When it comes to health and wellness, no one knows your body better than you. When you slow down and tune in to how you feel emotionally & physically and pay attention to those low-level, lingering aches and pains, they become your body’s sign-posts that can help you get your health back on track.
We know ourselves when something doesn’t agree with us or when we don’t feel right. It’s about learning to trust what you feel, tune in and stop putting your health & well-being on the back burner. Trusting our ‘gut’ really is a key step when it comes to boosting your health and immune system. An estimated 70% of our immune cells reside in the gut and it’s believed 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the digestive tract. So if we want to feel & be well the guy is the place to start.
Our overall wellness is reliant on an optimally functioning immune system that protects us against unwanted attacks from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses & parasites. We now know our gut microbiata helps to regulate our immune system so it’s important we do all we can to keep the good gut bacteria flourishing and maintain a homeostasis in the digestive ecosystem. Simply put help populate the growth of the good guys & reduce the bad guys.
The most simple ways to populate your gut microbiome with healthy bacteria and bolster your immune system is to:
– cut out refined sugar from your diet which weakens the immune system
– eat real, whole, nutritionally dense food
– introduce pro biotics & vitamin D into your diet
– aim to get more sleep regularly
– reduce stress with regular pausing and take 5 deep, steady breaths to help stimulate the vagus nerve & switch in to the para-sympathetic nervous system (the rest & digest)
– spend more time in nature absorbing negative ions either in your garden or in outdoor spaces (abiding by current Government rules). Appreciate nature around you from watering & pruning your plants to growing herbs on your windowsills. Listen to morning bird song, catch the sunrise…the key is to slow down & observe nature.
– stop over use of antibiotics unless completely necessary
– load up your diet with additional fibre – this is key for helping clear the toxins and debris from your body.
– limit your alcohol intake to 1 x unit per day for women or 1.5 units for men.
– air the rooms in your home by opening windows, move stagnant air out.
Adopting small, healthy, daily rituals is also really important for the immune system. For example, begin every morning gently stretching to wake the body. Take 5 deep inhalations, hold for 5 and breathe out for 5. This helps gently activate the body’s systems and sets a relaxed tone for the day ahead.
We know breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. By eating the right nutritious breakfast you can help you body’s hormone regulation, boost energy for the day & supoort your gut health. A breakfast rich in fibre, with a range of vitamins & minerals, will boost your immune system and help to reduce harmful blood sugar spikes. This is important for sustained energy, balanced moods & focus while also helping the body take care if it’s internal mechanisms that keep us in optimum health.
Here’s a breakfast that is big on fibre, soothing on nerves, promotes melatonin production, stabilises blood sugar levels and gives us a big hit of vitamins, all while fortifying the immune system.
Flaxseed Porridge with Hasselback Apples & Stewed Cherries.
– 1 cup oats
– 3 tablespoons Linwoods Milled Flaxseed with Bio-Cultures & Vitamin D
– 1 x tsp cinnamon
– 1.5 cup plant-based milk (or milk of choice)
– 1/2 cup stewed cherries
– 1 hasselback apple (can be swapped for gut loving stewed apple)
– 1 tbsp mixed omega 3 seeds
Leisa Cockayne is a qualified Intergrative Nutrition & Health Coach and CEO of www.makemesugarfree.com the website helping people break sugar addiction with an easy to follow 21 Day Program. Leisa also advises to a number of clients including Olympic Athletes, World Champion boxers, Music & TV stars & celebrities.