Taking care of our gut health should be high on our priorities list. Over the last decade the research into our gut health and it’s connection with so many other areas of health and disease has blown up and now there is even research looking into the link between our gut health and Covid-19 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2020.198018).

The Microbiome

We have a community of microbes living in our gut, managing our gut health which is known as our Microbiome. The function of this community is so wide reaching with regards to our health but also so changeable depending our diet, lifestyle and health. Our microbiome is home to both “good’ and “bad” microbes that can live in harmony in our body but when the balance becomes damaged those “good” bacteria become compromised and so does the our gut health and as a consequence other areas of our health such as our immunity and our ability to fight infection. This is because our microbiome is very strongly involved in our immune system.

The Covid-19 and Microbiome Link

Covid-19 attacks our lungs through ACE2 receptors which live in the cells of our lungs. Interestingly we also have some of these receptors in our gut and the Covid-19 virus has been detected in the stool of infected Covid-19 patients. There is also now a substantial body of research linking gut health to lung health and they have communicate bidirectionally through the gut bacteria and inflammatory cells. Furthermore as we age our microbiome becomes weaker and we know that the older you are the higher your risk of becoming very sick with Covid-19. So the theory is that supporting our gut health could in turn reduce the severity of a Covid-19 infection.

Our Diet and the Microbiome

Our diet is a very important tool in supporting our gut health and the health of our microbiome. So what should we eat and drink to support our microbiome? Here are a few tips we could all follow.

Our “good” bacteria can be supported by probiotic food and drink which contain bacteria that, on their way through our digestive system, work like our “good” bacteria and support their function. And the “good” bacteria get their energy and ability to function to their best from fibre and resistant starches called prebiotics. So here are some of these pro and pre biotic foods we can eat to support our gut health:

Probiotic foods:

  • Live Yoghurt
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented soya products like miso and tempeh

Prebiotic foods:

  • Oats
  • Apples/pears
  • Bananas
  • Chicory/endive
  • Onions/leeks
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Fennel
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Cold potatoes
  • Green leafy veg

And don’t forget to drink plenty of water! Particularly if you increase your fibre intake.

If you suffer from digestive problems this could have implications on your overall health. If you feel you would like to address you digestive health please get in contact to have a free 30 minutes call to discuss your concerns with me. I specialise in gut health and would love help you.

 

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