Wellness Tools: Good Food, Exercise, And Gratitude
No food or supplement is a magic cure, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you are taking optimal care of your physical and emotional wellbeing, and giving your body the tools it needs to keep you healthy.
•Enjoy foods that boost immunity, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic, wild-caught salmon, and more.
•Stress less by unplugging from the news and social media for periods, connecting with family and friends through a phone call or FaceTime, and practicing gratitude.
•Incorporate some type of movement each day, and try to get out in nature when possible.
•Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
•Cultivate a daily mindfulness practice through meditation or prayer/ pranayams
•Prioritize sleep by turning off electronics at least an hour before bed and making the bedroom comfortable for sleep.
Here are some vitamins and minerals and their sources:
•Vitamin C increases the amount of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies in your body, raises the body’s good cholesterol, and lowers the risk of certain types of cancer. Just 200milligrams a day works well and can be obtained by eating at least six servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The Vitamin C foods that boost your immune system best are Guava, papaya, strawberries, kiwi, Amla, Orange, and Grapefruit. Vitamin C supplements are also an option.
Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germ and cancer cells. A diet rich in seeds, healthy vegetable oils, and grains can provide 30 to 60milligrams of Vitamin E each day, but supplements may be necessary to get the recommended 100-400 milligrams per day depending on your lifestyle. Generally, a more active lifestyle doesn’trequire as much Vitamin E.
This mineral increases natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. The best food sources of selenium are shellfish, seafood, whole grains, brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese,
chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic.
•Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These immune system boosters that are found primarily in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and sardines) increase the activity of the cells that eat up bacteria. Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. When taking essential fatty acid supplements, such as flax or fish oils, take additional vitamin E which acts together with essential fatty acids to boost the immune system. One way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is to add one to three teaspoons of flax oil or four tablespoons of flax seed to a fruit and yogurt smoothie.
As you can see, it’s not difficult to incorporate foods that boost your immune system into your diet. Begin to experiment with eating more of these delicious foods, and pay attention to how much better you feel.
Here’s to staying safe, healthy, and happy. At home.
(The author is a lifestyle coach and diet counsellor. She tweets @Bipasha1sugati)