Guest post by Bondi Vite
The colder months bring with them lots of challenges for our immunity, it can sometimes feel like every second person you speak with either has, or is recovering from a cold or flu. We know how important it is to manage your immunity carefully during that time of year, because of how easy it is to pick up these immune-busting illnesses. This doesn’t mean that we can drop our guard for the rest of the year. As we enter warmer months, maintaining your immunity and keeping it strong is something we need to always be mindful of – especially if we’re highly active.
Team sports are a breeding ground for the flu once it infiltrates, with high-performance managers always on alert across the year. It can come from anywhere, the gym, the kids, or from just generally being run down. We're most susceptible to illness when our training load is high, as our body does its best to deal with the stress we put it under.
This is why keeping healthy is an even higher priority during this COVID19 period, without the added complications of a lockdown as the world still navigates its way through the pandemic. Bondi Vite's latest immune health range has recently been launched to give you a boost in your body's natural defense system.
Here are five nutrition tips to help keep your immunity firing year-round!
Hydration status is important for all facets of health and performance including the immunity space. Dehydration can lead to cell membranes being more permeable to pathogens and bacteria, which can make us more likely to pick up a cold or flu. If you are struggling to keep up your water intake in the cooler months, look to increase your fluid intake with other drinks like herbal teas, or try drinking your water at room temperature rather than ice-cold.
All the greens
Another win for getting enough color in your day! Meeting your daily five servings of vegetables is so important when it comes to good nutrition and the power of food. Eating enough nutrients each day helps reduce the risk of becoming unwell, but also helps optimize day-to-day performance, be it in your training sessions or at work. A general rule to aim for is having half of your lunch and half of your dinner coming from salad or vegetables, and then anything extra at breakfast or snacks is a win! With less than 5% of children and 8% of adults eating enough vegetables, this is a big area of improvement for most people.
Healthy fats for the win
When we talk healthy fats, we are talking extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, or fish. The long and short of the story here – healthy fats are an essential part of the diet. Healthy fats are key to healthy cell membranes and assist with moving fat-soluble nutrients around the body. They also help keep membranes and skin healthy. Omega 3s are particularly important and are richest in oily fish (such as salmon or tuna), walnuts, and chia seeds.
Herbs and spice make everything nice
Certain herbs and spices can impact immunity. Garlic, turmeric, and ginger are commonly used to help build the immune system and rid the body of illness. Boost these up in your cooked meals, fresh juices, or even get creative with an immunity shot consisting of some of these wonderful immune boosters.
The bone broth had a moment recently, and whilst further research is needed, consumption of collagen or gelatin may assist with reducing gaps in the cells in our gut. Reducing these gaps can help reduce susceptibility for pathogens to move from the digestive tract into the blood, and as such may have a beneficial impact on immunity.
In saying all of this, the big rocks when it comes to immunity are sleep, hygiene, and managing stress! While it may seem odd that dietitians are talking about sleep and nutrition together, they seriously go hand-in-hand. Lack of sleep has a significant impact on the immune system, along with an increased risk of a number of other health issues as well.