Boosting immunity starts with preventing disease in your body. To do this you need to have your body’s natural defense mechanism at full capacity. There are multiple ways to accomplish this naturally, but without proper knowledge, you could be doing your body more harm than good!
In this article, I am aiming at not only giving you the information you need to properly build immunity in your body but how to do it without causing an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Why We Must Balance Gut Bacteria
The symptoms we have throughout the body are resolved by treating the gut in many cases. 80% of our bodies immunity lies in the gut.
Many people today suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and/or some form of colitis. The medical community is finally catching on to the fact that what happens in the gut doesn’t necessarily stay in the gut. If symptoms are left untreated, the body’s inflammatory system will begin overacting causing an immune response. This is where it’s different for everyone. One person will end up with Crohn’s while another with Hashimoto’s disease. It manifests itself differently for each person.
But why do these symptoms occur in the first place? Our diets and lifestyles are what causes it. Too many of us eat foods that are literally killing you slowly. You can be skinny and somewhat healthy on the outside but be fat, sick and unhealthy on the inside and not even know it!
Our society opts for the quick and easy options that are nuked and zap-fried instead of healthy, raw, natural options like our ancestors chose. We modify our plant seeds for corn, soy, wheat, etc to prevent insects and disease from inhibiting crop yields and expect that when we eat it, our body will be able to digest it. Really? This actually results is a leaky gut. The removal of these foods is also what aids in healing it.
We are literally ingesting chemicals and 2 cups of sugar on average a day, and then expecting our body’s to give us good, healthy results.
“Can bacteria in the gut actually affect the brain? They can. Toxins, metabolic by-products, and inflammatory molecules produced by these unfriendly bacteria can all adversely impact the brain.” Dr Mark Hyman (1)
We have to step it up and look past the enticing marketing ads and lies many food companies are selling us. Stop looking at the calories they are selling and focus on the sugar, modified foods, chemicals, carbohydrates, conventional cows milk and meats, etc.
Did you know that our body can tolerate a maximum daily intake of two grams of sugar (1/2 tsp) but the American Heart Association says…
- Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
- Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).
The World Health Organization recommends 5% of your daily calorie intake to be sugar! For the average adult, this is equal to 6 teaspoons or 25 grams per day.(2) These are toxic levels, my friends!! This is coming from very trusted sources that are supposed to be looking out for our health and well-being, or are they? That’s a topic for another day.
In an earlier post, Sugar Part 2 – Inflammation, I wrote about the effects sugar has on the body. If you want more in-depth info, I urge you to read that article and also, for your own awareness, this one too, Sugar Part 1 – Cancer’s Food.
The point is that with all the sugar and modified foods we are eating, we’re depleting our gut flora or bacteria. This is the very thing that fights off disease and sickness in our body. As a result, our friends and family’s are growing in sickness and disease while getting fat in addition to it. But don’t worry, you have the tools to reverse the damage and heal yourself from the inside out! The very methods of balancing gut flora (bacteria) are the same things that boost your immunity, vitality and help you lose weight fast.
Side note: If you drink tap water please, start drinking filtered water instead. Tap water is toxic and contains fluoride and chlorine, not to mention hundreds of chemicals. All of these harmful substances deplete your good gut flora. If you’re looking for a superior water filter that won’t break the bank, I recommend the one I bought. It’s called AquaTru and it removes almost all harmful chemicals and substances. Click here to see my write-up and the demonstration video.
Also, be careful of prescription medications as they are the leading source of eliminating our good gut flora and create an imbalance in the gut.
Boost Immunity and Balance Gut Bacteria
The first step to balancing things back out and boosting immunity is to detoxify and remove harmful foods. Harmful foods are those gut offending foods you’re currently eating which are causing the imbalance in your body. The fast food, packaged and processed foods are top of the list. For some of you, this could be quite dramatic but don’t get discouraged. Start removing one or two items, get your body accustomed to the change and remove one or two more. For more info about which foods to avoid, I recommend reading What is Real Food?.
Remember, this is a lifestyle change, not a diet fad. Don’t expect quick results or for this process to be easy. You’ll need support from family and friends. As Dave Ramsey asks you to proceed with gazelle intensity toward financial freedom, I’m asking you to do the same with your eating lifestyle by changing your habits.
It comes down to 2 main steps.
- Don’t consume harmful substances that deplete good gut flora
- Consume more probiotics from whole, organic, fresh foods.
How? The best way to boost immunity and balance the gut is to do it naturally, eating probiotic rich foods followed by a good probiotic supplement is key.
Top Probiotic Healing Foods
- Bone Broth – Slow cooking chicken or beef bones extracts the nutrients your body needs to heal itself. This broth contains collagen, essential for the gut’s elasticity restoration and will also restore your skin to a younger-looking state. Broth also contains glycine and proline, amino acids that assist in the healing of the gut. Don’t mix this up with store-bought chicken or beef stock. Those are made of water, salt, and GMO bouillon cubes.
- Raw Cultured Dairy – This form of dairy is exactly what your body needs. It contains natural probiotics and SCFA’s (or short-chain fatty acids) that can heal the gut. Pastured kefir, yogurt, amasai, raw cheese, and butter are great sources if they come from grass-fed cows.
- Fermented Vegetables – Fermented foods are potent detoxifiers and contain much higher levels of probiotics than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora.
- Coconut – All coconut products are beneficial for the gut. Coconut products contain MCFA’s (or medium chain fatty acids) which are much easier on the gut because it doesn’t require pancreatic enzymes or bile from the liver for digestion. You can also make coconut kefir which will also be a great source of probiotics.
- Sprouted Seeds – Hemp, chia, and flax seeds are great sources of fiber which help your gut to grow good bacteria. For a severe leaky gut, you’ll want to reduce fibrous food sources temporarily and then introduce them back in after 6 months slowly. Steamed vegetables can be a great way to still eat your veggies in this case.
- Omega 3 Fatty Foods – Eating foods that contain high levels of omega 3 fats is a great way to start reducing inflammation. Omega 3 fats are a natural anti-inflammatory. These foods would be wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and lamb.
Vegetable Juice Healing
One of the best ways to boost your health and begin to repair years of damage is with juicing. Now when it comes to juicing I’m not talking about running to the grocery store and buying a bottle of juice straight off the shelves. What I’m referring to is fresh juice made in your own kitchen.
You want to create the greenest juices you can if you’re intending them for healing.
Here’s my favorite green juice. I drink an 8 oz for 2-3 days once a month or at least every other month.
- The gut and the brain – http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/09/27/5-steps-to-kill-hidden-bad-bugs-in-your-gut-that-make-you-sick/
- WHO – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/world-health-organization-lowers-sugar-intake-recommendations/