Did you know that the majority (70%) of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? When you take care of your digestive tract your body will thrive to its full potential. Sometimes we get stuck in a food rut and eat the same things…day after day. Just like doing the same exercise routine over and over again, eating the same foods day after day can cause your body to plateau which can slow down your metabolism and zap your energy level.
Are you constantly struggling with tummy troubles? Chances are your digestive tract could use some tough love. Eating probiotics and fiber-filled foods will help your body maintain bacterial balance. An imbalance of bacteria in your gut can cause digestive upset and cause you to become more prone to a wide variety of health problems like bloating, gas, diarrhea, IBS, allergies, and even the common cold. So what can you do to strengthen your gut?
Top Immunity-Boosting Tips
1. Avoid refined, processed foods as much as possible. Trade in your instant oats for rolled oats. Nix the sodas (yes even the diet ones) and drink more water.
2. Introduce new natural sugars from a variety of fruits.
3. Rotate your foods. Eat chicken today, turkey tomorrow, fish the day after.
4. Eat a variety of grains. Buckwheat, quinoa, kamut, or bulgur.
You can fend off all kinds of tummy troubles by introducing this clean-eating recipe into your food rotation. I adapted it slightly from one I found in Oxygen magazine.
Immunity Boosting Flaxseed Muesli Recipe
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
8 oz. (1 cup) Chobani vanilla non-fat yogurt
1 TBSP ground flaxseeds
1 TBSP crushed almonds
1/2 TSP cinnamon
handful of blueberries and raspberries
Ground flaxseeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. So if you don’t like fish you should make friends with flaxseeds. Just make sure to buy ground flaxseeds (unless you have a coffee grinder) because whole flaxseeds will just pass through your intestinal tract undigested. Flaxseeds are also high in fiber.
Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or salad. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a flour-like consistency, so you can hardly taste it. One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds provides 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Although the Institute of Medicine has not set a recommended daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids, it has established adequate intake amounts of between 1.1 and 1.6 grams a day for adults. Ground flaxseeds can be stored in an airtight container and preferably in the refrigerator to keep them fresher for longer.
Greek yogurt has fewer carbs and double the amount of protein then regular yogurt which will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. It also contains probiotics to support your immune system.
The first time I made this recipe I only used one container (6 oz. of Greek yogurt) and it seemed a little dry so I added a little more and it was much better. The original recipe also called for 1 whole tsp of cinnamon which would have been way too much. There was also the option for 1 TBSP 100% maple syrup but I thought it tasted good without the maple syrup!
Don’t like dairy? Here’s another idea!
In addition to 700 mg of flaxseed meal and 150 mg of sprouted quinoa (along with 70+ other ingredients), Shakeology (a shake powder derived from whole-food sources) also contains a non-dairy prebiotic and probiotic blend. Probiotics help your body maintain bacterial balance. Prebiotics help probiotics survive passage through the acidity of the stomach and small intestine, and foster their growth. CLICK HERE to read Shakeology’s ingredient list and nutritional information.
Shakeology works like little scrubbing bubbles while it passes through your intestinal tract. Introducing Shakeology into your daily routine or even your weekly food rotation will definitely keep your gut and immune system in check! It’s also certified low on the glycemic index with a score of 24, which is lower than many fruits and some vegetables! To see why that’s important, check out the video below.