During the current pandemic, it is vital that we are looking after ourselves as well as our loved ones. Staying healthy, happy and active are all key in building and maintaining a strong immune system. We can build a strong immune system by consuming an optimal intake of essential nutrients as well as supporting our gut health and managing stress.
In this article we have some top tips to support your immune system for optimum health, read below for more!
Tip 1: eat the rainbow
Aim to eat a diversity of coloured foods with every meal, and try to eat nutrient dense foods. Aim for 20 different foods a week to ensure that you are achieving optimal daily intake of micronutrients, minerals and vitamins. In addition, by eating 20 different foods a week you will be feeding approximately 1500 bacteria strains in your gut.
- Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, dark leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, rocket), cacao, and citrus fruits can protect your immune system as well as respiratory tract.
Tip 2: feed your friendly gut bacteria
Consume vegetable and bone broths as they are packed with the healing amino acid, L-glutamine, which supports gut health by improving the health of the gut wall; this helps to reduce inflammation which is vital in immunity.
Additionally, you can support your gut by increasing daily intake of prebiotic fibre-rich foods such as onions, garlic, leeks, and Jerusalem artichokes, as well as probiotic bacteria-rich foods such as raw sauerkraut and kefir.
Tip 3: use the spices in your kitchen!
Spices such as ginger and turmeric are excellent for many things, including having immune enhancing properties and can reduce inflammation. These spices can be used in cooking, particularly soups, curries and stews, as well as teas; opt for having freshly grated ginger or turmeric tea. You can even add some raw organic honey or cinnamon for a hint of sweetness.
Tip 4: stay hydrated
Regular water intake can help to wash any lingering pathogens in the throat down into the digestive tract for the stomach acid to kill off, providing additional protection for our immune system.
The general advice on hydration is to drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day; caffeinated drinks contain caffeine which acts as a diuretic and can result in water loss through urination. Caffeine is found in coffee, teas, and many soft drinks. Try to drink caffeinated beverages in moderation and focus on consuming more water.
To ensure you get the right amount of water, check out some tips below that will help:
- Keep a bottle of water on your desk at work, or fill a jug of water to drink during the day at home. Seeing it is a reminder and this way, you can monitor how much you have drunk as opposed to keeping a score of how many glasses you have had.
- Eat foods that have higher water content like cucumber, watermelon, lettuce, celery, grapes, oranges, tomatoes.
- If drinking water becomes boring, try some variety like spa water or herbal and fruit teas.
- Either add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water or add a slice of fruits and herbs to water and leave in a jug or bottle overnight to allow the flavours to infuse into the water.
- Oranges, lemon slices, strawberry and basil, and mint and cucumber make great, refreshing drinks.
- If cold drinks are not your thing, then add apple slices and a cinnamon stick in hot water, or even ginger and lemon!
At Perfect Balance Clinic, we are closely monitoring the developments relating to the spread of coronavirus and noting updates given by the World Health Organisation and other public bodies. If you are worried about the virus and want to know more about how to boost your health, contact us today and speak to one of our qualified Nutritionists who can guide and reassure you on how to optimise your immune health today!
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