Our immune system’s primary function is to identify the body’s enemies and destroy them.
Our digestive tract is like the front door to the body. It is important to note that a huge percentage of our immune system lies within our gut. Our immune system forms an intestinal barricade.
The food we eat can be the greatest challenge to our immune system. This can be due to the pathogens attached to food and poorly digested food particles that breach the intestinal barrier and produce an inflammatory response. The forced metabolism of too much carbohydrate in the diet encourages an increase in inflammatory chemistry over time.
A prolonged inflammatory response is a result of continued exposure to these irritants culminating in food allergies and intolerances, auto immune pathologies, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes type II and abnormal cell growth – carcinogenesis.
IMMUNE BOOSTING NUTRIENT FOODS
So eating lots of fresh fruit and veges is extremely beneficial. These wholefoods contain antioxidants that mop up the harmful products of inflammation.
A useful tip: the more these foods stain your hands the higher the antioxidant potential e.g. beetroot and turmeric.
High vitamin C foods are also very supportive of our immune system e.g. acerola berries, blue berries, raspberries, rosehips, papaya, strawberries, kiwifruit, citrus, red peppers, carrots, sprouts, tomatoes, dark green leafy veges, broccoli, parsley and beetroot.
Try juicing veges like carrot, beetroot and dark green leafy greens like kale and spinach.
Animal foods such as egg yolks, cod liver oil, butter, fish and organ meats are high in vitamin A, zinc and DHA omega 3. These micro factors are essential for gut healing and restoration.
Dark oil fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut and herring are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Try and incorporate 2-3 servings of dark oily fish each week.
Olive oil, avocado, peanut, almond, cashews and pistachio all contain monounsaturated fats which are anti-inflammatory.
Minimize altered fats like margarines and highly processed plant oils.Try a cold pressed option instead.
Promote beneficial gut bacteria, these beneficial bacteria (probiotic strains) improve gut immunity by displacing the deviant micro flora and regulating the gut environment. Soluble fibre (prebiotics) feed these beneficial bacteria. Examples of soluble fibre (prebiotics) are: mushrooms, cooked apple, prunes, tropical fruits, soaked linseed and oats. Soluble fibre also binds with waste products and facilitates elimination of harmful toxins.