Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Many things feel out of our control right now. We want to protect our loved ones and ourselves.
We are homeschooling.
We are working from home.
We are having virtual playdates.
Besides practicing social distancing and protecting yourself from the virus on the outside, you can also build up your defenses from the inside by strengthening your immune system.
One thing that you can control immediately is the health of microbes living in your gut. Together these trillions of microbes are known as the microbiome.
Research has shown that the gut microbiome plays an extremely important role in our body’s immune response.
One major aspect of a healthy microbiome is diversity. Just like a rainforest depends on many species to thrive our microbiome does too.
There are pre and probiotic supplements but the food you eat has a tremendous impact on your gut microbiome diversity.
The best way to increase the diversity of your microbiome is to eat a variety of plant based foods and to limit highly processed foods.
If you are concerned about getting hold of fresh produce while self-isolating or while quarantined, frozen fruit, berries and vegetables are just as healthy if not more full of nutrients.
They are picked and frozen at the peak of their ripeness. Plus, they will last much longer during this isolation period. Canned fruit, beans and pulses are also long-lasting option.
Other great sources of microbiome boosting foods are low sugar variety yogurt, kefir, kombucha and other fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Studies have shown that the diversity of our microbiome diminishes as we age. This may be one reason the strength of our immunity does as well.
So if you are able to get out to the store, whether it is for your family or an elderly relative, remember to look for as many gut supporting foods as you can.