In such an uncertain and challenging time we are all reminded of the importance of good health and self care. As we all know, not only the elderly are at risk of complications relating to COVID-19 but also those with chronic health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, and those with compromised immunity. Thankfully we have a level of control over these conditions simply by making healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Building up our immune system is key throughout this current pandemic and helps to prepare our body’s fight against COVID-19 and other virus/infections. I have put together some simple steps you can take now to help strengthen your immune system.
IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS
Eating a colourful and varied diet with “real” good quality whole foods is essential for a strong immune system and general wellbeing.
Antioxidants: Focusing on colourful fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants (particularly Vitamin C) helps to support the immune system by counteracting any damage and inflammation caused by pathogens and our immune response. The more vibrant the colour, the richer the antioxidant content. Think berries, pomegranates, papaya, citrus fruits, mango, carrots, broccoli, beetroot, leafy greens, brussel sprouts, sweet potato. Additionally, tea, EV olive oil, nuts/seeds provide antioxidant/immune boosting properties.
Wholefoods: Get back to basics and eat foods in their whole, nutrient rich state. Wholefoods provide our bodies with a wide range of nutrients to help support proper immune function and ward off disease. Focus on good quality fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, healthy fats, protein sources, nuts and seeds.
Protein: Immune dysfunction can occur through inadequate consumption of quality protein by depleting immune cells, and inhibiting the bodies ability to create antibodies. The key here is QUALITY. Aim for a good quality protein source at each meal such as grass fed, free range meats including chicken, eggs, turkey, beef, lamb, wild caught fish and seafood (high in immune boosting zinc), and legumes, beans and nuts/seeds.
Water intake: Ensuring adequate fluid intake is another crucial element of a strong immune system and general wellbeing. Women should aim for around 2L of water per day and around 3L for men, in-between meals.
IMMUNE INHIBITING FOODS
Although it may be temping to indulge at such an unsettling, stressful time such as this, it’s equally as important for a strong immune system to restrict our consumption of calorie dense, nutrient deplete, immune destroying foods. Avoid where possible highly processed “foods” (ie. most packaged food), processed meats, refined carbohydrates, refined oils, food colourings, additives and preservatives, sugar and sugar substitutes, and alcohol.
Stephanie is a qualified Nutritionist, her studies were undertaken at Ivy College and since then she has become a member of the CMA (Complimentary Medicine Association).
Stephanie’s approach is holistic, individualised and educational. She encourages her clients to practice healthy habits surrounding health and weight management with a strong focus on gut health and eating nutritious, wholesome foods which promote optimal function of the body and mind.
To speak to Steph about your own Nutritional needs and requirements, contact reception for an appointment (online consults are now available).