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This post talks about some simple self-help steps we can take to support our digestion, which is where the majority of our immunity is located.

Introducing where 70-80% of your immunity is based

I’d like to take a moment to high 5 our immune systems. I know many of us have glitches – you may be immune-compromised or suffer with food allergies or hay fever – but the design of the human immune system is mind-bogglingly clever! I’ve picked out just 4 highlights and linked each of these with something you can do to help yourself and boost your immunity.

1. IT’S NOT ALL US, WE’VE BOUGHT IN HELP

And how clever is that! As human beings have evolved we’ve welcomed a massive army of helpers to work alongside us. Really? Yes!! Supporting us are around 40 TRILLION (40,000,000,000,000) GOOD BACTERIA which co-exist with us, helping break down food and make the building blocks we need to repair and regenerate in return for getting their own nutrients from the food we eat. These good bacteria thrive in an environment of VEGETABLES AND FRUIT because they work best surrounded by the soluble fibre found in some plant produce.

2. MOST OF OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS FOUND IN OUR GUTS

Because the food we eat can be a major risk to our health 70-80% of our immune system is where we’re likely to need it, in our guts to deal with dodgy food which has gone off or is otherwise contaminated. To top up the good bacteria which are working for us remember to include FERMENTED FOOD in your diet. This has gained in popularity over the last few years and it’s pretty easy to find sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kefir, raw apple cider vinegar, kimchi and kombucha – and not forgetting plain yogurt in the supermarket. If fermented food’s not for you (it doesn’t agree with everyone’s digestion) try a PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT instead.

3. OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM ISN’T ALL INSIDE

There’s one very large component of our immune system which is on the outside – OUR SKIN! This barrier helps keep our insides safe from contact with substances which could cause us damage. The structure of the skin is just as clever as everything else about our immune systems and it’s easy to forget how important it is to keep us dust-free and water-tight. The oils in our skin act in 2 ways: to keep the skin plump and gap-free, and to make the water roll off – like the coating on a waterproof coat or the non-stick coating on a saucepan. EATING FOODS WHICH HAVE A LOT OF GOOD OILS in them – fish, butter, nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, meat and eggs to name a few – and REPLENISHING THE OILS ON OUR SKIN is providing vital support for our immunity, especially if you’re washing your hands a lot or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

4. OUR MOOD CAN INFLUENCE OUR IMMUNITY IN A FLASH!

Whenever your health changes for the worse I always ask what was going on in your life just before you became sicker? Nearly always something’s happened, and often that’s something pretty trivial in the scheme of things: getting annoyed with another driver on the road, standing near someone who’s full of cold, not being able to buy your favourite sandwich for lunch can all provide that powerful surge of emotion, be it irritation / fear / disappointment which can be sufficiently stressful at that moment to cause a down-turn in our immunity. Then of course there’s the major events as well, which are even more likely to have an effect. And, of course, long-term stress can take a real toll on our whole bodies. I’ve plugged this product a lot recently because it’s helping a lot of people keep their stress levels under control, thus supporting immunity: Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy produce a combination remedy called Stress Relief, which does what it says on the packet! The 3 remedies Aconite 30C, Arsenicum 30C and Arg nit 30C act together to provide broad-spectrum support for feelings of panic, fear of infection, fear something bad’s going to happen… so where there’s a good match with these symptoms there’s a good chance of obtaining relief.

Well that’s the 4 things I promised you. It’s by no means comprehensive and leaves some important elements for consideration another day, but your gut’s a really good place to start. If you need some support and encouragement with nourishing your gut or managing your stress do contact me for a free, no obligation chat.