Boost your immune system - Super Synbiotics
GUT HEALTH /

Boost your immune system

If there’s any part of your body which is vital to your health, it’s your immune system. It ensures that we avoid illnesses and keeps us healthy and energetic, hopefully throughout the year. How susceptible the body is to external intruders such as bacteria and viruses varies, however, and sometimes the immune system can need a little extra attention. Read on for tips about how to build up and maintain a strong immune system. 

About the immune system 

The immune system is made up of a network of cells, neurotransmitters, and tissues, for the purpose of protecting the body against intrusive bacteria, viruses, and infections. It’s thanks to our immune system that we stay healthy and free from sickness! 

To feel at our best and to avoid various health problems, however, means that we need to keep our immune systems in balance. A weakened immune system can lead to several infections and diseases, while an overactive immune system can attack the body’s own tissues, which is often the main cause of autoimmune diseases. 

70 percent of our immune system is located in the gut 

A large part of our immune system – around 70 percent – is located in the digestive tract. There are around 100,000 billion bacteria here, which is about 10 times the amount of cells in the body. These bacteria come from hundreds of different strains and together they make up the gut flora. In a healthy gut flora, there is a high diversity of species and the strains of good bacteria dominate. The good bacteria can help to strengthen the intestinal barrier and prevent damaging bacteria leaking into the blood stream, among other things. 

Why do some people have weaker immune systems than others? 

Several of the immune system’s various parts, for example, the production of antibodies and white blood cells, are dependent on us getting the right amount of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. This is why people who are malnourished often have weakened immune systems. 

Since a large part of the immune system is found in the gut, the composition of the gut flora can also have an influence. The foundation for the gut flora is built the day we are born, as some of the mother’s gut flora will be inherited. Afterwards, the gut flora develops, which continues until the age of around four, when it begins to stabilise. The balance of the gut flora can be upset throughout our lives, however, for example, by courses of antibiotics, long-term stress, exposure to unknown bacteria, or due to unhealthy food that’s low in fibre. 

‘To take extra care of our gut flora, we need to make sure we properly feed the gut bacteria with prebiotic plant fibre’ 

Another thing that can affect our immune system is allergies, when swollen and irritated mucous membranes can make us more susceptible to infection. Chronic illnesses can also contribute to the body becoming less able to defend itself against infections. 

How to boost your immune system: 

1. Eat a varied diet with a lot of fruit and vegetables

A healthy diet is a prerequisite for us to get the nutrients we need and to make sure our immune systems are working at their best. Plant foods also contain plenty of prebiotics, which are fibres that feed the good gut bacteria.

2. Get regular exercise

Both moderate exercise and hard workouts stimulate our immune systems and can help make them stronger. However, highly demanding exercise, such as long distance running, can temporarily weaken our immune systems for a short while after the session. In the long run, however, all exercise has a positive effect on our immune systems.

3. Prioritise rest and sleep

Long-lasting mental and physical stress can have a negative effect on both our gut flora and our immune systems. This means proper rest and sleep is essential for our health. For example, studies have shown that people who sleep less than 6 hours per night tend to have weaker immune systems.

4. Build and maintain a strong gut flora

A healthy lifestyle with nutritious food, regular exercise and low stress levels creates good conditions for avoiding an upset to your gut flora. To take extra care of our gut flora, we need to make sure we properly feed the gut bacteria with prebiotic plant fibre – asparagus, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes are examples of vegetables that contain prebiotics. You can also add lactic bacteria (probiotics) and fibre (prebiotics) in the form of synbiotic supplements. 

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