BY Benjamin Makeham June 3, 2020
The effectiveness of the immune system is intricately connected with the health of our guts.
Beneficial microbes are separated from the immune system by a single layer of cells that make up the lining of the gut, allowing the two to communicate.
Through this communication, the gut microbiome helps to modulate the immune system and keep it in check, preventing it from overreacting while also maintaining a strong defence against harmful microbes. You can read more about that in our recent blog article: How does the gut microbiota impact immune system function?
Maintaining the health of the gut lining is important for providing a strong foundation to support the community of microbes that is living on its surface, and also for conveying their messages to the immune system that sits just below the surface.
Here are our top 4 ways to support gut health for good immune system function during the winter season.
Bone broths contain a profile of amino acids that lend themselves towards maintaining good gut health. Bone broths are rich in specific amino acids which are often lacking in the standard modern diet because they are not found in commonly consumed cuts of meats or plant foods. For example, bone broths contain glutamine which fuels energy production in cells in the gut lining and helps to repair and maintain the health of the gut.
Bone broth now comes in concentrated powders and pastes, which are really easy options to have on hand to quickly add some gut-supporting nutrients to pasta sauces, soups, stews and curries.
Herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich plants which have many healing properties, and can help to maintain the health of our tissues including the lining of our gut.
Keeping inflammation at bay reduces gut damage, and incorporating herbs and spices into your everyday cooking is an easy way to help maintain good gut health. Herbs and spices are also great prebiotic foods, meaning they help to feed our beneficial gut microbes!
Some of our favourite anti-inflammatory herbs and spices include ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, thyme, rosemary and oregano. A mix of fresh and dry is great, but they’re richer in their bioactive properties when dried.
They’re also a great way to add flavour and depth to your winter dishes, and it can be a lot of fun experimenting with different combinations. Many herbs and spices are also traditional warming foods, perfect for keeping the winter chill at bay.
While we have a tendency to cook with more earthy root vegetables during winter, it's important not to forget about the more fibrous green vegetables which are still in season. Green vegetables tend to be richer in prebiotic fibres which feed our gut microbes- the resident groundskeepers of our gut and immune system. Our favourites include bok choy, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
If you’re looking for an extra way to support gut health and immune system function, specific probiotic strains can supplement the resident microbes in your gut and provide a helping hand. We included two specific probiotic strains at doses clinically proven to help reduce the occurrence of the common cold and enhance immune system function in our Biome Daily™ Probiotic and Biome Daily Kids™ Probiotic for this very reason!
To help enhance immune system function