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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Boosting Immunity with Balanced Nutrition

A strong immune system is now more important than ever. Here are five key strategies to incorporate in our daily nutritional intake for immune system modulation this fall.

Balanced breakfast: All meals should be balanced, but most importantly breakfast. Most common breakfast choices like cereals, pancakes, waffles, bagels and muffins are loaded with sugar and white processed flour; they don’t provide much nutrition. Starting the day with breakfast choices loaded in protein, healthy fats and complex carbs can provide the necessary fuel for the immune system without causing a drop in energy levels in the middle of the day or untimely cravings.

Eat all the colors of the rainbow: Include different-colored fruits and vegetables that provide nutritional density with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients (which give them the color). Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Probiotics: In addition to a bottle of probiotics supplements, consider foods that have live bacteria/probiotics like fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread and Indian foods like idli/dosa. Consume a variety of these foods for microbial diversity. Rotation is more important than taking the same probiotic supplement consistently.

Prebiotics: These fibers are essential as a fuel for the healthy bacteria in the gut. Most food sources are plant-based: garlic, onions, artichokes, asparagus, chicory root, bananas, oats, legumes and mushrooms. They will help achieve a healthier and more diverse microbiome. Because 70 percent of the immune system resides in the gut, both prebiotics and probiotics should be a vital part of our nutritional intake.

Supplementation: If necessary, taking a high-potency professional-quality multivitamin-mineral can help fill nutritional gaps. Remember food first, supplement second, if needed.

 These five nutritional strategies will give our immune arsenal an upgrade, along with exercise, adequate sleep and vitamin D.


Niti Shah is a board-certified clinical nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner. For more information, call 972-514-7956, email [email protected] or visit

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