Worried about the autumn and winter colds? Had enough of missing out on work or social events due to illness?
As your gut contains 70-80% of the body’s immune cells, it’s a great idea to strengthen your digestive system in preparation for the winter.
So here are some of my favourite immune-boosting tips:
- Mindset: Full-blown anxiety as well as chronic low-level stress will cause you to shallow breathe, your heart rate to climb, your blood sugar levels to spike and other physiological reactions to occur naturally (often without you noticing). Your brain will ‘conclude’ that there is a threat to your survival, even if it’s only the idea of stress that triggers it. This will cause your gut to slow production of enzymes, acids and other digestive ‘aids’ – among other vital bodily functions. Your food will literally stagnate undigested, until the stress message changes. This will affect your gut bacteria, seriously increase inflammation and impair your immunity. So change the stress and thoughts of stress right now. Meditation and deep breathing are great ways to do that with instant impact.
- Ban chemicals. Chemicals will weaken your gut lining, destroy good bacteria and have dire consequences on your immunity. With higher levels of chemicals and other pollution in our food, water and environment, it is crucial to focus on quality, organic foods and good, filtered water. Ditch plastics and chemical and ‘anti-bacterial’ cleaning products where possible. There are some great less harmful alternatives available.
- Eat organic, raw pre and pro-biotic foods that promote beneficial gut bacteria: kefir, kombucha, raw sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, plain live full-fat organic yogurt to name a few.
- Eat more plant-fiber: the fermentation of fiber by gut bacteria has been found to reduce inflammation and improve immunity in recent studies.
- Drink pure, filtered water to maintain appropriate hydration and help flush toxins and chemicals out of your body.
- Micronutrients such as vitamin C, A, E, B6, B12, folic acid, iron, magnesium and calcium have been found to support and boost immunity.
- Avoid stressful and fear-mongering media and people!
As always do what feels right for your body.