Gut Health

Why immunity starts in the gut

As we head into winter, most of us are conscious that we need to add more vitamins and minerals into our diet to support our immune health. But could focusing on gut health be the answer we’ve been waiting for? 

Your immune system’s health and efficiency are intimately correlated with the condition of your digestive system. A group of microbes known as the microbiome are predominately located in your gut and play a variety of beneficial tasks, including managing your metabolism, mood, cognition, hunger, digestion, and immunity. In fact, between 70 to 80% of your immune cells are present in the gut!

Supporting a healthy gut-immune response is a multi-factorial process. Here, author and nutritional therapist, Eve Kalinik, suggests six ways to support your gut health this festive season.

How to support your gut health and your immune system

Aim for 30 plants a week

Increasing our overall plant diversity supports a more diverse gut microbiome and immune system. While 30 plants a week might sound daunting, you may be suprised at how many you already consume when you start counting.

Consume gut-nourishing foods

This includes organic bone broth, fermented foods, mushrooms, seeds, nuts, salmon, mackerel, prawns, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, spinach and more.  

Consider a supplement

While a food-first approach is recommended, if you’re struggling to get enough fibre to support your gut health from your diet, you could also consider using a high fibre supplement, such as Bimuno.

Bimuno is an award-winning, scientifically backed prebiotic supplement. It works to feed bifidobacteria, a ‘good bacteria’ found in the gut that’s connected with digestive health, immunity, and mental wellbeing. Gluten-free and taste-free, the sachet powder can be added to any food or drink. It’s shown to begin working in just seven days of routine daily use. 

Find out more here and save on your Bimuno subscription, exclusive to Liz Earle Wellbeing

Include key co-factor nutrients

Vitamin C and zinc are integral for the health of the immune system. Vitamin C is found in strawberries, avocado, broccoli, peppers, spinach and citrus fruit. Zinc is abundant in shellfish, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, cashew nuts and traditional hard cheese, which also includes a boost of beneficial bacteria for the gut too! 

Let the sunshine in

This is a key component of how our body makes vitamin D. This can be trickier in the winter months as the sunshine is not as strong, so you may consider supplements.  

Prioritise rest

Too much stress and not enough sleep can encroach on the health of our immune system. Allowing sufficient time before we go to bed without the devices in sight can help to cultivate a more restful night’s sleep.