One of the best things you can do for yourself AND for those around you during this time is to boost your immune system.
Did you know that over 70% of your immune system is located in the gut? In fact, certain cells in the intestinal lining are purely for the function of excreting antibodies into the gut to protect us against disease.
So, what does this mean for you? Basically, the food you eat has a massive influence on the health of your gut, and thereby the health of your immune system.
We have comprised our top SIX immune-boosting food tips into a nice little list for you, so that you can be proactive in protecting your health, and the health of your family.
1. VITAMINSAlthough Vitamin C is now very commonly known for its role in fighting infections and improving the immune system, it doesn’t make it any less important! Vitamin C is also a water-soluble nutrient, meaning it is not effectively stored and must be consumed daily to meet the body’s needs. VITAMIN C:
- Citrus fruits
- Kiwi Fruit
- Nuts & seeds
- Oily fish
- Olive oil.
2. ANTI-INFLAMMATORYReducing inflammation throughout the body a key step in improving overall health and boosting your immunity! SOURCES:
- Turmeric (needs black pepper to be properly absorbed)
- Green leafy vegetables
- Extra virgin olive oil.
Increasing foods with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties will also be beneficial during this uncertain time. These foods provide immune support, assist in fighting infections, shorten the duration of colds and flus & improves the diversity of gut bacteria. Garlic, in particular, has been used for years for its high antibacterial and antimicrobial properties (which is EXACTLY what we need right now!)SOURCES:
TIP: Throw the above ingredients into a little wellness shot with turmeric and black pepper to really take things up a notch (you might need to hold your nose for this one!)
Antioxidants help repair the damage to our cells and tissues caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are a result of normal metabolic processes as well as infections and toxins. The damage caused by free radicals increases inflammation in the body, which can further lead to disease. Increase antioxidant-rich foods is essential in boosting immunity!SOURCES:
- Acai berries
- Strawberries & raspberries
- Spinach & Kale
- Citrus fruits
One of the key steps to a healthy digestive system is increasing probiotic-rich foods. Probiotics refers to the live beneficial bacteria that add to the microbiome (community of good bacteria) in your gut. Look for products that say ‘active cultures’ or ‘contains live cultures’. Probiotics will improve nutrient absorption which has a ripple affect over all areas of physical health.
We cannot stress enough how vital sufficient probiotic intake is for overall health – but this also goes hand in hand with the below!SOURCES:
- Yoghurt and kefir (as much as possible, select the natural and unsweetened options)
- Kombucha, Kimchi & other fermented products.
Including a variety of vegetables and fruits is absolutely essential for maintaining a healthy gut because the bacteria in our digestive systems thrive when there is diversity in what we eat.
This is because the fibre contained in fruits and vegetables are called ‘prebiotics’ meaning they actually feed our good bacteria (probiotics).Increased diversity = increased immunity.