Diet and Lifestyle to Help You Thrive with MS, Part 8 - It Starts With the Gut
We are happy to share another installment of Laurie Erdman’s diet and lifestyle series:
Sometimes I wish science would figure it all out and leave well enough alone. Every time I turn around, we are learning new and more information about how the body works. It can be confusing. It’s also fascinating (at least for this nutrition geek).
The scientific evidence that has me most excited these days, are the studies piling up about the role our gut plays in our health, especially the role it plays in auto-immune disease. You see 70% of our immune receptors resided in our digestive tract. This makes sense. We put a lot of substances into our mouth, so our immune system has to be well poised to determine if what we ingest is friend or foe.
A healthy digestive tract means a healthy immune system. “Friends” – in the form of whole foods – help our blood pump, our pancreas operate properly, our brain to function and our immune system to be strong and discerning. “Foes” – in the form of processed, chemical-laden foods – on the other hand, depress our digestion, clog our arteries, fog our brain and trigger our immune system into action. Enough triggers and the immune system goes awry and can attack the weakest link in your body.
The best way to keep a healthy (non-suppressed, non-over-active) immune system is to care for your digestive tract. How? Look no further than your grandparents or great grandparents. Every culture in the world has as part of their diet, fermented foods. Yet in our melting pot of a nation, we have gotten away from many of these cultural foods.
Fermented foods include kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and many others. These foods ensure a healthy digestive system and thus a healthy immune system less likely to go awry.
I know that not everyone wants to sit down to a bowl of sauerkraut like my husband. So here are a few delicious and healthy ways to enjoy your fermented foods. First, cut an avocado in half, remove pit, peel and top with a heaping fork full of sauerkraut and enjoy. Second option is to combine chopped kale, quinoa and kimchi as a tasty salad.
Share your ideas for caring for your digestive tract.
_Laurie Erdman helps busy individuals living with chronic illness, stress or fatigue double their energy so they get moving again. She overcame multiple sclerosis, fatigue, and chronic stress, and now inspires and educates others to create a healthier, more vibrant life. Laurie is Founder and Chief Wellness Hero at