Your Protection is in Your Choices and on Your Plate In the face of this pandemic our choices really matter. There is a lot we can control in the realm of lifestyle choices that can make us naturally more resilient to viruses and infection. Ready for some simple and inexpensive ways to increase your body’s defenses against illness, stress and the ups and downs of life? Let’s do this!
MOVEMENT Think of activities that make you really use your lungs; i.e., vigorous cleaning, playing with your kids, dancing, walking, biking, jogging, chasing the cat. Things like that.
SLEEP Get more rest, even 1 hour less of sleep a night reduces your body’s defenses.
PLANTS A diet high in fruits and vegetables is powerful!
FEED your good bacteria and starve the bad ones in the gut. 80% of immunity is in there! Simply adding in as much fruit and vegetables as possible is THE game changer.
VITAMINS A, C, D, E These particular vitamins are powerful antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress on your system so you are better able to combat viruses and infections. Although it can be beneficial to supplement as no diet is perfect; amping up your intake of fruit and vegetables and taking time to just go outside will help you start to get more of these in your system
SAVINGS Your daily food choices can act like a shield of armor! Save money, save gas, save gloves, save masks, save the stress, and save yourself and those around you from possible exposure to the virus. You can do it just by paying more attention to what’s going down the hatch. Natural sources of vitamins A, D, C, E are really important for all of us right now as is daily exercise to strengthen the lungs and boost up overall vitality.
We are very lucky people. Being active outdoors in Florida gives you two of nature’s biggest immunity boosters, exercise and vitamin D, and it’s fun! Go outdoors and notice how the smiles return to your face more often.
Fruit is pretty much nature’s universal healer. Fruit sources of vitamin C will serve two purposes: immunity and gut health. This is the reason smoothies are key. Simply combining more types of fruit gives you a better chance of feeding a variety of healthful bacteria as well as increasing the nutritional value and taste of the smoothie itself. The other really good reason for smoothies is the fact that you can “hide” greens in them, especially spinach.
Spinach is high in vitamins A and E. If you have kids that are picky about eating veggies be assured that its taste disappears when you add a banana and or berries and some raw honey. Raw honey itself is actually antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial by the way, so this is another awesome way to get strong! For the creamy effect many like in their smoothies you can just make your own “milk.” Save your money and skip the dairy; it thickens mucous, increases inflammation and can negatively impact gut bacteria. Save even more money on expensive nut milks and get a much better taste by just mixing an overripe frozen banana and one fresh banana in a blender with 1 cup of water, then adding the rest of your smoothie ingredients. Besides citrus fruits, other foods that have high amounts of vitamin C include papaya, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and raw red bell peppers (also high in vitamin A).
(Many of us already are!) Nuts contain vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds (best eaten raw and watch the serving size) are all high in vitamin E as are spinach and broccoli.
During periods of intense stress it’s true, we all crave them. People talk about moderation, yet how can you be moderate with potato chips or cookies when they are so highly palatable and specifically designed to get you to reach in that bag for more? Not only that, but the bad bacteria in our guts happen to just love them! Did you know that periods of intense cravings for refined carbohydrates are a sign that you are starving the bad bacteria (which is greta!) and they are actually working on you to feed them? Scary right? Feed your good ones instead by substituting healthier versions of comfort foods, and eventually these cravings will fade.
Try potatoes! Sliced, baked, steamed or mashed! They are great for the digestive system, especially sweet potatoes! Sweet potato is also high in vitamin A and can taste like dessert if you cut it into chunks and steam it then add some cinnamon. You will find many tasty healthy “comfort foods” recipes here. Try the blueberry muffins or the rice crispy treats!
Additional help for the gut can be found in in food-based probiotics that pack a punch:
coconut water kefir
fresh sourdough bread
If overweight, work to achieve or maintain a healthy weight by adding in the activities and foods listed above.
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
Negativity. The body follows the mind. Plant some good stuff in yours.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/all-natural-ways-to-boost-your-immune-system https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14510/10-signs-you-have-an-unhealthy-gut-how-to-heal-it.html https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326256 If you need them here are some supplements just for kids https://www.medicalmedium.com/preferred/supplements-for-children