So it’s all getting a little bit crazy out there in the wild world in relation to the spread of the COVID-17 Virus. Understandably so, with its contagious nature resulting in the shut down of whole countries including sporting events, mass gatherings and travel. There is much fear.
However, I just couldn’t sit back and listen to a lady on the Today Show say that there was nothing we could do except hand wash and make general comments that a “balanced diet” (what even is that?!) might help. We need to take social responsibility for our own health, and we can certainly control what we put in our mouths which is a huge contributing factor.
So I thought, why not address this in a solution orientated way and educate the general public on how improved daily nutrition choices can positively impact health, wellbeing and immunity?
The fact stands that the healthier we are to begin, it’s likely we will get over the virus quicker, reduce transmission rates, all be able to go back to work sooner, travel and lower the risk of mortality in fragile populations. LETS DO THIS HUMANITY.
Below we have listed some actions you should be taking to keep your immune on track and strong.
Immune Nutrition Checklist
I am eating 2 fruit and 5 serves of bright coloured vegetables daily: Our guidelines are here
Yellow and orange vegetables and fruits are particularly high in Vitamin A (Red and yellow capsicum, pumpkin, squash, corn, sweet potato, carrots, rockmelon, mandarin, peaches, apricot).
Fruit is high in many antioxidants and fibre which help nourish a healthy microbiome and after all … 70 % of our immunity comes from our gut.
I am consuming adequate energy and protein:
Not eating enough can put the body under more stress, especially if the energy you need is not there when you go to exercise. That’s right I am telling you to… eat, happy days! Everyone has individual requirements so if you are unsure you can always ask your Dietitian. If your weight is relatively stable – then you are good.
Protein is an important macronutrient for immune modulation. Requirements vary based upon body weight and activity levels. Key sources include meat/fish/eggs/dairy/legumes and lentils and tofu.
My Iron, B12 and Vitamin D status is within normal range:
Studies have demonstrated to us that when you are lacking in these micronutrients your immunity can become compromised.
Standard blood tests from your GP can identify deficiencies.
These nutrients need to be consumed regularly.
Vegan and vegetarians may be more at risk, vegans particularly.
I eat a wide variety of antioxidants and phytochemical containing foods:
Fruit and vegetables
Herbs and spices like turmeric, pepper, rosemary, basil, chili, dill, coriander, cumin, paprika
Ginger and garlic
I include sources of pre-biotic fibre and probiotics in my diet
Whole grain products as well as all the skins on your fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and legumes and lentils are all example of prebiotic fibre.
Probiotics can be naturally found in foods, added or supplemental. Food based sources include kefir, kombucha, miso, kimchi, yoghurt, tempeh or pickles.
I am hydrated:
Dehydration reduces the overall volume of blood and lymphatic fluids that are integral in a healthy immune system response.
Water, get on it. Your pee should be clear or light yellow. Funny to talk about, easy tool to use.
Lastly it’s no surprise when I tell you that foods high in saturated fats and sugar, as well as beloved alcohol can increase inflammation in the body. If consumed in excess, it’s just going to depress the immune system further. And as I said excess, my Friday night espresso martini shall continue 😉
If you need more help, support and practical tips with all the above of course we are happy to see you in our clinics or via FaceTime/Skype – you can book here.
However if the whole world turns into Zombies, please don’t come to clinic.
Yours in health,