To keep your immune system on point you don’t need magic or miracle remedies: according to science, maintaining a diverse microbiome is a smarter and more effective decision.

In addition to following the directions for social distancing, wearing face masks, and other consistent hygiene measures, there is a scientifically proven way to boost your immune system: keep a balance in your gut microbiome, the colony of bacteria and yeasts that live in your intestine.

Human microbiome: the microorganisms that regulate health

For some years, medicine began to study with interest how the billions of bacteria and yeasts that are an integral part of the human body, called microbiota, influence health and other processes.

Also read: Prebiotics and probiotics, what are the differences?

The microbiota forms colonies in the genitourinary system, the skin, the oral cavity, and the intestinal tract. In the last decade, the growing scientific evidence has shown that its influence on the organism has been underestimated, to the extent of comparing its importance with that of other organs, since keeping the microbiome in balance may be a decisive factor for each other, the response immune and the way the body fights infections:

Photo: Unsplash

As we grow, the diversity of the microbiota increases, until it reaches a stable point during adulthood, with colonies rich in different species.

However, as old age approaches, diversity decreases and with it, the immune response. The European Society for Neurogastroenterology and Motility considers this change to be intimately linked to the capacity of the immune system; however, diet, exercise, antibiotic consumption, and lifestyle can contribute positively to maintaining a diverse gut microbiota throughout life.

Tim Spector, professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, explained in an article published in The Conversation the role that the gut microbiome plays in the functioning of the immune system:

“Recent research has shown that the gut microbiome plays an essential role in the body’s immune response to infections and overall health maintenance. In addition to aiding in defense against infectious organisms such as the coronavirus, a healthy gut microbiome also helps prevent dangerous immune reactions, which can damage the lungs and other vital organs. ”

How to maintain a diverse and healthy microbiome?

human microbiomePhoto: Unsplash

For your microbiome to contribute to maintaining an optimal immune response, it is not necessary to take miracle treatments, but rather pay special attention to a balanced diet during this season.

Scientific evidence suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet, eating a wide variety of vegetables, and eliminating processed foods are basic actions to maintain a diverse microbiome.

In this regard, Tim Spector considers that “eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, healthy fats such as high quality extra virgin olive oil; and lean meat or fish. Additionally, the genetic epidemiologist recommends avoiding alcohol, salt, candy and sugary drinks, and artificial sweeteners or other additives that are added to processed foods.

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Microbes and the immune system