The Power of Probiotics: Strengthen Your Gut Microbiome and Immune System This Spring

The Power of Probiotics: Strengthen Your Gut Microbiome and Immune System This Spring


by Elena Klimenko, MD

 

It is that time of year again when the days begin to warm up, the sun shines brighter, and nature comes alive with vibrant colors. Spring brings with it a sense of renewal and rejuvenation after the colder months. However, transitioning from winter to spring can still pose challenges to our physical, mental, and social well-being. During this season, our bodies may need some adjustment as we adapt to the changing climate and environment. We might experience fluctuations in energy levels, shifts in our immune system, and changes in our dietary habits. It’s common to notice a desire for lighter foods and increased physical activity as we shake off the winter sluggishness and embrace the fresh start of spring.

There are numerous evidence-based strategies that can help you embrace the vitality of spring, empowering you to take a proactive approach towards better health this season. Integrating a balanced lifestyle and nutritious dietary habits, along with incorporating a nutraceutical program into your daily routine, are among the avenues to enhance your gut and immune system health. Let’s delve into the intricate relationship between gut health and immune function as we embark on this journey toward wellness in the vibrant season of spring.

The Gut

The gastrointestinal tract, commonly referred to as the gut, is made up of the stomach, small intestines, and large intestines (colon). The gut is a 20-to-25-foot-long, hollow organ system responsible for digesting and absorbing nutrients as well as eliminating waste. Inside your gut is the gut microbiome, which is a complex ecosystem made up of a diverse community of both beneficial and unfavorable microorganisms. A proper balance between the two is essential for good health because the gut contains as much as80%of the immune cells in your body. Signs of a balanced gut microbiome include:

  • Regular daily bowel movements with the absence of constipation and diarrhea
  • A robust immune system that provides year-round vitality
  • Sustained physical energy and mental clarity throughout the day

Signs of an imbalanced gut microbiome include:

  • Digestive issues, which could include gas, bloating, and nausea
  • Immune system challenges, such as recurrent colds and sinus congestion
  • Mood changes presenting as feelings of depression or anxiety

The Immune System

The immune system, which is always communicating with the gut, is a sophisticated network of cells, tissues, and organs responsible for defending the body against unwanted visitors. Think of your immune system as your personal “watchdog” for various pathogens (viruses, bacteria, etc.), which is especially important during the spring months when there is an increased susceptibility and exposure to viral and bacterial infections. Our immune system has a significant impact on how we feel overall, so when our watchdog is fatigued and sluggish, we can be too.

You can enhance and support your ability to safeguard your well-being by implementing evidence-based strategies, such as consuming a diet high in colorful fruits and vegetables, prioritizing sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, having a consistent exercise routine, staying hydrated, and including professional-grade nutritional supplements in your daily routine.

Probiotics

Probiotics can be an excellent tool to support proper gut and immune system functions. Probiotics are a mixture of live beneficial microorganisms, mostly bacteria, and sometimes yeast, which promote health in the body. They support a balanced and healthy gut microbiome, a well-regulated immune system, and a normal inflammatory response.

Common probiotic sources include various fermented foods and professional-grade nutritional supplements. However, it is important to note that not all probiotics are the same quality. Therefore, choosing a professional-grade brand that adheres to high ethics and standards is essential.

 

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