The Immune System is the command center of our health. Do you know how to boost your immune system with your diet and lifestyle?
Research shows over 70% of our immune system lies in the lining of our gut. The digestive tract is the home to good and bad bacteria. It hosts white blood cells and these guys produce antibodies that help us fight our many virus and bacteria that we encounter.
The liver is the major detox organ in our body. Together with the gut, the liver supports a healthy body.
Immune Busters – Less is More
- ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: Too much alcohol (2-3 or more daily) can compromise the immune system by taxing the liver. If the liver is busy filtering alcohol, it can get overloaded and have a difficult time processing other important substances.
- SUGAR: Has been called the “devil”! Too much sugar can wreak havoc on the body. It’s not just the white stuff that’s bad. Additives in our processed foods, cheeses, breads and more. Unknown (to us) sugars and carbohydrates add to our known consumption and contribute to the 17+ teaspoons most Americans consume daily! The recommended daily allowance for women is 6 and for men is 9.
- SALT: I’m pretty sure that I fall into this category. Americans consume far too much salt. A German study found that people who consumed an additional 6 grams of salt daily showed a weakened immune system in just 1 week . How much you might ask is 6 grams? I found that just 1 teaspoon of Morton’s Table Salt and 2 teaspoons Diamond Kosher Salt is the equivalent to 6 grams. That shows how easy it might be to consume too much salt daily!
Ways to Boost Your Immune System
If the Gut and the Liver are our best friends, let’s give them a hand in supporting our health.
If the gut is the powerhouse and control center of our immune system, let’s give it some help. There are a couple of ways to do this. Consider probiotics.
- TAKE A PROBIOTIC CAPSULE DAILY. A good probiotic that is double encapsulated, like doTERRA’s PB Assist is going to give you the best of both worlds. Double encapsulation ensures MOST of the beneficial bacteria gets to the lower intestine. PB Assist includes a “pre-biotic” and a “pro-biotic” delivering most of the beneficial bacteria to the lower intestine.
- EAT PROBIOTIC FOOD SOURCES: Re-think some of your food that you eat and drink. Kombucha, Kimchi, Yogurt, Sauerkraut and Kifir are all great probiotic sources. They must be consumed daily to keep a good balance.
SQUEEZE a LEMON: Adding a squeeze of lemon to your salads, or a drop of lemon essential oil to your water will help support your immune and digestive system. Lemon essential oil is not acidic to the enamel in your teeth. One drop of lemon essential oil added to your drinking water will taste great and support your immune system.
CREATIVE FOOD: Get comfortable creating “bowls”. If you have a Panera nearby, some of my favorite meals are their bowls. Food bowls can be tasty and fun to create. They can make it easier to consume beneficial fiber, protein and nutrients. Be careful though because some can contain more than half of your daily sodium intake. Making your own bowl will allow you to lower your salt intake and increase your vegetable and protein sources!
Here’s a tip… to making your own bowl. Use Kale or Arugula. Both have been found to have beneficial plant chemicals. These may be helpful in reversing immune decline.
Make a Bowl
- Quinoa and Brown Rice – fiber (combine for great texture
- Peppers – Vitamin C
- Carrots Vitamin A,
- Seeds and Nuts – Vitamin E,
- Beans- Protein
- Homemade Dressing (below)
Make Your Own Salad Dressing
The best way to control unwanted sugars and additives is to make your own dressings. They are easy and you can always adapt the recipe to your own preferences. Here is a favorite of mine from It’s All Good (Gweneth Paltrow’s cookbook)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
How will you begin?
It goes without saying that limiting alcohol, sugar and salt are a great way to start. Use some of the suggestions above and try to be mindful of your choices.
Routines can be difficult habits to break. Try not to answer the call to eat, or drink instantly can be the first step towards changing your habit or routine..
Which of these ideas will you start to implement first to boost your immune system. To your health!
Live Well, Be Well & Thrive!