We all know that eating healthy diet for our overall health but research over the last 10 years has shown a solid link between eating healthily diet and our immune system via our gut microflora (the micro-organisms in our gut). Our gut bacteria train our immune systems to behave appropriately to the environment. We are normally exposed to these bacteria initially via our mother giving birth to us, and this process colonises our gut and helps to mature the immune system and develop a larger diversity of immune cells.
Our relationship with our gut bacteria is symbiotic – this means that our body houses the bacteria and provides food whilst the bacteria participate in and support our health. There are several ways in which our diet affects the types of bacteria we nurture within our gut and how they affect ourimmune system:
Eating a diverse diet, particularly earlier in our lives, with a wide range of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, herbs, spices and seeds will help grow and create a balanced gut microflora which influences the balance of our immune system. A more diverse gut microflora is more resilient against attack from pathogens and environmental stress, as the immune system response is mediated appropriately, and supports optimal immune health.