You may have heard about the gut-brain connection and that the health of our bellies has an impact on our moods, but what about the gut's role in the health of our immune system?
In ongoing research, scientists are finding that our gut's health plays a critical role in our immunity.
The gut microbiome is the community of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms living within our digestive tract. They support our digestive system to do what it was meant to do: properly break down food into nourishment. Additionally, gut microbes communicate to the body and immune system to sound the alarm when defenses are needed. The intestinal mucosa is a key area for keeping your body’s immune system balanced and one of the areas of contact for any unwelcome foreign microbes. Designed to pounce whenever it senses a threat, our immune system thrives with regular nourishment and support. We get this through diet and supportive holistic approaches like supplements and herbs. When there is a lack of or an imbalance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, the body's whole immune system is thrown out of equilibrium, so it makes sense to think about how to keep it supported and functioning well.
As herbalists, we turn to the plants. A healthy gut has always been one of traditional herbal medicine’s top priorities and is a foundation for great digestion, and a strong, healthy immune system. Our approach is both to support the microbiome with diet, and support digestive function with bitter herbs.
The microbiome responds and thrives off of what it is fed. Opting for foods with high nutritional value --fruits and veggies, greens, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fermented foods should all be part of a balanced diet. And cutting back on refined carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol as they are known to affect the immune system when under occasional stress.
The practice of food as medicine is a great way to nourish your body, and a great protocol to keep you healthy and strong during any challenges that arise. Cooking at home more often is another way to ensure you are getting the highest nutritional value from your food.
Adding bitter herbs to your everyday routine is one of the best ways to optimize your digestion before and after meals. Bitters support gut health by the secretion of digestive juices responsible for digestion.*
Our favorite bitters herbs include: dandelion root, gentian, artichoke, burdock and yellow dock. All of which can be found in our digestive bitters. A simple dose of liquid bitters before or after meals is a convenient and easy way to get these herbs into you.
Bitter foods like dandelion greens, burdock root, arugula, kale, and dark chocolate will all supply a healthy dose of bitterness into your diet.
In conclusion, a healthy gut microbiome is key to your overall wellness and good immunity, and the root of good health is great digestion. This year as we focus on staying healthy throughout the seasons, make sure to make digestive health a priority.
For more information on bitters and the microbiome check out :The top 6 herbs for your microbiome and Bitters and digestive juices.
Note: Urban Moonshine products cannot prevent, treat or cure Covid-19.
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