Your gut lining, from head to tail, contributes to a whopping 70-80% of your immune system. So, one of the most important things you can do to power your immunity and maintain a healthy body and mind is to look after your digestive health. 

You have a collection of gut microbiota as unique to you as your fingerprints. It includes at least 1,000 different species of bacteria, good and bad, with more than 3 million genes, weighing up to 2kg. And some experts now consider this colony of microbiota to be an organ in its own right.

As well as safeguarding immunity, these fantastic microorganisms perform many functions that are crucial to your health like aiding digestion, absorbing nutrients, vitamin production, protection from harmful microbes and maintaining gut integrity.

Healthy microbiota isn't just about balanced gut bacteria; our digestive tract houses fungi and viruses too. When balanced correctly, they all help to protect you from acute illness and chronic disease.

It doesn't take much to upset the balance either, so it's essential to be aware of how you are feeding and fertilising your gut bacteria. A wholesome, fresh food diet and other healthy lifestyle activities cultivate fertile soil for your gut bacteria to thrive.

Poor food and lifestyle choices have the opposite effect leading to digestive issues, toxicity, inflammation and illness. 

Without gut homeostasis, more harmful microbial strains increase, creating a two-fold problem. Firstly, your gut health suffers, impeding digestion, increasing toxins, causing intestinal inflammation and malabsorption of nutrients – not good for your immunity and wellbeing.

Secondly, this causes weakening of the mucosal lining and tight junctions of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), allowing toxic compounds to leak into your bloodstream and body where they are not supposed to be. The result is systemic inflammation.

All this leaves you more susceptible to bacterial and viral infection, and at an increased risk of allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's and chronic fatigue, mood disorders, dementia and Alzheimer's. It can also lead to obesity and other chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. 

Never underestimate the importance of your gut health. Look after it, and it will look after you!