Did you know that approximately 70%-75% of our immune system lives in the gut? Research shows that the microorganisms in the gut play a major role in digestion, metabolism, and immunity. Here are 3 things that you can do today to improve your gut health and immune system.
1. Eliminate and or reduce the amount of processed foods that you eat. Today’s modern lifestyles can be toxic to your gut health. Refined sugars, processed foods, stress, medications and fast paced lives can really harm your gut. Exposure to chemicals and toxins kill off the good bacteria in the gut and give the bad a chance to survive. Most processed foods are void of vitamins and nutrients and eating to many of them can also lead to serious health issues such as obesity, heart disease high blood pressure and diabetes.
2. Add more more fiber to your diet. One of the most promising health benefits from fiber that is receiving more and more attention is fiber’s role in immune health. Dietary fiber may play a role to modulate the immune system and therefore produce a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Here are some foods that you can add to your diet to increase your daily fiber intake:
Healthy Grains like brown or wild rice, quinoa, oats, and amaranth are just a few. Potatoes are also a great source of fiber.
Green leafy veggies, green leafy veggies..Did i mention green leafy veggies. Here are a few of our favorites, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, and mustard greens. Some other veggies that are high in fiber are broccoli, cabbage and kale.
Fruits are a healthy sweet treat that also provide a good source of fiber. Try adding in fruits like banana’s, pear’s, oranges, apples and berries.
Nuts such as almonds, cashews, brazil nuts and peanuts.
3. Eat Fermented foods. Fermented foods are preserved by using a process called lacto-fermentation. During this process bacteria feed on the sugars and starches naturally present in the food. This process preserves the food but also creates enzymes, fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. You can help add good bacteria to your gut by eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles. Fermented drinks like kombucha and kefir also contain probiotics.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is a quick fix for stomach acid problems. Since it is acidic it lowers the PH in the stomach helping you digest your food. Apple cider vinegar may also help correct the overgrowth of Candida. Mix 1 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar with 4 ounces of water. Make sure you get the kind with the “Mother” which is a ball of living enzymes and nutrients. It should have a web like structure that makes it look murky.
With all the health concerns going on in the world today we hope this gives you a few tips to boost your immune system.
References : The Gut Healthy Cookbook by Lindsay Boyers, The Top Fiber Rich Foods by Sharon Palmer RD Todays Dietitian.