• Tracy Southwick

How-To: Optimize Your Immune Function (Don’t wait for illness or disease!)

Updated: Apr 28

Because of the viral pandemic, we began a series of articles last month for those asking how they might substantially strengthen their immune system. In the last article, we discussed the importance of good digestion in relation to immune function and how to achieve success in building that first cornerstone for the immune system. If you missed that important article, please visit our website for several helpful tips. We are moving on to the next building block in the creation of strong immune function as we focus on the importance of Intestinal Health.

We have all been hearing about how important the balance of bacteria (the microbiome) of your gut is, in relation to your immune health – about 70% of your immune system actually resides there. So, logic dictates that this is an area we should support for optimal health. Diarrhea or constipation, gas, bloating, gurgling, belching, allergies, brain fog, sugar cravings, auto-immune conditions, weight concerns, skin issues, anxiety, and depression can all point to suboptimal intestinal health. Yes, the list is certainly varied, but it highlights how many areas of the body are connected to gut health.

Remember from the last article that digestive health feeds into intestinal health, so don’t forget that digestive health is the first important building block as you build your immune system. Next, we have the tips for the second building block: intestinal health. These methods will not only help improve your immune system but likely other body systems, so use these tactics as you focus on building your intestinal health:

1) Avoid/Reduce the Destroyers: foods and drinks that harm the microbiome such as sugar and processed foods; artificial sweeteners; chlorinated water; alcohol; and meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy products raised with antibiotics or hormones.

2) Eat Prebiotics: foods that feed good bacteria, for example, apples, bananas, chia seeds, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, onions, garlic, and leeks.