• Ann Taylor

Nutrition, lifestyle and our immune resilience

As we continue to adapt through this covid-19 situation along with other typical winter flus and other possible viral infections, please - if you are independently able to be self-responsible for your health - continue to do all the sensible things advised by health authorities (hand washing and safe distancing etc), AND do some sensible immune support with your nutritional choices and daily habits.

I wrote back in March about food-boosting our immune systems. Here's a reminder of some more 'healthful' tips for the whole family:

  • When you wake up in the morning, drink warm water with lemon or lime and/or ginger juice and/or a pinch of Celtic sea salt - or at least just warm water to hydrate a dry mouth.

  • Gargle a salt water solution of 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup warm water, ideally morning and evening.

  • Keep your throat moist by drinking warm fluids (not iced drinks) through the day. Best to be sipping regularly through day, and best if you can drink filtered water. Easier if you have carry a water bottle with you.

  • Get outdoors into fresh air rather than being in air conditioned spaces all day.

  • Get out into sunshine when possible for some safe sun exposure on your skin so your body can produce vitamin D naturally.

  • Do regular moderate exercise - best outdoors. Brisk walking definitely a good option!

  • Cold water sea swims if you can! Avoid indoor chemically treated swimming pools.

  • Use a humidifier if needed if your nose is blocking during the night, and which makes you mouth breath, which dries out your mouth, which increases your vulnerability to viral and bacterial infections. Or use a vaporising chest rub to help clear congestion Also, you can get a saline nasal spray, e.g. Fess, from a pharmacy to help clear dust, pollen etc from your nose.

  • And DO get enough restful night-time sleep! Research shows our bodies are better at producing an antibody response to infections when we consistently sleep more than 7 hours a night (Prather etal, 2012). Make your bedrooms a sanctuary from disturbances that prevent you sleeping well. Our exposures to blue light after sunset and electromagnetic fields from multiple e-devices and wi-fi radiation, not only adversely affect our circadian rhythm, but are causing metabolic harm at a cellular level, including immune dysregulation. I will share more about this soon.

Meanwhile, here’re some more simple and healthy food suggestions:

  • A fresh fruit salad (choice of 3-4 fruits of oranges, grapefruit, pineapples, apples, pears, cucumber, lemon or lime juice, some chopped mint leaves if available, optionally a teaspoon of raw honey) - will provide good vitamin C and all the synergistic bioflavonoids better than a synthetic supplement. You can serve with some natural yoghurt and pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds for healthy fats and protein.

  • Good quality eggs from pastured chickens for complete protein: e.g. scrambled eggs on sourdough toast is an easy any time of day meal.

  • Dhal and rice provides complete protein in an easy and delicious any time of day meal, flavoured with spices. Look up a recipe for the Ayuverdic dish called kitcharee or kitchardi.

  • Home make some pesto so you can use a good quality olive oil (not canola or other highly processed seed oils, which are highly inflammatory): have it on bread/toast/dollop in soup/on top of steamed vegetables; an easy way to get some concentrated mineral rich greens.

  • Brothy soups: e.g. lots of chopped vegetables in a vegetable stock; a split pea soup with lots of onions in a vegetable stock base; a chicken and vegetable soup; a simple chicken broth flavoured to taste with Celtic sea salt. I do make my own chicken stock when I can, but my short-cut chicken broth is the NutraOrganics chicken broth powder, to which I like to add some green peas.

This covid19 situation is creating significant challenges, globally and locally and individually; and both good and bad changes could eventuate. Let’s focus on reflecting on what good changes we’d like in our lives, including surely more resilient health; and taking action to make these changes happen. Healthier diet and lifestyle habits are choices you can make in your own time. What you choose to do can have an influential impact on others in your realm of influence. Let’s aspire for positive healthy impact!