Over at BUA HQ we are huge advocates of eating the right foods all year round to keep you super fit and strong. As the seasons change and temperatures drop it’s even more important to keep your immune system supported with the right nutrition. We highly recommend that you arm yourself with the knowledge of which vital nutrient-dense foods to consume, to fulfill our bodies’ vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients cravings.
Here are our top 7 tips for immune support:
- Aim to eat at least 10 portions of fruits and veggies a day to boost your antioxidants. Ideally 2 fruit and 8 different vegetables. Hone in on dark, green leafy veg for chlorophyll that cleanses the blood, purple veg for anthocyanins (recent research shows daily anthocyanin intake improves energy and sports performance), as well as cruciferous veg for hormone balance and liver detoxification.
- Increase your uptake of fruits and veggies that are high in Vitamin C. Did you know that red pepper contains more vit C than an orange?! Graze on broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, and cherries. Vitamin C is water soluble and not stored by the body so it’s important to eat vegetables and fruit every day to maintain your daily intake.
- There has never been a better time for a sugar and junk food detox. Studies show that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingesting. Reducing refined processed carbs and sugar (white bread, white pasta, white rice, cakes, and biscuits) will help your immune system function better and keep you energised throughout winter. As an added bonus, or rather an added layer of immunity protection, try limiting caffeine and alcohol if you’re feeling run down.
- Eat enough protein. Protein is critical for immune function. Without enough protein our muscles waste away and immunity drops. A daily amount of approximately 1g of protein per kilo of bodyweight is a very rough recommended dose. But every individual varies depending on activity levels so it’s important to get specific nutrition advice, so drop me a line.
- Spice it up! Foods containing antimicrobial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, and chilli have been used for thousands of years for immune support. Allicin, the compound in garlic, has been found to fight viruses and encourage faster recovery from viral infections due to boosting the white blood cells’ responses to illness.
- Make sure you are eating enough zinc containing foods. Zinc is one of the key minerals for healthy immune function, and oysters are one of the richest in it. 3 raw oysters takes you over the daily recommended dose and the reason they are an aphrodisiac is due to their role in increasing sperm production. So it’s a win -win in our books 😉 Other zinc rich foods include meat, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, chickpeas, and kidney beans.
- Eat the rainbow! The more colourful your plates with fruits and veggies the more vitamins and minerals your immune system gains. Try not to eat tomorrow what you ate today – variety is the key. If you’re batch cooking for the week, try to vary week by week instead. Ensure you’re getting enough nutrients from a diverse range of food sources including vegetables, legumes, whole grains, proteins, nuts and seeds. Keep your fridge full of a rainbow of plants and you’ll be all set for a BUA powered super healthy winter.
An intro from the author:
Hi, I’m Healthy Mays and I’m a registered nutritionist, and certified yoga, breathwork and meditation teacher. I work with clients to help them achieve their health goals via 1-1 nutrition support and I have been featured in best-selling publications such as Women’s Health, Health & Wellbeing and Bella.
You can find all my offerings and contact me via my BUA FIT Profile.
I’d love to help you reach your goals. Healthy Mays x
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