With so much attention on COVID19 right now and rightly so, one thing that seems to be excluded from all the advice and hype, is what we are eating and how we are nourishing our bodies.
Food is a huge factor in how our immune system operates and sometimes this can be simple as providing our white blood cells – our immune fighting blood cells – with the nutrients they need to thrive. One of the most important nutrients for our immunity is fibre. Different dietary fibres essentially feed our gut microbes which are the trillions of little species found in our gut micro-biome.
A thriving gut micro-biome is essential for regulating the immune system in ways such as stimulating our white blood cells – specifically T-Cells. One of the roles of T-Cells is to seek out pathogens and aim to destroy them. So, in essence, our white blood cells are like the Royal Marines of our body, they seek and destroy antibodies.
How do we get more fibre then?
By including different types of beans into our diet, lots of colourful fruit and veg and switching any white starchy foods to brown – like swapping white rice for brown, because these contain greater fibre content. Eating the rainbow is not just a pretty thing to look at, it offers real health benefits as well as being very tasty.
If we adopt this approach, not only will it give us great levels of fibre, it will also provide us with good levels of other vital nutrients that support immunity such as Vitamin C and Zinc.
Foods we can eat to get great levels of Vitamin C are peppers, spinach and broccoli. Fresh and frozen are ideal choices. For Zinc levels try to include almonds, cashews, shellfish and eggs within your diet.
We really do need to think about what we are putting into our bodies and whilst good general hygiene should be a given for everybody, eating the right stuff and staying well hydrated can also play a huge role within our immunity.
(Image courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com)