As with the whole body, the health of your immune system is heavily reliant upon the state of health of your digestive system. Immune cells that are located within the gut’s immune system are allies for good gut flora and they both work together to keep you healthy and strong.
If you’re keen to stay on top of your immunity, there are some natural ways to bulletproof your immune system, which I’d love to share with you.
Rather than relying upon regular medication, which can weaken your immune system’s ability to respond naturally to illness, finding natural ways to boost immunity and fight off colds, flu and bugs is a good long-term approach.
The first place to begin boosting your immunity is in your gut, where 70-80% of your immune tissue resides. Because your gut is often the first entry point for pathogens, you’ll want to ensure that you have a good amount of good gut flora to prevent pathogens and infections from being absorbed through the gut lining. Superfoods such as Moringa, Baobab, Spirulina or Chlorella is amazing for our gut health.
The best way to ensure a robust immune system is to increase microbial diversity in the gut by eating a balanced diet filled with anti-inflammatory, fibre-rich, antioxidant rich, nutritious, prebiotic and probiotic rich foods.
Some of my favourite immune-boosting foods in each of these specific areas include;
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our body to avoid foggy brains, helping to produce energy and strengthen our immunity. Hemp hearts are full of Omega-3 fatty acids and high in fibre to promote regular bowel movements.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that increases the level of immunity-boosting proteins in our bodies. These proteins help fight bacteria and viruses when they try to attack. Turmeric is also a natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller.
- Fibre Rich
Fibre is important for digestion and getting the right kind of fibre in your diet will give you the best chance of creating a healthy community of gut bacteria and smooth digestion.
Soluble fibre dissolves in water, and is slower to digest as it attracts water to form a gel. Superfoods like Baobab powder is amazing to add to your diet. Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water. It passes through the digestive system relatively intact and speeds up the passage of food waste through your gut.
While insoluble fibres are great for flushing out pollutants from the body, an excess of these fibres can be irritating. Too much roughage can also bind to minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron, preventing their absorption. Soluble fibres, on the other hand, are the ones you can focus on for improved gut health.
- Nutrient Rich
Vitamin C is a powerful flu-fighting antioxidant which can help to keep colds and flus at bay by enhancing your immune system functioning and increasing the production of necessary antibodies and white blood cells in your body, a key component to warding off infections. A must include for Vitamin C is Baobab powder. Baobab powder contains about 10x Vitamin C compared to Oranges.
Zinc is another important mineral in the development and functioning of the body’s infection-fighting white blood cells. It’s vital to note that how well we absorb zinc depends heavily on the foods with which it’s consumed. The amount of protein in the diet is a factor contributing to the efficiency of zinc absorption as zinc binds to protein. Pumpkin seeds is an amazing addition to your diet to increase the amount of zinc we consume.
- Antioxidant Rich
In season fresh fruit and vegetables, are sources of a number of powerful antioxidants to help protect the body's cells against damage and infection. Flavonoids, the natural pigments that give plants their colour, have antioxidant, or cell-protecting, properties.
Beetroot, Cacao, Baobab, Moringa and Pumpkin are high in antioxidants to help immunity.
- Prebiotic Rich Foods
Our friendly bugs need to be fed to maintain the survival and proliferation of their colony. This is where prebiotics come in — and in simple terms, they act as a food for our good bacteria, as they’re high in special types of fibre. It’s prebiotics that do all the behind-the-scenes work in our tummies. Without them, probiotic bugs have a poor chance of surviving.
Good vegetable sources of prebiotics include artichokes, onions, leeks, chives, garlic, asparagus, shallots, spring onions (scallions), beetroot (beet), green peas, snow peas (mange tout) and savoy cabbage. Once again Baobab powder is a must include superfood as it is rich in prebiotics.
- Probiotic Rich Foods
To replenish your strains of good bacteria, it’s helpful to try to consume small amounts of probiotic-rich foods at least a few times each week. Good sources include coconut water kefir or water kefir, sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha and miso paste.
Probiotics and probiotic rich foods will help contribute to a thriving inner ecosystem that will benefit the wellbeing of your entire body.
So this is the end of this article. Incorporating all of these food in our diet will supercharge our immunity making our body mechanism strong and improve its ability to fight any illness.