In my last article I explained what a virus is and how they can affect and express inside a human body. To take this to the next step and assuming you have read the above linked article, let us discuss and explain the current facts and information on COVID-19.
Let me start this article by saying that I'm simply going to state the clear facts and information that is present regarding COVID19 so far. This will not be an article on the various conspiracy theories out there regarding COVID19. The internet is full of those, so if that’s what you’re searching for, feel free to Google away on that.
Regardless of what you believe, I must say that COVID19 has been extremely disruptive to families and societies globally. I’ve had friends, relatives and colleagues who have lost loved ones or are currently fighting COVID19 themselves. My heart goes out to those who have suffered and those who are currently battling this virus in order to survive. We always tend to throw numbers at large scale issues and typically forget that behind these numbers are people. People like us who were simply living their lives before COVID19 started to spread.
So, with that in mind, let's look at the actual facts based on what we know so far about COVID19. Here is a simple to digest breakdown :
One important item to mention here is that face masks are very important to limit the spread of COVID19. However, masks should only be used if you yourself feel you may have a cold, flu-like symptoms or COVID19 . Wearing a mask prevents you from spreading most colds, flus and COVID19. The majority of masks provide very little protection against COVID19 unless you’re using an N95 particle filter or above rating mask and wear it consistently.
This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is now a pandemic affecting many countries globally .
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every 5 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, or cancer, are at higher risk of developing serious illness. However, anyone can catch COVID-19 and become seriously ill. People of all ages who experience fever and/or cough associated with difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical attention immediately. If possible, it is recommended to call the health care provider or facility first, so the patient can be directed to the right clinic .
Research indicates that children and adolescents are just as likely to become infected as any other age group and can spread the disease. Evidence to date suggests that children and young adults are less likely to get severe disease, but severe cases can still happen in these age groups. Children and adults should follow the same guidance on self-quarantine and self-isolation if there is a risk they have been exposed or are showing symptoms. It is particularly important that children avoid contact with older people and others who are at risk of more severe disease .
COVID19 can survive temperatures higher than 25C. You can catch it no matter how sunny and warm it is. So, whatever the weather you should follow the official advice to protect yourself from the virus. Getting out into the sunshine, if you can, is still a good idea as this helps your body produce vitamin D which is important for your immune system .
You shouldn't use strong disinfectants to clean your body. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or rubbing an alcohol-based sanitizer on them will stop the virus spreading. Using stronger chemicals on your skin can be dangerous. Never drink disinfectant or hand sanitizer as this can do serious damage .
In terms of the numbers of those infected, recovered and those that have unfortunately passed on from COVID19 are approximately the following at the time of writing this article :
Comparing the number of those that have passed away to those that have been infected gives a 6.72% fatality rate. This number may seem high to those reading this article, and yes 311k number of deaths is high, especially in my opinion if those in power in the Western world could have handled and been a lot smarter in tackling the spread of COVID19.
But, without sounding too insensitive to the number of deaths as that is not my intention, i’m simply stating facts that i’ve researched online, let's compare COVID19 to other commonly known diseases and pathogens that we have seen in the past and their fatality rates :
We can see that the fatality rate is more severe for past pathogens when compared to COVID19. Of course we don’t know the full fatality rate of COVID19. The R rate of infection, the average length of recovery or if asymptomatic people can pass on the virus is all yet to be verified and proved. We will know in time as with most new viruses and pathogens.
To keep the number of deaths in context, approximately 4000 people a day are dying from COVID19 as the latest statistics show. These statistics do not show the percentage of those daily deaths that had underlying medical conditions in addition to COVID19. To place this into context, here is a breakdown of daily deaths of many other diseases :
When looking at these numbers above, COVID19 is near the bottom of this list as it currently stands with the data we have present. In conclusion to this article, I would suggest that staying alert and being sensible in what you do outdoors, especially if you’re a person who has serious underlying health conditions or are classified as elderly or live with those that have underlying health conditions.
Stay safe, be sensible, practice clean hygiene and if you do feel unwell, for now isolate at home and call your local health centre.
It is very common to hear about foods that are good for your brain, your heart and your gut. But what about foods that protect the cells in your body? Those would be the ones packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants is thrown about like a buzzword to sound hip and smart when it comes to food, but i’d wager most people don’t know what they actually do for you. Well have no fear, in this article i’ll be going through and simplifying what antioxidants are, what they do and how they are beneficial for you.
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, wine, and chocolate. There are thousands of antioxidant compounds out there, you’ve probably heard of flavanols (found in chocolate), resveratrol (found in wine), and lycopene (found in tomatoes). Other popular antioxidants include vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, E, and catechins .
Antioxidants help prevent or stop cell damage caused by oxidants. (Get it? Antioxidants) “Oxidants are free radicals that you find in the environment, but they're also produced naturally in your body,” says Diane McKay, Ph.D., an assistant professor and researcher at Tufts University’s Antioxidants Research Laboratory .
Every single one of us has both antioxidants and free radicals present inside of our bodies at all times. Some antioxidants are made from the body itself, while we must get others from our diets by eating high antioxidant foods that double as anti-inflammatory foods. Our bodies also produce free radicals as byproducts of cellular reactions. For example, the liver produces and uses free radicals to detoxify the body, while white blood cells send free radicals to destroy bacteria, viruses and damaged cells .
When certain types of oxygen molecules are allowed to travel freely in the body, they cause what’s known as oxidative damage, which is the formation of free radicals. When antioxidant levels in the body are lower than that of free radicals due to poor nutrition, toxin exposure or other factors. Oxidation wreaks havoc in the body. The effect? Accelerated aging, damaged or mutated cells, broken-down tissue, the activation of harmful genes within DNA, and an overloaded immune system .
There are a wide range of antioxidants found in nature, and because they are so varied, different antioxidants provide benefits to different parts of the body. For example, beta-carotene (and other carotenoids) is very beneficial to eye health; lycopene is beneficial for helping maintain prostate health; flavonoids are especially beneficial for heart health; and proanthocyanidins are beneficial for urinary tract health .
When skin is exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light, photo-oxidative damage is induced by the formation of different types of reactive species of oxygen, including singlet oxygen, superoxide radicals, and peroxide radicals. These forms of reactive oxygen damage cellular lipids, proteins, and DNA, and they are considered to be the primary contributors to erythema (sunburn), premature aging of the skin, photodermatoses, and skin cancers .
Astaxanthin, followed by beta-carotene combined with vitamin E has been shown to be one of the most powerful antioxidant combinations for helping protect the skin from reactive species of oxygen .
Increasing one's antioxidant intake is essential for optimum health, especially in today's polluted world. Because the body just can't keep up with antioxidant production, a good amount of these vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes must come from one's daily diet. Boosting your antioxidant intake can help provide added protection for the body against :
From a nutritional perspective, there are many different foods that can provide different antioxidants to varying different degrees and dosage levels. As a good broad guidance, here are a list of my favourite ones and the uses they have :
That is a very basic list, the amount of foods that have antioxidant properties goes into the hundreds. Your diet should consist of various different colours of foods and also contain a good mix of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
If you feel you could benefit from guidance on adequate antioxidant intake or require nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com
This will be my last blog of 2017. It’s been a extremely productive and busy year for me. I’ve set up multiple businesses, maintained a full-time job, have been blogging almost every week since the end of this summer, also getting into forex trading, cryptocurrency investing and sorting out my personal investments has been challenging but lots of fun. I’ve had little down time and apart from a few city breaks and have worked every weekend since February of this year. Would I swap the journey i’ve had this year for anything else? Nope! I genuinely feel i’m in a better place now then I was a year ago, and making progress on a personal, physical, emotional, financial and professional level have left me feeling very proud of what i’ve achieved in 10 months.
Looking back on the last 12 months, I have often wondered how I have been able to get through the year. Was it that I eat a healthy balanced diet? Exercise regularly? Or maybe that most nights I get 8 hours sleep? Or the fact that I have managed to create a lifestyle where I have little stress? Or lastly, could it be the minerals I take every day? A short answer is all of the above. The more specific answer is it's the minerals I take daily.
Minerals are absolutely essential for our body. In fact in some cases they are more beneficial than vitamins which seem to be getting all of the attention. Before I go into the details, let us discuss what minerals are and why they are so essential for the body.
Minerals are essential nutrients that the body needs. The millions of tiny cells in your body require essential nutrients to grow, develop and work together in perfect harmony. These essential nutrients, those that your body needs but cannot produce, include the inorganic substances found in foods known as minerals . Minerals are inorganic substances that are found in soil and rocks. They are essential nutrients that the body needs to survive and carry out daily functions and processes. You receive minerals by eating plants that absorb them from the earth and by eating meat from animals, which graze on plants. Minerals keep you healthy and have key roles in several body functions. You require these important nutrients from your daily diet .
Before going into specific details of why minerals are essential for the body, there is a caveat when it comes to minerals. That is that there are two types of them. They are called macrominerals and trace minerals. Macro means "large" in Greek (and your body needs larger amounts of macrominerals than trace minerals). The macro mineral group is made up of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur. A trace of something means that there is only a little of it. So even though your body needs trace minerals, it needs just a tiny bit of each one. Trace minerals includes iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium .
Now that we know the types of minerals there are, below are the main uses they have for the human body :
Below shows the specific minerals and what functions and uses they have for the human body :
Boron: This mineral plays an essential part in improving and maintaining optimal bone health, brain function, anti-aging processes, and sexual health. It also aids in preventing cancer, treating Alzheimer’s disease, and reducing muscle pain.
Calcium: This vital mineral also boosts bone health (prevents osteoporosis), relieves arthritis, improves dental health, and relieves insomnia, menopause, premenstrual syndrome and cramps. Furthermore, it is important in preventing or treating obesity, colon cancer, acidity, heart and kidney ailments, and lowering high blood pressure.
Magnesium: Magnesium helps boost the immune system, treat high blood pressure, prevent heart attack and asthma, give relief from alcoholism, and improve bone health. It also relieves cramps, and aids in managing diabetes, menopause, and pregnancy. Magnesium is also very important in terms of lowering anxiety and stress, and has been closely linked to giving relief from insomnia, due to its enzymatic role in releasing hormones that calm the body and induce sleep.
Phosphorus: This mineral is integral in reducing muscle weakness, improving bone health, boosting brain function, preventing aging, reducing sexual weakness, aiding in dental care, and optimizing body metabolism.
Potassium: As a vasodilator, potassium reduces the tension in the blood vessels, and ensures the proper distribution of oxygen to vital organ systems, while protecting against cardiovascular diseases. It can correct low blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, increase water flow in the body, alleviate muscle disorders and cramps, boost brain function, manage arthritis and diabetes, and treat kidney disorders.
Silicon: This mineral plays an important role in optimal health of bones, skin, hair, nail, dental health. It also gives relief from sleep disorders, atherosclerosis and tuberculosis and promotes tissue development.
Sodium: This widely used mineral is a key to water balance, preventing sunstroke, improving brain function, relieving muscle cramps, and preventing premature aging.
Iron: Iron’s primary role in the body is with regard to the formation of hemoglobin, which guarantees circulation of the blood and oxygenation to various organ systems. Without iron, anemia sets in, this is manifested in muscle weakness, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, and cognitive malfunction. Apart from that, it is a key element for ensuring proper body metabolism, muscle activity, brain function, and the regulation of body temperature. Further, it also aids in boosting immunity and giving relief from insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
Zinc: It is an essential component of more than 10 important enzymatic functions of the body. Without zinc, the body will quickly lose overall function and results in a number of health concerns, including the inability to heal wounds, store insulin, fight off disease, develop proper growth patterns, as well as defend against a variety of skin infections. This mineral helps in treating eczema, acne, night blindness and prostate disorders, relieving cold, and managing weight. Zinc also ensures healthy pregnancy and reproduction.
Manganese: Manganese plays an important role in the management of body metabolism, osteoporosis, reducing fatigue, reproduction, sprains, inflammation, brain function, and epilepsy.
Copper: This common mineral improves brain function, soothes arthritis, helps in skin care, eliminates throat infections, corrects hemoglobin deficiency, prevents heart diseases, and boosts immunity. It is commonly associated with the uptake of iron and the facilitation of a properly functioning circulatory system.
Iodine: This often overlooked mineral can alleviate goiter, fibrocystic breast disease, skin conditions, and cancer, while improving hair health, protecting pregnancy, and improving body’s metabolism.
Iodide: This is a secondary form of iodine, but is very important in terms of bodily function. It is involved in the overall thyroid function, and its deficiency can cause goiter. Iodide is vital for producing thyroxine (T4), without which, the body can experience a fall in metabolic rate and an increase in cholesterol levels.
Chromium: This trace mineral is important for glucose uptake in the body, so is particularly relevant to those suffering from diabetes. It increases glucose uptake by the cells, which stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, and although both the things typically seem like negative components for health, they are actually essential in small levels for a functional, healthy life.
Selenium: Selenium might be a rare mineral, but its function is significant. It is one of the most powerful mineral antioxidants, and it actually prevents the formation of new free radicals by participating in various cellular reactions, which lower the peroxide concentration in the cellular body. Reducing free radical formation is only one of selenium’s functions. It is also essential for bone growth, along with calcium, copper, and zinc.
As can be seen, minerals are very essential to the human body. With a lack of minerals, the human body can very rapidly deteriorate and shut down. A lack of minerals can also lead to diseases occurring more frequently in the body. Mineral deficiency is a serious condition and long-term lack of minerals is now a common symptom in lots of people. Even the NHS in the UK has the following statement on their website “Vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly and stay healthy. Most people should get all the nutrients they need by having a varied and balanced diet, although some few people may need to take extra supplements. ”
There are a number of factors that can also deplete minerals from the body. Some of these are listen here :
It should be noted that it is very easy to overdose on minerals too. You should take mineral intake very seriously and ensure you do not take more than the recommended stated dose unless instructed to do so by a medical professional. When mineral toxicity results from the excessive consumption of mineral supplements, toxicity can be prevented by minimizing the use of dietary supplements and keeping iron tablets in particular out of the reach of children. Zinc toxicity may be prevented by not storing food or beverages in zinc containers. In the case of iodine, toxicity can be prevented by avoiding overconsumption of seaweed or kelp. In the case of selenium toxicity resulting from high-selenium soils, toxicity can be prevented by relying on food and water acquired from a low-selenium region .
For most of us, getting minerals by having a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, meat and fresh spring or mountain water should be sufficient. Your diet should consist of a mixed range of foods, with different colour foods on your plate to ensure you’re getting different sources of mineral content.
So there you have it. By reading this you should be more clued up on minerals, what they are, how they help the body and how you can get adequate mineral intake by having a varied sensible diet. If you feel you could benefit from guidance on mineral balancing or require nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at email@example.com or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com
I’d like to thank you for reading my blogs this year and for sharing my content. It means a lot to me that you take the time to read my blogs every week. I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2018. I wish for the best of health, wealth, love and happiness for you all. Have lots of fun and get rested for a good positive start to 2018.
Over the years there has been much debate on sleep and how important it is for us all. Why is it that some people can have 4 hours sleep and function normally, whereas I myself need a good 8 hours to function at my best. The answer is simple, we are all unique and our bodies need different amounts of everything. What works for one person, won’t work for everyone else. So next time someone is bragging that they can get by on 4 hours sleep, don’t feel like they are superior to you. You may have other things your body is superior at, such as better skin, more focus, more muscles or a faster metabolism to name a few things.
Why is sleep so important for us? Well, let us discuss what sleep is, what it does for us and why we need it.
Sleep (or at least a physiological period of quiescence) is a highly conserved behavior that occurs in animals ranging from fruit flies to humans. This prevalence notwithstanding, why we sleep is not well understood. Since animals are particularly vulnerable while sleeping, there must be advantages that outweigh this considerable disadvantage. Shakespeare characterized sleep as “nature's soft nurse,” noting the restorative nature of sleep. From a perspective of energy conservation, one function of sleep is to replenish brain glycogen levels, which fall during the waking hours. In keeping with this idea, humans and many other animals sleep at night. Since it is generally colder at night, more energy would have to be expended to keep warm, were we nocturnally active. Furthermore, body temperature has a 24-hour cycle, reaching a minimum at night and thus reducing heat loss. As might be expected, human metabolism measured by oxygen consumption decreases during sleep .
Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning. Whether you're learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative. Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested .
Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes. Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility. Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances .
Before I go through the specific advantages of sleep, I want to outline how the sleep cycle works, as it's important to know this.
While you sleep, you go through cycles of sleep states. The first state in a sleep cycle is light sleep (NREM), followed by deep sleep and a dream state referred to as REM-sleep. NREM stands for Non Rapid Eye Movement and REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is normally repeated several times each night. Let's go through these cycles in detail :
Stage 1 NREM: This stage occurs after you have decided to sleep and your eyes are closed. During this stage—which typically lasts between 1 and 10 minutes—you are lightly asleep, and you can quickly return to being fully awake.
Stage 2 NREM: When NREM Stage 2 sleep kicks in, things get serious!
Stage 3 NREM: This sleep stage refers to the combined stages of what was previously separated into Stage 3 & 4 sleep.
Stage 4 REM: This is the final stage of a standard sleep cycle. The first Rapid Eye Movement sleep stage lasts around 10 minutes and usually happens after having been asleep at least 90 minutes.
REM sleep is also known as “paradoxical sleep.” This is because the brain waves emitted during this stage seem contradictory to sleep: Although you are sleeping, your brain waves look at lot like what can be recorded when you are fully awake. Another aspect of this paradox is the fact that even though your brain shows heightened activity, most of your muscles are paralyzed.
Now that we have seen what sleep actually is and the processes your body goes through on an average sleep cycle, let us see the many benefits of a good night's sleep :
It is clear that sleep is very important for us all. I for one love sleeping! With the weather getting cooler and the nights getting longer, there is nothing better than getting into a comfortable bed and getting some shut eye. Especially for those of us who exercise during the week (which should be all of us :-)), sleep is important for muscle recovery and growth.
A lack of sleep is more damaging to one's health then is accepted or acknowledged. Sleep seems to be missed off most diagnostics and is something which is commonly accepted as ok if one does not get enough sleep. By having a good nights sleep, we can tackle the day with a burst fullness of energy and determination.
Here are the long term effects of not getting enough sleep :
Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won’t function normally. It can also dramatically lower your quality of life. A review of 16 studies found that sleeping for less than 6 to 8 hours a night increases the risk of early death by about 12 percent. The obvious signs of sleep deprivation are:
Stimulants like caffeine aren’t enough to override your body’s profound need for sleep. Behind the scenes, chronic sleep deprivation can interfere with your body’s internal systems and cause more than just the initial signs and symptoms listed above.
Everyone’s experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep. An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health. After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes .
So what can be done to have what I call good ‘sleep hygiene’ for a good night's sleep? There are a few quick wins that can be easily done to help ensure you get a restful night’s sleep. Here is my quick win guide:
Frequent sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene. In addition, if you're taking too long to fall asleep, you should consider evaluating your sleep routine and revising your bedtime habits. Just a few simple changes can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and night spent tossing and turning .
As can be seen, by having a good sleep routine, with sensible diet choices and exercise will help you have a good night sleep. When we have a good nights sleep, we make sensible eating choices the next day, have more energy and generally feel better.
If you feel you require support with your sleep issues or require general guidance on nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com
With the shift in weather this time of year for those of us in Europe and North America, common colds, flus and viruses seem to flare up and do the rounds. From using crowded public transport facilities to working in air conditioned offices where the air is ‘recycled’, yes in most cities this time of year it’s a germ fest! So what can be done to ensure that your immune system is at its peak to fight off these nasty bugs and ensure you can have a healthy couple of months going into Christmas and the New Year.
Lets first discuss what is the immune system? The immune system is a collection of structures and processes within the body. It is designed to protect against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, and distinguishes them from the body's own healthy tissue .
The immune system is made up of antibodies, white blood cells, and other chemicals and proteins that attack and destroy substances such as bacteria and viruses that they recognise as foreign and different. The immune system also includes :
Without an immune system, a human being would be just as exposed to the harmful influences of pathogens or other substances from the outside environment as to changes harmful to health happening inside of the body. As long as our body’s system of defense is running smoothly, we do not notice the immune system. And yet, different groups of cells work together and form alliances against just about any pathogen (germ). But illness can occur if the performance of the immune system is compromised, if the pathogen is especially aggressive, or sometimes also if the body is confronted with a pathogen it has not come into contact before (this is how most of us get a common cold or the flu) .
So now that we know what the immune system is and how it works, what can we do to keep it healthy and running in peak condition? Here’s a few quick wins that we should all be doing :
What is almost always overlooked is the importance of exercise and the role it plays in keeping the immune system healthy. There have been many studies done that both say exercise is both good for your immune system and could also be harmful for you if you’re over exercising. Some theories of getting regular exercise to help the immune system are the following :
Exercise is good for you, but, you should not overdo it. People who already exercise should not exercise more just to increase their immunity. Heavy, long-term exercise (such as marathon running and intense gym training) could actually cause harm. Exercise makes you feel healthier and more energetic. It can help you feel better about yourself. So go ahead, take that aerobics class or go for that walk. You will feel better and healthier for it.
Let's also look at foods that can help boost your immune system and keep it in top shape:
Garlic (my favourite) - contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. One ounce of garlic contains 23% of your Manganese RDA, 17% of your Vitamin B6 RDA, 15% of your Vitamin C RDA, 6% of your Selenium RDA and also decent amounts of fibre, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1 .
Green Tea - People who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink, in a Harvard study. The amino acid that's responsible for this immune boost, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea, decaf versions have it too. Optimal dose is several cups daily. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. To get up to five times more antioxidants from your tea bags, bob them up and down while you brew .
Sweet Potatoes - To stay strong and healthy, your skin needs vitamin A. "Vitamin A plays a major role in the production of connective tissue, a key component of skin," explains David Katz, M.D., director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Centre in Derby, Connecticut. One of the best ways to get vitamin A into your diet is from foods containing beta-carotene (like sweet potatoes), which your body turns into vitamin A .
Green Leafy Vegetables - Vegetables come loaded with fibre and nutrients and are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cabbages are loaded with essential vitamins and antioxidants that boost immune system functioning .
Berries - Blueberries are famous for their high antioxidant content, but almost all berries are very healthy. They contain flavonoids and phytochemicals, which are powerful antioxidants. Berries are versatile and can be used to make a range of healthy smoothies, desserts and more for yourself and your kids .
Nuts - Nuts like almonds, peanuts, and walnuts are great sources of fats. They also contain vitamin E and zinc along with a good amount of antioxidants. They are also versatile and easy to mix with different foods. To optimise digestibility of nuts and seeds, soak and dehydrate them first and all nuts and seeds can be easily made into delicious homemade nut or seed butter .
Ginger - Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea. While it's used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties, according to recent animal research .
Poultry - When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6. Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity .
In addition to consuming healthy foods, it's also critical to stay hydrated in order to help keep your throat and airways clear, says Maxine Yeung, MS, RD, CDN, NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk. But not all beverages help fight illness. "Hot tea is a great way to stay hydrated, provide warmth and comfort to an irritated and inflamed throat and help relieve congestion," says Yeung. "Try to avoid sweetened beverages, like sports drinks and juice, as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation... which further weakens your immune system ."
When you're trying to fight off an illness, focus on consuming foods that are packed with nutrients. "It's not what to avoid, but what to include in your diet that is important for immunity," says Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com. And of course, the old adage that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" always applies. "The best way to stave off the cold and flu is try to stay as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active and practicing good hygiene," says Yeung. "There is no magical food that can help prevent a cold, but lacking in certain nutrients can contribute to a compromised immune system." So for the best cold prevention, focus on eating balanced healthy meals all year-round .
Lastly, supplements can also be used to help boost and maintain the immune system. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D-3, Freeze Dried Garlic, Ginger Root, Zinc, Magnesium and Olive Leaf Extract are some of my favourite ones to use to boost the immune system. Whilst i’m not affiliated with any supplement companies, if you require guidance on which brands to use, contact me! If you’re using supplements, make sure they are ethically sourced with organic and food based ingredients and are not filled with fillers and preservatives. You should always take supplements on a short term basis.
In conclusion, I would suggest that staying hydrated, avoiding sugary foods, having foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and different colours as well as having the foods I mentioned above and exercising will help you maintain good, healthy and thriving immune system. Processed foods should be avoided as much as possible. The plate you eat should be rich in colours, such as greens, reds, oranges and whites. If you think you require support with your immune system or require general guidance on nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at email@example.com or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com