How can we get the most from our favorite foods?
This week’s Fr8 World Logi$tix blog post offers health, fitness, and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
This is for information purposes only. Every effort has been made to make this blog post as complete and accurate as possible. However, there may be mistakes in typography or content (because we are human beings too who also LOVE our favorite foods). Also, this post provides information only up to the publishing date. Therefore, should be used as a general guide – not as the ultimate source.
Even though we ALL love fast food and the quick grab-and-go from the mini-mart, please eat fast food sparingly, or at least with some forethought as to the overall outcome of diet in general. Your immune system is your number one defense mechanism against intruders such as bacteria or viruses that can make you very ill. It is imperative to make sure that you stay healthy throughout the year and put all the chances on your side to boost your immune system. To do so, here are five steps to help you stay well while enjoying your favorite foods.
Step 1: Eating Well (this includes fast food favorites)
Eating well means getting many fruits and vegetables in your system and staying hydrated. Enough that you get many nutrients and antioxidants to help strengthen your immune system. You will specifically want to keep on top of your selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin C intake. Selenium is found in nuts (like Brazil nuts) or fish. As for vitamin E, you can get it in spinach, seeds, and peanuts. Vitamin C can be found in many vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes. As for water, drinking plenty of it will help your body flush the toxins like bacteria that could cause sickness.
Here are some ideas for your grocery list:
Fish – Fish and, more specifically, tuna are an excellent source of selenium. One ounce of tuna can provide around 30 mcg of selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and is one of the essential minerals for our health and immunity. The daily intake recommendation is 55 micrograms of selenium for an adult. Other fish and seafood are usually between 12 mcg and 20 mcg of selenium per ounce. Salmon is also an excellent choice to help the immune system. It contains a lot of “healthy fat” (omega-3), which is known to
strengthen the immune system and reduce the risks of heart disease.
Lentils – If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, lentils are a great substitute to fish. One cup of lentils can provide around 6 mcg of selenium. They are also a good source of immune-boosting nutrients, fiber, and protein.
Garlic – Another vegetable that has a similar effect on our immune system as zinc is garlic. Garlic has the ability, according to some research, to keep a cold at bay. Some studies even demonstrate that individuals who were living with cancer were able to boost their immune systems by increasing their intake of garlic. Garlic capsules are also a great way to get garlic and have fresh breath!
Blueberries – Berries, in general, are packed with antioxidants. Blueberries are at the top of all the fruits and vegetables for the number of antioxidants it contains. Not only does research show the power of blueberries on our immune system, and linked to a lower risk of stomach fat, cholesterol, heart diseases, and cancer.
Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds are very high in vitamin E. One ounce can provide 76% of your daily intake, which is 15 milligrams. Vitamin E is also a potent antioxidant like selenium, which help fight infection since it enhances the immune system.
A diet that is rich in vitamin E and vitamin C, zinc, and selenium is most likely going to help you boost your immunity. While it is great to eat as many healing foods, it is not always possible to provide all the nutrients and antioxidants that our body needs to stay healthy. That’s when supplements become a great option.
Many of these food groups can be cold stored in your mini-fridge and ready to eat on the go!
Step 2: Practice Good Hygiene
The number one trick to eating well and avoiding food-borne challenges is to avoid antigens by practicing good hygiene. That means limiting, as much as you can, your exposure to viruses or bacteria.
The goal of the virus is to find a host, a cell in the body. Our innate immune system is the first responder of our body, which includes our skin. Our skin, being the first line of defense, serves as a surface barrier to stop the virus or bacteria from getting into our body.
That is why, when we are in flu season (or times of high C19 activity), you see signs of washing your hands everywhere. By washing your hands, you destroy the antigen before it harms the body. You should wash your hands before every meal, after going to the bathroom, or after touching someone else (like a handshake) or something in public. It is also essential to be conscious of when you reach for your face since the virus is more likely to enter through your mouth.
If you are eating at the local greasy spoons or mom-and-pop shops, just pay attention to the environment around you.
Step 3: Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids will help your body flush the toxins that could cause sickness. 75% of people a dehydrated consistently, and that’s probably one of the main reasons why most of us get sick or don’t recover fast from illnesses. Water is critical to flush any toxins from our bodies. If we don’t have enough water, we can’t get rid of the toxins fast enough. Toxins can be in the form of viruses or bacteria.
Drinking plenty of water can fight off infection. You can start increasing your water consumption by always having a bottle with you that you can refill. It is recommended to get around 2 to 3 liters of water per day. Watch out for energy drinks and high sugar content beverages – water is always best!
Step 4: Implement a Bedtime Routine
To ensure that your immune system is functioning optimally, you need to make sure that you get adequate sleep. Sleep is critical to our immune system and how we process the foods we eat. It is recommended to get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. That number of hours is adequate and regenerates the body. Having plenty of sleep will increase the ability of the body’s white cells to fight illnesses and reduce symptoms connected to viral activity. To get a good rest, try to implement a bedtime routine that allows you to get your hours of sleep. Here are a few ideas to help you improve your sleep.
Create a Routine – It is proven that a routine will trick your body into falling asleep at a specific time. Try to observe yourself, is there a time when you are tired? If so, make sure you go to bed before that time. Create a routine that allows you to complete everything before that time and go to bed. You can also set an alarm that will tell you that it’s time to prepare yourself for bedtime. That way, you are less likely to forget what time it is and be more successful at implementing a routine. A bedtime ritual is an excellent addition to your schedule. A good bedtime ritual is one that allows you to relax, disconnect from the stress of life, and slowly tell your body that it is time to shut down.
Set a Comfortable Atmosphere – It might be time to look at your bedroom and try to find ways to improve the atmosphere for a good night’s sleep. Don’t underestimate the comfort of your bed and pillow and the power of fresh linen. If you are uncomfortable, you will likely have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. Another aspect of comfort is the temperature of the room and the level of noise around. Try sleeping with a fan on or a white noise machine (a personal favorite of mine). Having a constant sound in the room could help you maintain your sleep. If you like essential oils, try a drop of lavender on your pillow, this will help the brain relax.
Things to potentially avoid – Avoid any alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, or a large meal from 2–3 hours before you go to bed.
Talk to an Expert – If you’ve tried all those recommendations and you are still struggling with sleep, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor or a sleep expert. There are other solutions that they can provide you to improve your sleep situation.
Step 5: Manage Your Stress
- Breathing in through the nose
- Breathing out through the mouth
- Repeat two more times
As you will probably notice when you apply those five steps, you end up having more energy to do more of the things you love when you are healthier. Keeping your body healthy has many perks!
If you can, try to maintain this lifestyle throughout the year, as it will help you build a resilient immune system that can withstand antigens. Not only do you stand more chances of staying healthy, but it also helps you recover faster if you do find yourself ill.
While we could go on for days about foods and the right choices and combinations, we thought it would be easier to provide some valuable resources, complete with food ideas and meal plans that you can simply review anytime while you’re on the move, right from your mobile device – these resources are FREE and right at your fingertips!
Download our PDF by clicking or tapping the links below, and simply SAVE to your mobile device – Enjoy!