Wellness Letter: Healthy Diet, Healthy Body

Can food ‘boost’ our immune system? Can our diet protect us from illness? This week rheumatologist, Dr. Maggie Cadet, and PSC scientific advisor and dietitian, Dr. Chinara Tate discuss the relationship between the foods we eat, gut health and the immune system. Pairing their respective areas of expertise Drs. Cadet and Tate explore healthy diets and instilling good eating habits in children, as they transition back to the school year.

“It is amazing, the overlap between your gut, your joints and your immune system.”

Approximately 70-80 percent of our immune system resides in the gut. This means the better you take care of your digestive system, the healthier you will be.

Imbalances in the gut microbiome may result in a disruption in the immune response and development of chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease. 

“It is not about the number [on the scale], it’s about having a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, joint or gut inflammation.”

Inflammatory disease can present independent of weight status and thus optimizing health should be our goal rather than a specific number on the scale. 

The best way to support gut and immune health through your diet is to eat an abundance and diversity of antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense fruits, veggies and other foods high in omega-3s* and probiotics and low in pro-inflammatory processed and sugar-laden ingredients.

*Did you know?
Caviar is exceptionally high in omega-3 content—more than some types of salmon—but without the high levels of mercury and heavy metal contaminants that may reduce the cognitive benefits.