Eighty percent of your immune system resides in your gut. Keeping your gut healthy can help your immune system stay strong and lessen your allergic reactions as we head into allergy season.
Bacteria are the key to gut health. Our digestive system is filled with bacteria, more than 100 trillion bacteria cells. These bacteria help with the absorption of key vitamins/minerals, reduce inflammation, and in general, keep our digestive tract strong.
Probiotics are good bacteria, taken as a supplement, which balance out the bad bacteria and reduce inflammation in the gut. Scientists are still studying why adding probiotics to one’s diet helps reduce allergies but the theory is that exposure to a variety of bacteria strengthens the immune system.
Adding probiotics to your diet is only the beginning of keeping your gut healthy and lessening inflammation. Here are some other tips:
No. 1: Make sure you have adequate stomach acid.
Poor digestion and overgrowth of bad bacteria is associated with low stomach acid. Suppressing bacteria is one of the chief roles of stomach acid. Supplement with Betaine HCL-Pepsin (Hydrochloric Acid) to correct low stomach acid if your healthcare provider recommends it.
No. 2: How to test for low stomach acid
First thing in the a.m. before breakfast, drink one cup of water with 1/4 tsp. baking soda mixed in. Time how long it takes until you burp. Repeat for four days in a row to get a pattern.
Access your results:
Burp within two minutes: adequate acid.
Longer than two minutes: low stomach acid.
Burp immediately: high stomach acid.
No. 3: DON'T take antacids
They contribute to bacterial overgrowth because they suppress stomach acid.
No. 4: Increase your stomach acid
Drink lemon water right before a meal or take 1-2 T. of raw, lightly filtered apple cider vinegar in water.
Try to avoid drinking liquids with a meal as it dilutes stomach acid.
No. 6: Eat lightest to heaviest foods on your plate
This means veggies first, next carbs, lastly protein and fats.
No. 7: Drink dandelion tea
No. 8: Try digestive bitters
Take 30-45 drops three times a day in a little water on empty stomach. Bitters help speed up digestion by increasing secretions of liver, pancreas, stomach and small intestine.
No. 9: Reduce bloating
To reduce bloating, drink lemon and ginger tea. Make your own tea by mixing hot water, lemon juice and raw ginger.
No. 10: Chew your food well
Chew at least 20 times per bite or until the food resembles a paste.