It’s time for a gut check on preventing illness: Laurel Hopwood

Guest columnist Laurel Hopwood, RN, BSN, volunteers with Cleveland Ohio Patient Advocates (COPA).

Picture a busy city where people are hustling to get to work. Now imagine this at a level only seen through a microscope. Not thousands, millions or billions of commuters. Rather, trillions of bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses doing their jobs.

Known as the microbiome, these miniscule microbes are traveling inside our bodies — primarily in the stomach and intestines.

Some may not consider this a subject for the dinner table. But perhaps it should be. Why?

It’s well documented that a healthy microbiome helps to build a strong immune system and protect us against pathogens. How about a win-win scenario in which people make food choices with the goal of having a healthy microbiome and thus reducing their risk of any illness — including COVID-19?

Probiotic foods contain beneficial live microbiota that can improve one’s microbiome.

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