Did you know that about 80% of your immune system is in your intestinal lining? It is called the enteric nervous system and has a profound impact on your immune system. A healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system.
Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT)[is a component of the mucosa-associated (gut lining) lymphoid tissue (MALT) which works in the immune system to protect the body from invasion in the gut.
So it really does matter what we eat because there are foods that heal the gut through the proliferation of good bacteria – and foods that can hurt the gut by feeding bad or pathogenic bacteria. Good bacteria feeds on good fibrous food (mainly vegetables and fruit aka prebiotics) and bad bacteria feeds on things such as sugar and processed carbohydrates to name two of many.
To clarify some lingo: Probiotics are good bacteria you take in pill form. Fermented food and drinks are probiotics in food form. Prebiotics are the fiber we eat through a healthy diet.
“A huge proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI tract,” says Dan Peterson, assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/research/advancements-in-research/fundamentals/in-depth/the-gut-where-bacteria-and-immune-system-meet )
This is a very general overview, yet worth researching further or stay tuned for future posts on this topic.
Here are a few resources to help you understand more fully the gut-immune system and the stress-gut connection:
In future posts I will explore good gut food and bad gut food. Stay tuned.