If you’re one of the many people who sniffle their way through spring—or suffer from other seasonal allergies—a leaky gut could be compounding your problems.
At first, it may seem strange to draw a link between seasonal allergies and your gut health. But it makes sense when you consider that an estimated 70 percent of your immune system lies in your digestive tract.
Our trillions of gut microbes are constantly involved in regulating our immune responses. That means the health of our gut microbiome can have a major impact on how we react to environmental allergens and food intolerances. So when your gut microbes are out of balance, it’s highly that likely your immune response will be, too.
Some common symptoms of allergies and sensitivities include dry, itchy or flaky skin, mucus, wheezing, headaches and sinus congestion, bloating and reflux, or lethargy, brain fog and poor concentration. It’s no coincidence that these symptoms can also be signs of gut imbalance.
Individual reactions can be many and varied. But if you experience any skin, respiratory or gut issues, particularly at certain times of the year, it’s worth giving your gut health some additional support.
Gut microbes work with the immune system to protect you from potential threats. However, when the lining of your gut wall becomes damaged and permeable—otherwise known as leaky gut—foreign substances including undigested food particles, bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins are able to pass directly into your bloodstream. This puts your immune system on high alert and leads to low-grade systemic inflammation. Research indicates that dairy and wheat intolerances can damage your gut wall, as can certain medications, antibiotics, alcohol and high sugar or low-fibre diets.
Not sure where to start? We developed The Beauty Chef Gut Guide protocol to provide you with the knowledge, tools and delicious recipes you need to help heal, weed, seed and feed your inner garden—aka your gut—and nurture your microbiome. Our comprehensive program will take you through these four vital stages to help restore your gut health and overall wellbeing, complete with weekly meal plans and more than 90 recipes.
Here are some of our top tips from The Gut Guide:
EAT APPEALING FOOD
The smell of delicious, appetising food stimulates digestive juices even before we eat. This priming process is less likely to happen with unappealing food.
DON’T EAT LATE AT NIGHT
During sleep, digestion virtually stops. If you don’t feel like breakfast on waking, you’re probably eating too late and the food isn’t being digested properly. Try having a very light meal to see if you feel different in the morning. You’ll notice your sleep improves and you have fewer vivid dreams.
GO SLOW AND DON’T OVEREXERCISE
Stress and exercise can be taxing on our digestive system, so take it easy and keep your exercise regular, but moderate.
REMEMBER THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS
Breathe clean air, get involved in nature, garden, walk, meditate, practise gratitude and have fun.