Supporting the immune system is imperative as we move into the fall and colder months ahead. Do you know what you could be doing in your day to day to help keep it strong?
Hi there, I’m Dr. Michael J. Kaye from The Center for Functional Heatlh. Today I want to chat about all the ways our diet can help support a healthy and strong immune system.
Let’s dive in!
We know we can’t control everything but ensuring you do what you can to keep your body strong will help support your immune system for the months ahead (and for the long term).
Here are my top tips for supporting immune health through your diet.
Focus on fiber
A diet rich in high-fiber foods encourages the development and maintenance of the gut microbiome, which stimulates your immune cells.
A great way to support the immune system is to eat lots of non-starchy vegetables and some fruits that are in season for your geographical area.
You may be asking, but what about whole grains and legumes. Although whole grains contain fiber, it’s my opinion it is best to get fiber from vegetables as opposed to whole grains as grains have a tendency to spike sugar levels. It’s the same for legumes-beans.
Additionally, many of my patients have sensitivities to grains and legumes, and they find once these are removed from their diet, they begin to feel much better, especially those who suffer with gut issues.
Probiotic supplements and fermented foods also contribute to your good gut bacteria. Good choices include sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir.
Reducing sugar intake can lower the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, both of which are risk factors for a weaker immune system. This means avoiding cookies, cakes, crackers and bread.
In one study, obese patients were twice as likely to get the flu following a flu shot, and eliminating sweets can go far in any weight loss strategy.
Favor healthy fats
Certain fats can reduce inflammation, which is stressful for your immune system. Things like extra virgin olive oil and foods with high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flax seeds, are beneficial.
Supporting the immune system through dietary changes is just one step in maintaining your health and wellbeing.
Contact me if you need help implementing proven strategies and feel your best even when cold and flu season rolls around!
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