Go with your Gut!
Go with Your Gut and Support Your Immune System
Supporting your immune system is a great defense against cancer. Anything you can do to assist the troops in the time of war is appreciated by these hard-working cells in your body. Getting your gut healthy goes a long way to helping your immune system stay strong. This concept has even entered our language.
Go with your gut!
Pay attention to your gut instinct!
Have intestinal fortitude!
These familiar sayings suggest that perhaps our gastrointestinal system might have a strong position of power. If you think about it, with a poorly functioning gut, our bodies can’t receive the nourishment we need to survive and fight off the bad guys, especially cancer.
Take a closer look at your gut
Your digestive system is home to a hundred trillion microorganisms. There are thousands of different kinds of bacteria that live here. These little creatures combine with other tiny organisms to create your own personal microbiome. Yours is different from mine, which is different from your neighbor’s. The unique mix of bacteria was initiated by your mother’s intestinal flora, then developed by the substances you’ve ingested throughout your life. Your intestinal flora has a number of important jobs: they manage the harmful bacteria, help you digest and absorb your food, and help the immune system function at peak capacity. When that balance goes out, trouble ensues, and people get sick.
How your gut gets disrupted
Having a complex microbiome growing in your intestines, it’s important to not upset the delicate balance. When you do, the entire system falls apart. There are a number of factors that contribute to potential issues with your digestive system, such as:
- Taking antibiotics and other medications
- Eating a lot of sugar or highly refined foods
- Engaging in stressful activities
- Exposure to chemicals like fluoride and chlorine
Supplement with probiotics
The solution to the disruption of a healthy gastrointestinal system is to supplement with probiotics. You can do this in two primary ways:
Purchase a supplement at your health food store
The potency of any probiotic pill is measured in CFUs, which stands for colony-forming units. This estimates the number of viable bacteria in the pill. Look for that number to be in the billions (it will range from 2 – 100 billion) and make sure that number is guaranteed through the expiration date.
In addition, there are many kinds of good probiotic strains. Seek out a well-balanced formula which includes multiple types. A few you might look for are:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgarius
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Streptococcus thermophilus
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bacillus subtilis
Eat foods that are a good source of probiotics
Most people know that yogurt is a good source of probiotics, but many don’t realize that commercial brands are filled with chemicals and sugar and therefore won’t do much to help your intestinal flora. It’s best to make your own yogurt and using an organic culture starter with live active bacteria is the way to go.
Fermented vegetables are another popular and easy way to up your friendly bacteria count. You can find various options at farmer’s markets and health food stores. Find vendors who only use organic produce. Sauerkraut is a great example of a tasty and popular fermented veggie.
Kefir and kombucha are two other options that are popping up more and more in stores. We like to make our own Kefir. Check out our recipe page for instructions on how to make your own Kefir.
Bottom line, whether or not you have cancer, it’s always good to maintain a healthy number of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. Listen to your gut; give it what it needs. If you do, it will take care of you!