Neither option sounds appealing, right? Luckily there are natural ways to boost your body's own immune system so that you never again have to face the dilemma of whether or not to get a flu shot.
Need Immunity? Your Gut to the Rescue!
Get this: according to many scientists, "It has been estimated that around 80-85% of our immunity is located in the gut wall"? The reason that the gut plays such an important role in health is because the whole digestive tract is covered with a thick bacterial layer (and in some places a thick mucous layer). While this doesn't sound at all nifty, much less healthy, the truth of the matter is that these beneficial bacteria, along with the layer of mucous, acts as a first line defense against invading virus and harmful bacteria, undigested food, and parasites. The reason it is so important to protect the rest of the body from undigested food is because if that food were to enter the blood stream, the body would automatically consider it a foreign invader, and begin to attack that undigested food. This is the process by which food allergies begin for many people.
Clearly, then, it is important to keep one's gut healthy. There are two simple and natural ways to do this: eat healthy and take the right supplement.
Eating healthy should be a no-brainer, since most of us know that eating a burger and fries for lunch each day is no good for our bodies, not to mention our waistlines. But there are special foods that are excellent for gut health. These include:
Bananas – also have lots of magnesium and potassium and have been found to reduce inflammation.
Polenta – high in fiber and has some fermentation in it.
Fermented foods – include yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha tea, unpasteurized miso, fermented pickles, kimchi, tempeh, pickled ginger, cured Greek olives, kefir, buttermilk, raw apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and any kind of vegetables, grains or beans that have been fermented and that have live micro-organisms.
Beans – have lots of fiber, protein, folate, and B vitamins and strengthen the wall of the intestines.
Jerusalem artichokes – full of the insoluble fiber inulin that acts as a prebiotic to feed probiotics (healthy bacteria). Other good prebiotic foods include almonds, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, asparagus, beets, cabbage, jicama, kiwi, beans, lentils, soybeans, whole wheat, oats and mushrooms.
Then there are supplements that can help give you extra nutrition known to boost your immunity:
Acidophilus - a form of friendly bacteria that lives in our small intestine and is necessary for proper digestion and a healthy immune system, often called "nature's antibiotic" because it plays such a vital role in the immune system. Acidophilus and other forms of probiotics also secrete antibacterial acids that are harmful to pathogenic bacteria and enhance our bodies' mucosal immunity, preventing the spread of the harmful bacteria and decreasing the risk of infection.
Bifidus - supports the health and balance of the large intestine, promotes the growth of good intestinal flora in the large intestine, which not only promotes efficient digestion and assimilation of nutrients, but also helps inhibit gas and bloating, lowers the pH of the intestine, manufactures specific B-vitamins, and promotes immune function
Enzymes – help the body break down fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, and enhance the digestive process to get more nourishment from foods and supplements, takes stress off the pancreas, liver and spleen by supplying enzymes that they won't have to produce when we don't get enough in our diets allowing more energy to be devoted to immune system function. Get your enzymes along with probiotics and AFA bluegreen algae the easy way in these ready to go convenient packets.
Beta glucan – is a soluble fiber that comes from yeast, bacteria, fungi, and cereals such as oats, barley, and rye, which studies have shown has the ability to activate macrophages, a type of white blood cell that circulates throughout the body destroying foreign antigens. This whole food supplement has the power of beta glucan combined with six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support: reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei, along with astragalus, and AFA bluegreen algae.
Like the Arabian proverb quoted by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride says, "He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything!" In that sense, giving your immune system the boost it needs to keep you healthy is one of the best ways to insure your health, hope, and happiness.
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