As we’re moving into winter we should be aware there are so many things we can do to boost our immune systems.
One way to strengthen your immune system that might get overlooked, is to keep your digestive system happy. The microbiome that resides in your gut has an intimate relationship with your immune system.
Did you know that a whopping 70% of your immune system is actually in your digestive track? The two systems are so interconnected that your microbiome helps regulate your immune system by making sure it responds to threats correctly. In turn, your immune system helps regulate your microbiome, ensuring it has a healthy balance of “friendly” bacteria.
Trillions of microbes make up this diverse microbiome, including yeasts and bacteria - even viruses. Their range of responsibilities include everything from fending off infections to digesting fibre to producing vitamins, like vitamin A, from our food to making other useful things we need to be healthy.
Because they’re so interconnected, eating foods that help your microbiome can also help support your immune system and therefore your general health. Healthy digestion = a strong immune system. And, the more diverse your microbiome, the better. What we eat greatly influences this diversity and delicate balance. Ultimately what we eat supports gut health and immunity.
What foods should we be focusing on?
Eating a variety of plant-based foods that are high in fibre helps increase the diversity of your microbiome. This includes:
- whole grains
Get as much variety as possible, and try eating many different colours. Prebiotic and probiotic foods will also help keep that gut flora happy. And if you’d really like to take it a step further, also avoid processed foods, alcohol, refined sugar and too much salt.
Simply doing these things can have a drastically positive affect on your health, which is more important now than ever before.
What are you doing to keep your immune system healthy this winter? Any tips to share? Join the conversation by messaging us on Instagram at @indigo_herbs. We'd love to hear from you!