4 DIET RELATED TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER IMMUNE SYSTEM
Did you know your gut health has one of the biggest impacts on your immune system? With flu season on the horizon, it’s important to check in with yourself, and make efforts to build up your immunity.
While there are no quick solutions or supplements to boost immunity, your diet and lifestyle habits have a direct effect. The research shows, the healthier we eat, the more active we are, and the less stressed, the healthier our immune systems and better our bodies are at fighting disease. Why is this? Everything we eat and drink passes through our gut and is broken down by the bacteria in it. The bacteria in our gut make up 75% of the immune system. Feeding this bacteria with nutritious foods and not exposing it to stress or toxins is what ensures good health and prevents diseases.
So what can you do to build up your gut bacteria and have a healthier immune system?
HERE ARE 4 DIET RELATED TIPS TO TRY:
Fibre is a substance found in plant-based foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. When our gut bacteria digest fibre, it creates powerful compounds that fight disease. It also promotes healthy bowel movements, which reduces the amount of time waste is spent in your intestines. To get more fibre in, switch to whole grain breads and pastas rather than white, snack on fruit and nuts, and have at least two vegetables at lunch and dinner.
HAVE A COLOURFUL PLATE
Colours of fruits and vegetables indicate different types of vitamins and nutrients. When we have a variety of nutrients, our body is not being fed the same thing all of the time and is exposed to different health-promoting compounds. Try dark and colourful foods like squash, purple cabbage, dark leafy greens, and berries.
INCLUDE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
While all plant-based foods can decrease inflammation, omega-3 fat’s are the superior for fighting inflammation. These fats have been seen in many studies to be beneficial for those with arthritis, chronic inflammation, and IBS/IBD. Ensuring less inflammation in your gut is vital for a healthy immune system. Omega-3 fat’s can be found in fatty fish (salmon, trout, mackerel), ground flax seeds, and walnuts. You can also consider taking a supplement after speaking with a Registered Dietitian.
REDUCE PROCESSED FOODS
Processed foods like baked goods, chips, and fried foods are high in saturated and trans fat, refined sugar, and sodium. These promote inflammation and can influence our gut to promote toxins. Work to reduce the portions or frequency of these foods, or opt for a homemade version where you’re able to control the ingredients.
Try out these four dietary habits to increase your immune system and promote your overall health. If you would like help with an individualized plan, you can set up a consultation with our Dietitian, Andrea, here.