The microbiome regulates our immune system. And how well it does this is closely tied to the diversity of plant foods in our diet.
But how does that work? How do bacteria help us fight off viruses or infections?
To start, nearly 80% of your body’s immune cells reside in your gut, impacting your immune system in several ways.
First, your gut lining acts as a defensive barrier that keeps things like pathogens or large proteins from entering your bloodstream that could otherwise trigger an inflammatory response. And here’s where it gets super interesting – within the mucosa of your gut, live immune-supporting tissues, cells, and proteins like gut-associated lymphoid tissue, aka GALT, specialized mucosal immune cells, antimicrobial peptides, secretory IgA, and more.
All of these are critical pieces of your immune system that help your body recognize and fight back against threats to your health. So the mucosal lining helps balance your immune response, keeping not just your gut healthy but your entire body.
But dysbiosis or an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria can alter the health of the entire gut, including the gut lining. That’s why it’s critical to support your microbiome with plant fiber. And the impact of plant diversity isn’t just about the bacteria itself. It’s about what those bacteria do when they ferment fiber-rich carbs and make short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
We’ll dive into just how SCFAs keep you healthy and tips to make it easier for you to meet your daily fiber needs in part two (hint: our Paleo and Ketotarian do all the work for you).
And in the meantime please reach out with any questions or concerns, we love hearing from you. Stay tuned!