Do friendly bacteria help the immune system?
Autumn and winter bring with them an increase in the numbers of viruses being passed around and can be hard on the immune system, particularly in schools, workplaces and other areas where lots of people congregate together indoors. In the UK at the moment, we are seeing a lot of flu-type viruses and diarrhoea and vomiting doing the rounds, particularly in schools.
The immune system
More than 70% of our immune system is in our gut, which protects us against germs and bacteria, both by producing immune compounds and acting as a barrier to pathogens entering the body.
Supporting our gut is, therefore, a key part of supporting our immune system and includes maintaining the balance of bacteria in our gut. Our gut microbiome contains billions of bacteria and a balance of good to bad bacteria is key to sustaining a healthy microbiome.
The link between our gut bacteria and the immune system is complex and crucial to our health.
Recent studies have started to reveal parts of this link, but a lot remains undiscovered.
For instance, certain good bacteria were found to regulate our body’s — and brain’s — response to stress.
Supporting our gut bacteria
The easiest way to support the good bacteria is to add probiotics to your daily diet in the following ways:
– Eat fermented foods every day – foods such as kefir and fermented and cultured vegetables (sauerkraut and fermented pickles) contain large amounts of good bacteria.
– Take a friendly bacteria supplement daily – this will help to boost the good bacteria in your gut and to ‘crowd-out’ the bad guys.
We also need vegetable fibre to support our digestive health and provide prebiotics (non-digestible fibre compounds) that help to feed the good bacteria.
Eat 8-10 servings of vegetables each day and aim for 25 different types of vegetables each week. It sounds difficult, but includes any vegetables used in sauces, soups and stews. Some vegetables (and fruits) are particularly good at feeding the good bacteria and helping them to thrive – include asparagus, fennel, garlic, leeks, raw onions, cauliflower, broccoli, apples, figs, bananas and pears.
Other sources of information
Want to know more?
Pro-Ven Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about your immune system and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth proven research.
ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107