Nurturing Gut Health for Immunity Strength

Live Well Diary Team

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gut health - healthy food

The gut, commonly called the body’s brain, houses trillions of organisms forming the gut microbiome together. These are essential for digestion and maintaining the immune system.

The Gut-Immunity Connection

The gut microbiome is intricately connected to one’s body. This special connection between us and our gut microbiome forms early in life, starting from infancy. The way we are born, whether through birth or a C-section, along with breastfeeding and the foods we consume in our years, all significantly influence the development of this connection. As we age and experience life, the balance of bacteria in our system shifts and evolves due to different elements like our daily routines, personal decisions about medications we use, and external factors that impact us.

The gut microbiome helps educate and regulate the body. There are specific helpful bacteria in the gut that help balance pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory immune reactions.

Lifestyle Factors and Gut-Immune Health

Some lifestyle factors that can significantly impact our gut-immune health.

Managing Stress

Have you ever realised how stress can seriously impact the stomach and leave one completely exhausted? Long-term stress can be disruptive. Try mindfulness meditation, engage in breathing techniques, participate in yoga sessions, or simply enjoy nature & outdoors.

Getting Moving

Studies have indicated that exercise can impact the balance of bacteria in our gut, promoting the growth of beneficial microbes and reducing inflammation in our digestive system. [1] [2] Cardio, endurance, strength training, or stretching help to get moving regularly.

Go to Sleep

While catching sleep, the body is actively involved in the process of repairing and rejuvenating; this ensures the health of the gut lining and eliminates toxins. Consistently get 8 hours of sleep nightly to support gut health and have a good immune system.

Practical Tips for Strengthening Gut Health and Immunity

Here are some practical, down-to-earth tips to help you boost your gut health and fortify your immune system:

1. Keep it Real

Eating foods that provide the essential nutrients the body needs for optimal function is truly unmatched. Opt for nourishing foods that support the body internally over snacks packed with additives and lacking in nutrients.

When prepping meals, mix fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. This way, meals will be crammed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre that promote digestion and enhance immunity.

2. Probiotics

Probiotic foods, like yoghurt and fermented vegetables, can have effects on the system. Yoghurt can be enjoyed on its own, used in smoothies or paired with fruit snacks. Kefir, a milk drink, contains probiotics, calcium and protein. Experiment with fermented veggies like sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles for options in probiotics.

Other rich choices include miso, tempeh, kombucha and various cheese types.

3. Prebiotic

Including onions and garlic in your diet boosts flavour and provides a healthy dose of prebiotic advantages. Use asparagus in salads, stir-fries, or omelettes to add flavour and a satisfying crunch to meals. Enjoy oats in a bowl of oatmeal. Bake into tasty cookies for a versatile source of prebiotic fibre that supports the health of the gut microbiome.

gut health - onions garlic
gut health - berries

4. Hydration

Drink water to quench thirst and keep the stomach hydrated for performance. It makes the stool soften, aid in digestion, prevent constipation and get the gut bacteria balanced.

As for how much, the ideal amount can change: depends on age, weight and activity level. A general guideline is aiming for eight glasses. Don’t worry about counting—simply tune in to the body’s signals and sip when you feel thirsty.

Besides water, use alternatives like tea, coconut water or flavoured-infused water for a change. Including fruits and veggies in water content, such as cucumbers, watermelon, and oranges, can allow one to meet hydration needs daily.

List of gut-friendly food

Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

2. Kefir
3. Sauerkraut
4. Kimchi
5. Miso
6. Tempeh
7. Pickles
8. Kombucha
9. Fermented pickles
10. Fermented tofu
11. Natto
12. Fermented cheese
13. Fermented soybeans
14. Buttermilk
15. Cottage cheese
16. Probiotic supplement
17. Bananas
18. Apples
19. Berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, which are often seasonal)
20. Oranges
21. Kiwi
22. Pineapple
23. Mango
24. Papaya
25. Grapes
26. Watermelon
27. Cantaloupe
28. Honeydew (melon)
29. Pears
30. Plums
31. Peaches
32. Cherries
33. Apricots
34. Figs
35. Prunes
36. Avocado
37. Spinach
38. Kale
39. Swiss chard
40. Collard greens
41. Arugula
42. Bok choy
43. Brussels sprouts
44. Broccoli
45. Cauliflower
46. Cabbage
47. Bell peppers
48. Carrots
49. Beets
50. Sweet potatoes
51. Pumpkin
52. Squash (different varieties such as acorn squash, butternut squash)
53. Zucchini
54. Eggplant
55. Tomatoes
56. Cucumber
57. Celery
58. Asparagus
59. Green beans
60. Peas
61. Lentils
62. Chickpeas
63. Black beans
64. Kidney beans
65. Pinto beans
66. Navy beans
67. Split peas
68. Hummus
69. Quinoa
70. Brown rice
71. Oats
72. Barley
73. Farro
74. Bulgur
75. Millet
76. Buckwheat
77. Whole wheat
78. Rye
79. Spelt
80. Whole grain bread
81. Whole grain pasta
82. Whole grain cereal
83. Chia seeds
84. Flaxseeds
85. Hemp seeds
86. Sunflower seeds
87. Pumpkin seeds
88. Sesame seeds
89. Almonds
90. Walnuts
91. Pecans
92. Cashews
93. Pistachios
94. Hazelnuts
95. Brazil nuts
96. Macadamia nuts
97. Coconut
98. Olive oil
99. Flaxseed oil
100. Fish (good ones are sardines, salmon, mackerel)


A healthy gut and adopting positive habits can do wonders for strengthening the body’s defences and promoting overall immune health.

Putting gut health as a priority isn’t just important—it’s essential for achieving wellness goals, warding off illnesses, and effectively managing health challenges.

So focus on nourishing from within. Allow the gut to be your supporter on the path to wellness.


[1] Monda, V., Villano, I., Messina, A., Valenzano, A., Esposito, T., Moscatelli, F., Viggiano, A., Cibelli, G., Chieffi, S., Monda, M., & Messina, G. (2017). Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2017, 3831972.

[2] New microbiome research reveals exercise may impact gut physiology. (n.d.).

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