Considering over 60% of our immune system is found in the gut, it makes sense to nourish our digestive system helping the beneficial bacteria to flourish, and therefore keep our immune system healthy and active.
You can read more about gut health here where I’ve explained how the two systems are linked.
The prebiotic fibre found in the cabbage and onion in this slaw acts as a food source for friendly bacteria.
Carrots are high in Beta carotene, the pre cursor to Vitamin A, which plays an important role in regulating the release of immune cells in the gut, whilst the red pepper and parsley are packed with Vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant, helping to protect white blood cells from free radical damage, also stimulating their production and increasing the levels of antibodies released during an immune response.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, crucial in the health of immune cells such as phagocytes, macrophages and Natural Killer cells, also being high in antioxidants they have the ability to prevent free radical damage to cells during an inflammatory response.
All the vegetables and seeds in this slaw are packed with fibre which is important to the gut in keeping everything moving by bulking the stools and encouraging a healthy microbiome.
Lastly I’ve used Kefir in this recipe, which is high in beneficial bacteria (probiotic) promoting good bacteria in the gut.
Makes a large bowl:
Half a head of savoy cabbage
2 large carrots
1 medium red onion
Half a red pepper
1 large handful pumpkin seeds
Small bunch flat leaf parsley
2 heaped tbsp good quality mayonnaise
Finely shred the cabbage, grate the carrot, slice the pepper and onion as thin as you can.
Toss together in a bowl adding the seeds, roughly chopped parsley and lots of black pepper, then add in the Kefir and mayonnaise, mixing well to coat.