A healthy gut is characterized by the balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria, and the permeability of the intestinal wall. The good bacteria assist in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, and in the excretion of waste.
When there are more bad bacteria present than good ones, the digestive system functions poorly leading to decreased overall health since waste is not able to be excreted properly and a sufficient amount of nutrients is not absorbed. Also, if the intestinal wall is permeable then these waste products that accumulate leak out into the rest of the body (also known as leaky gut syndrome).
Since a large portion of the immune system (up to 80%) resides in the gut, research has found that poor gut health is a significant factor in developing autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease is a term used to describe a condition where the body’s immune system essentially starts attacking itself and can affect different parts of the body. Examples of autoimmune diseases include: rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
Listed below are a few things can you do to heal your gut and reduce your risk of autoimmune disease. These may also contribute to a reverse in auto-immune disease for those who have already been diagnosed.
– avoid foods that make you bloated or cause irregular bowel movements (constipation or diarrhea)
– supplement your diet with high quality pro-biotics
– eat an ample supply of fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains
– get yourself checked for food allergies
– eat healthy fats from foods such as avocados, fish, almonds and chia seeds