“Everything that exists in your life does so because of two things: something you did or something you did not do”Albert Einstein
While the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted us into a place of uncertainty and stress, there is also a sense of adjustment and routine, if even to keep our minds focused. Placing attention on our inner body, mind and spiritual health can help the wholeness of our bodies and its’ interconnection with our environment and nature. Thinking about this once in a while is key to calming our minds and maintaining a healthy perspective.
With so many of us restricted to staying at home during this time, it can be good to shift our focus to the natural motion of the body’s structure and to think about how its structure relates to our function. Eating mindfully and with your health as a focus, can contribute to better and more optimal function.
Eat right and stay healthy with better food choices……..
Within the human body there are several interconnected systems; the musculoskeletal system, the internal organs system, the nervous and circulatory systems.These systems work interdependently to provide us with motion, support, stability and good health.
We all know that nutrition is a key part of keeping all of our systems optimal. Adequate and appropriate nutrition is required for the cells to function optimally and this also includes the cells that make up our immune system.
Eating more fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods while choosing appropriate supplements as needed will help boost good health, mental clarity and increase your energy. One of the key things to remember with every meal is to try to get the correct amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals1.
Canada’s Healthy Food Guide Recommendation suggests the following:
- Try to make 50% of your plate consist of vegetables and fruits, 25% whole grains foods and 25% protein based foods.
- Choose protein foods that come from plants more often.
- Make water your drink of choice.
- Use food labels
Because the majority of immune cells in the human body are found within the gut, including probiotics such as fermented vegetables and prebiotic fibre, like bananas, apples and legumes into your daily diet can strengthen the gut and consequently, the immune system2.
There are several key minerals, vitamins and plant based supplements that can assist with boosting the immune system and protecting the respiratory system3.
Vitamin C: Including a daily intake of Vitamin C can act both as an anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory and work towards preventing infections.
Vitamin D: Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is one of the most powerful nutrients for supporting the immune system. Ideally taking it in a form that includes Vitamin D3 will offer the best protection.
Zinc: This mineral plays a significant role in boosting our immunity. Often available as lozenges, zinc can also be found in the following foods: seafoods, meat, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chickpeas, yogurt and oatmeal.
Selenium: This is another key nutrient to maintain a healthy immune system and can be found in many foods with the richest source being Brazil nuts.
Honey: Preferably in its raw form*, honey has many antioxidant and antimicrobial effects that can boost the immune system.
*not recommended for children under the age of 5.
Garlic: With some studies showing that fresh garlic may contribute to the reduction of respiratory infections due to several potent compounds it holds, including this root vegetable into everyday cooking will help boost the immune system and overall health4.
Always consult your physician or healthcare provider prior using any supplements or using any foods to which you may be allergic.
- Canadian Healthy Food Guideline: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
- Probiotic for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections – Hao Q et al. (Cochrane Database System Rev.)
- Institute of Functional Medicine – www.ifm.org
- Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double blind controlled survey: Josling, P.