10 Good Ways to Support Your Immune System

Healthy Immune System

The health of our immune system directly relates to the health of our gut. Our stomach is the "second brain." The book, The Second Brain, by Michael D. Gerson, M.D., based on the gut instinct and a groundbreaking understanding of nervous disorders of the stomach and intestines.

The microbes that live in your gut not only helps your body digest food, but also helps regulate your metabolism, hunger, weight, and immune system.

Food Support for Hearty Digestive System

An active immune system relies heavily on having a healthy, well-functioning gut - like about 70 percent of your immune system is in the gut - and probiotics help keep your gut running smoothly. Probiotics are "good" bacteria that contribute to reducing inflammation and prevent infection; they may also lower the level of severity of a cold or flu.

Foods such as unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir support bacterial health. In addition consuming homemade bone broths (such as chicken or beef), are highly beneficial in supporting the immune system.

Build and Maintain a Healthy Digestive System

  1. Get enough sleep and manage stress. Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.
  2. Don't smoke and drink alcohol in moderation.
  3. Eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, collard green etc.), low sugar fruits, nuts, and seeds. These foods will provide your body with antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients to strengthen your immune system.
  4. Eat probiotics. Fermented milk products, such as kefir and yogurt (without added sugar), have been shown to reduce respiratory infections and support healthy bacteria in the gut.
  5. Supplement with Vitamin D daily, and take a good daily vitamin that also has trace minerals. Probiotics are good in pill form too.
  6. Use garlic and onions regularly. They contain broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents and boost the immune system.
  7. Eat or take medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake. Studies show that a concentrated extract of shiitake enhanced immune function and helped fight cancer.
  8. Try immune-supportive herbs. If you get recurrent infections, consider taking immune-supportive herbs such as oregano oil, olive leaf, elderberry, and astragalus.
  9. Use healthy fats such as olive or coconut oil in food preparation. Avocados, olives, and nuts are also choices for good fats that feed the brain and support a healthy gut.
  10. Get a massage regularly and remember to exercise everyday.

Bonus: Enjoy life! Laugh with friends. Have fun!



More on Foods and Nutrition