As we are all aware of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it is having on our daily lives, here are some top tips from our Nutritionist, Sam Barrows, to help maintain optimum immune health.
1. EAT THE RAINBOW
Try and make your food as colourful as possible by eating a variety of different types of fruit and veg, as this helps to promote good health and immune function. Eating fruit and veg of a variety of colours also helps to prevent nutrient deficiencies which could increase your risk of illness.
Staying hydrated sounds simple but is almost always overlooked by many individuals. To stay hydrated, regularly sip a cool drink (i.e. water/squash) and monitor your urine colour. If you pass urine that is more yellow than clear in colour, start to increase your fluid intake.
Probiotics help to support gut health by improving the level of good bacteria in the gut and improve the bodies first line of defence against illness. An example of a readily available probiotic is Yakult.
4. VITAMIN C
Vitamin C helps to decrease your illness risk / reduce illness symptoms and duration. Some foods to help boost your vitamin C intake: kiwis, oranges, peppers, pineapples, strawberries.
5. VITAMIN D*
Research shows how vitamin D is vital for bone health, muscle function and immunity. The body’s main source of Vitamin D comes through sunlight exposure, therefore during the winter months or when limiting sunlight exposure (spending time indoors) deficiency can occur. To be safe, it may be beneficial to have your vitamin D level assessed as supplementation may be required to correct this.
Whilst sleep is not necessarily nutrition related, it is important that you have a regular sleeping pattern and aim for 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night. Sleeping for less than 7 hours can negatively impact your immune health and increase your susceptibility to illness.
7. HAND WASH / SANITISER
Regularly wash your hands to help remove any germs or bacteria you may have picked up by touching any surface. Where possible travel with hand sanitiser in your bag/pocket.
*If you are an athlete reading this and considering taking supplements highlighted in this blog, make sure that your product is informed sport tested.
Eat well, stay healthy!
– Sam Barrows, Nutritionist – Pyramid Performance & Health