3 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

The immune cells inside of the digestive tract play a major role in maintaining homeostasis of the immune system. Managing optimal ratios of good bacteria (probiotics) in the gut has been shown to promote intestinal cell survival, enhance gut barrier function, and stimulate protective cell responses, which in turn can prevent infections.

Here is how you can best support your gut:

1. Decrease your alcohol intake – The gut is the first point of contact once alcohol is ingested, and alcohol can not only affect the gut by damaging the intestinal lining, leading to leakage of harmful bacteria out into the body, but it can alter the various microbes in the gut leading to an undesirable ratio of bad bacteria to good bacteria.

2. Creating a healthy internal environment is key to keeping energy levels up and staying healthy. Choosing foods rich in probiotics (good bacteria that have a health benefit to the host) such as yogurt, kimchi, and saurkraut are great ways to build up a healthy gut microbiome.

3. Increase fiber – if you want anything to count, count your grams of fiber. On average Americans do not eat enough fiber. The ideal amount of fiber per day is 30 grams (see below for the best sources of fiber). Fiber helps digestion, feeds the good bacteria in our gut, decreases cholesterol levels, supports weight management and optimizes immunity.

  • Raspberries – 1 cup 8 grams

  • Pear – 1 medium, 6 grams

  • Dark leafy greens, cooked – 1 cup 4 grams

  • Cauliflower, cooked – 1 cup 5 grams

  • Brussels Sprouts, cooked – 1 cup 6 grams

  • Broccoli, cooked – 1 cup 5 grams

  • Raw almonds – 1 ounce (about 15 almonds) 4 grams

  • Ground flaxseeds – 1 ounce 8 grams

  • Chia Seeds – 1 tbsp. 5 grams

  • Quinoa, cooked – 1 cup 5 grams

  • Barley, cooked – 1 cup 6 grams

  • Rolled Oats – 1/2 cup 4 grams

Sydney Greene is a Registered Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist who works with MYND MVMT supporting clients with mindful eating and nutrition for mind and body health.

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