Let’s not overlook our GUT health when we talk about IMMUNE health!
Given the global topic of COVID-19, it is a good time to look at the Functional approach to immune boosting for all year round! It is sad that in all the talk of IMMUNE health we totally disregard GUT health – especially since 70% or more of our immune system is in our gut!
Here are some basic lifestyle modifications that can add up to a more resilient you! NOTE: This is not treatment for any virus, nor is this preventative of transmitting any viruses to those around you. We are looking at ways to boost your own immunity for your overall health.
Our bio-terrain is diverse and makes up so much of who we are – modifying our cravings, our compulsive eating habits and even our mental health. This is something that gets out of balance very quickly with illness, stress, poor diet, and anti-biotic use.
LET'S TALK ABOUT PROBIOTICS
Not just any probiotics will work, however, because many health topics are strain dependent and commercial probiotics are often poor quality and never even make it to the areas within the gut that they need to be to populate. The best sources of probiotics are actually in real fermented foods.
Fermentation is either utilizing yeast or bacteria, here we need bacteria fermented not yeast fermented foods. So your Kombucha? Maybe not the best option, because kombucha is fermented by yeast its final product does contain small amounts of alcohol and vinegar, which isn’t going to work for people with dietary issues like Candida, diabetes, alcoholics, or those with alcohol or caffeine sensitivity.
According to Fermentationist and Gut Health Expert, Summer Bock “The healing effect of kombucha is often more from the fermented byproducts rather than the probiotic effect. I recommend kombucha for people who have never really had a sweet tooth.”
Best REAL WHOLE FOOD source of belly balancing probiotics? Traditionally fermented RAW UNPASTEURIZED Sauerkraut! 2 Tbs per day for good happy belly health. Must be raw and unpasteurized otherwise the probiotics you are looking for have been compromised and killed during processing. You can even make you own at home super easy! https://detoxinista.com/how-to-make-raw-sauerkraut/
If you chose to purchase your sauerkraut (or even raw and unpasteurized kimchi) these brands will be located in the refrigerated section at your co-op or health food store. A few health benefits derived from eating fermented vegetables are that they boost the immune system, support digestion, and offer dense nutrition for rebuilding energy and mineral reserves.
Additionally, these raw and unpasteurized foods contain native intestinal flora that will inoculate and live in your digestive tract to help you:
Best Yogurt Drink source for overall digestive and immune support? Yakult probiotic drink (go to https://www.yakultusa.com/store-locator/ to find where to locate near you!) Each bottle of Yakult contains Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) which is clinically shown to improve digestive health.
If you are coming back from a round of anti-biotics or years of anti-biotic use, an acute illness, or digestive distress, you can use a probiotic supplement to re-load your biome. The best OTC versions out there that are readily available that I have found in my research have been specifically Garden of Life Primal Defense and “All Flora” by New Chapter. Strain is vitally important to the probiotics doing their job, so working with a professional well versed in probiotic research and therapeutic usage can be very beneficial so that you are not wasting your hard earned money!
According to Bock, one drawback she’s seen regarding probiotics is that some people get an overgrowth of bacteria in their small intestine due to chronic over-usage of probiotic supplementation. This is called SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth – and can cause even worse issues.
Bock’s General dosage guidelines for a Repopulation Intensive:
Bock does offer a note for individuals who have severe Candida, mycotic infections, certain stages of cancer, or histamine intolerances:
“Sometimes people have such a severe overgrowth of yeast, parasitic, bacterial, or histamine intolerance they have to completely eliminate probiotics in all forms (inconjunction with a specific healing diet) until they turn off the composting button from within their body. This is a more extreme situation and requires private coaching to provide the proper support and specific tailoring to the individual to create a healing diet that will reset the body. It is believed that in these cases, the probiotics actually become food for the yeasts and parasites, which keeps them living and growing even when all sugars have been eliminated from the diet.”
Regardless of your health status - if you choose probiotic repopulation, please work with a functional practitioner with extensive knowledge in probiotics research and application. I am able to help you with this topic, or can help you find someone locally to refer you to.
Jenniferlyn Kryvicky, MS, LN
Functional Nutritionist and Lifestyle Practitioner
functional nutritionist, transformation coach, and lighter of paths.