Support your immune system. Don’t “boost” it…

Your engine runs best when it’s purring smoothly…. not

when it’s pushed beyond its limit.

Due to the world stopping event that is COVID-19, immune health has gathered more public attention than ever before. This once in a generation moment has increased the   number of health products in the market that promise to “boost your immune system”. The idea of boosting the immune system may sound very appealing however, an over-active or overly sensitive immune system is as bad as an under-active immune system.

Dietary fibre is fuel for your immune system engines

The immune system is our body’s version of the military – designed to defend against all invaders who threaten it, both foreign and domestic. Our immune system works hard to protect us against diseases, infections, and helps us recover after an injury. The immune system is one complex entity and is made up of two engines – innate immunity and adaptive immunity with some really interesting army of immune cells that help defend us from the invaders. The immune system uses its two wheels to present the best defensive tools to detect and clear pathogens from our body, activate the mechanisms to memorise the invader in case of a future attack, and helps us to recover and move on to a new day.

Our immune system, however, is very sensitive to number of factors like poor diet, stress, underlying health conditions, and even aging – all of which can lead to an imbalance of its function and our general health.

Regardless of the cause, suppression or over-activation of the immune system can have serious impacts on our immune health. These events render our immune system unfit and compromises its ability to fight diseases and infections. A suppressed or weakened immune system can leave us susceptible to anything and everything.

On the other hand, overstimulated or hyper-active immune system can mistake harmless things in our own body or in environment for invaders and cause abnormal immune reactions (autoimmune disorders) that can harm our body’s tissues and organs.

It is critical to understand that it is the balance, not a boost, that will maintain a healthy immune response and achieve optimal immune fitness.

Being immune fit means having a well-tuned immune system that allows our body to detect and target the right pathogen/aggressor, to present the right defensive tools for its clearance from the body and initiate the healing process.

The good news is that tuning the performance of immune system function of both the innate and adaptive engines is possible with healthy nutrition and plenty of exercise. Following a balanced diet that is rich in dietary fibre from variety of plant sources, fermented foods, healthy fats, and proteins, is known to support healthy immune functions.

Prebiotic dietary fibre (both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre) feeds the microbes in the gut (also known as the gut microbiota), supporting the diversity, growth, and activity of beneficial microbes like the probiotics, that leads to efficient functioning of the immune system.

Gut microbiota provide crucial signals for the development and function of the immune system.

Certain beneficial gut microbes feed on the prebiotic dietary fibre to produce variety of metabolites including anti-inflammatory metabolites like the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), antimicrobials, vitamins, and neurochemicals. SCFAs not only influence the immune system to function effectively with a balanced approach, they can also modulate glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and benefit brain functions. Consuming dietary fibre to help maintain a diverse and balanced microbiota is regarded as a powerful means to attain immune fitness.

Prebiotics from Virgin Sugarcane … ?

Most dietary fibre supplements available in the market today are isolated or purified forms and present several disadvantages including excess gas production, bloating and abdominal pain. Appropriately, Kfibre is a whole-plant complex dietary fibre sourced from virgin processed sugarcane (sucrose removed) that is high in soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, is low in calories, is low FODMAP-accredited, gluten and food allergen free. University research has confirmed the excellent potential of this fibre in reducing colonic inflammation, exerting anti-inflammatory effects, influencing the microbial diversity, boosting the levels of SCFAs in the colon.

Visit Kfibre.com to find out more about this ultimate dietary fibre product that can support the balance and keep your gut microbiota happy and healthy.

To close, balancing your immune system rather than boosting it is a more sensible & smarter approach towards a fit immune system. A diet rich in variety of prebiotic soluble and insoluble fibre can help you get there more efficiently.

By Dr Tanvi Shinde