Immunity

Good immunity is essential to a healthy life. Adequate levels of vitamins and minerals are essential to maintain a healthy immune system. A diet that contains abundant fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, proteins, (eggs, dairy, meat & fish) pulses (peas, beans lentils) is essential. Adequate exposure to sunlight with no sunscreen is also important. Even with the best nutrition though, many people still suffer from immune challenges, which leads us to one of our most important topics:   GUT IMMUNITY!

The father of modern medicine Hippocrates, stated, “all diseases begin in the gut”

Fast forward to 1908, when Russian Nobel Prize winner for his work on immunity, Ilya Mechnikov, wrote his book ‘Prolongation of Life’ where he outlines how people who enjoyed lengthy life spans, ate fermented foods and bacterial cultures called kefirs. Apparently, it was professor Mechnikov who coined the phrase, ‘probiotic’. The term ‘probiotic’ simply means ‘for life’ as opposed to ‘antibiotic’ which means ‘against life’ (against disease causing organisms.) Probiotics simply promote the life of healthy organisms in the digestive system, mainly the large bowel, which is usually called the ‘gut’ or the ‘colon’. Professor Mechnikov is also famous for his saying that “death begins in the colon”.

It is in the last 50 years that we have seen the rising incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, eczema, asthma and allergies – conditions that benefit from probiotic foods. Fifty years ago the family fridge came into being, and so instead of foods being preserved by fermentation, they were popped into the fridge and the probiotic content of food declined.

‘Allergies’ are the result of an imbalance in the immune system. One internal reason for allergies is poor gut immunity.

Many recent studies have revealed a link between improving allergies and giving probiotics. This link means that the allergy sufferer has a gut with less than ideal gut bacteria.

Therefore there is a lot you can do to improve your gut bacteria.

Here are some suggestions:

☛AVOID SUGAR IN ALL ITS FORMS

☛INCLUDE SOME RAW FOOD WITH EACH MEAL

☛STOP taking medications that negatively affect gut bacteria:

  • Antibiotics
  • Oral Contraceptive Pill
  • Cortisone

 

☛TAKE PROBIOTICS (* see recipes below)

You can take probiotics as a supplement, or you can include them in your daily diet. Because ongoing use is usually necessary, regularly eating probiotic food is a better and cheaper option.

IF YOU ARE STILL HAVING PROBLEMS after doing all the right things, then it’s time to have a consult and let us work it out for you. There are a number of causes of ongoing gut problems, which we can identify. Also check out our IBS website www.irritablebowelsyndrome.net.au

* Probiotic Food Recipes

  • Yoghurt (see below)
  • Sauerkraut – home made is best. Recipes are on the Internet.
  • Kim Chi (Korean Sauerkraut)
  • Pickled vegetables. (see below)
  • Miso, fermented soy – add to soups & casseroles
  • Well-made sourdough bread

 

Kefir Yoghurt Is a Powerful, Natural Probiotic

(See Wikipedia for a full description of Kefir)

If you are dairy sensitive, you can make Kefir with organic tinned coconut milk, fresh rice milk, or other tolerated milk substitutes, so long as they are not long-life. Kefir yoghurt is a runny, tangy yoghurt. Its flavour is the mildest and most delicious when it has first set. Fermenting for longer gives a stronger flavour. You can blend kefir with other yoghurts or coconut milk for a delicious flavour.

Kefir grains and printed instructions are available from our clinics.

Salsa Vegetable Pickle no cooking required:

1 kg tomatoes, 1 capsicum, 1 red onion, 4 cloves of garlic, fresh coriander

1-2 teaspoons chillis (optional)

Wash and chop everything up, mix it all together, pack tightly into a jar, leaving a 1cm space at the top. Cover, but don’t seal. In a few days bubbles will start to appear. The jar may overflow, so place it on a plate. When the bubbling settles, seal the jar ready to eat.

To stop further fermentation, store in the fridge. Eat within two weeks.

 


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