New viruses are knocking at the cold winter door and it’s easy to feel helpless against their force.
Many people think it’s inevitable they will contract COVID so they can only hope for the best as they get on with their lives but there are scientifically proven ways to arm ourselves from what can feel like a potential onslaught, especially in winter.
Aside from the recommended public health measures, your own immunity will be your greatest ally during the coming months in Australia.
As 80 per cent of our immune system is in the gut, it’s the foundation of the capacity to help ward off the wide array of pathogens around us.
Aside from a healthy food, stress levels are key to creating a healthy gut. Chronic stress and bad sleeping patterns will negatively impact the gut microbiome. In fact, elevated stress is one of the worst things for adding to an influx of harmful gut bacteria.
Most of us have experienced the effects of high anxiety or shock in our bodies. When vomiting and diarrhoea happen during a stressful episode, that’s the gut’s reaction to the onslaught of stress.
Less known is that our gut talks to our brain so conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), depression and anxiety are all linked. It’s further evidence of the key relationship the brain and the gut share.
Studies have also shown that just having one night of disrupted sleep will change your microbiome the next day. That’s the role sleep plays in our health.
So, what foods are key to filling up the gut with goodness? Fibre is the best friend of good bacteria, and we need at least 30g of fibre a day. I recommend a fibre supplement in the AstonRX program as a guarantee you’re having enough fibre but it should work in conjunction with good food.
Pimp up your meals with nuts and seeds through a salad and make sure you eat five different plant foods with every meal. Don’t just have a salad of lettuce and cucumber. Fill it with capsicum, radish, beetroot – as many vegetables as you can to help the fibre ferment in your gut and create the good bacteria.
On the other hand, processed foods and sugar will feed the bad bacteria. Combined with stress, this is making a haven for the nasty guys which none of us can afford to enable in these vulnerable times.