Being Good to Your Gut

This week rheumatologist, Dr. Maggie Cadet, discusses the relationship between immune and gut health with PSC nutritionist Dr. Chinara Tate in our weekly Wellness Letter. Pairing their respective areas of expertise, Drs. Cadet and Tate help us identify the best ways to support both immune and gut health through food. 

The Gist

  • The immune system largely resides in your gut so the foods you eat directly impact your health and susceptibility to illness.

  • The best diet to support gut and immune health is one that is diverse, high in antioxidant rich nutrient dense fruits, veggies, omega-3s and probiotics and low in pro-inflammatory processed and sugar laden items. 

The Details 

How are gut and immune health related?

  • Approximately 70-80 percent of our immune system resides in the gut. This means the better you take care of your digestive system, the healthier you will be.

  • When your gut health is good, you’re less likely to experience damaging inflammation and lapses in immunity.⁠ 

  • Imbalances in the gut microbiome may result in a disruption in the immune response and development of chronic inflammation. 

Which foods support gut and immune health?

A Diversity of High Fiber Fruits, Vegetables & Legumes

  • Some high fiber foods that help with gut bacteria include chickpeas, lentils, beans, whole grains, and raspberries. 

  • Foods high in inulin (prebiotic fiber) like asparagus, garlic, and onion promote healthy gut flora. 

  • Apples, blueberries, pistachios and almonds have been shown to increase beneficial Bifidobacteria in humans and can help prevent gut inflammation.

  • Turmeric has long been touted as an anti-inflammatory ‘superfood’ and preclinical studies in animals suggest that curcumin, the active ingredient in tumeric, has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral & antiparasitic activity. 

Omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts, flax seeds, fatty fish and caviar have been implicated in successful management of inflammatory diseases including lupus, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis.  *Notably, PSC Keluga is particularly high in omega-3s, packing in as much gram for gram as wild salmon without the heavy metal contaminants. 

Probiotics have been shown to help modify the bacteria in the gut and may improve gastrointestinal symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis. Effects appear most pronounced when probiotics are used to restore the health of compromised gut flora.

  • Snack Inspiration: For a probiotic boost—plus a bonus dose of omega-3s and other essential nutrients—treat yourself to some cucumber slices with your favorite plain yogurt, chives and caviar.

In other news

Give a Gift & Give Back - PSC Gift Cards have returned! Treat your loved one to some future caviar. PSC will match 15% of the card value with a donation to Little Essentials, a NYC non-profit organization providing supplies and educational resources to at-risk families living in poverty. 

Some Fun Internet Finds - Listen to this smooth jazz version of Disney’s Frozen hit “Let It Go” while reading this long and sweet profile on  The Weirdly Enduring Appeal of Weird Al Yankovic.

-Team PSC