
- Stress less: stress is implicated in all five aforementioned impacts of poor digestion on the immune system
- Eat fermented foods: there are many fermented foods to consider that are traditional among different cultures – yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc
- Breathe deeply: take ten deep breaths before a meal to relax your body and allow for better digestion
- Make vegetables and fruit the biggest part of your diet: this ensures maximum nutrient input and will increase your fiber intake, keeping you more regular
- Drink more water: use the rule of thumb ½ your weight in fluid ounces everyday, stick to room temperature or warmer and keep it away from meals.
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