Hello there lovely people, I hope you’re all doing well ♥️
I know that most of us are a worried about everything going on at the moment; I’m sure this had frightened most of us to our very core. Understandably so. When the newest pandemic had hit Italy, it was already a bit too close for comfort. Now that we’re facing a spread locally, I know that many of us are spending most of our time at home – rightly so!
The atmosphere locally has me feeling a bit on edge to be totally honest. The photos of empty supermarket shelves and videos of people fighting over food is scary. The quiet is deafening and the situation is horrible.
After a week from hell; worrying about family and friends (some of whom can’t stay home and are in the front lines), moving our wedding, losing deposits, losing our honeymoon, neither one of us being about to and worrying about everything else – I think I’ve finally come to terms with the situation. I’m obviously concerned but I’m trying to be positive and proactive.
Little knowledge can be very dangerous – it seems as though EVERYONE and their cat is talking about the Coronavirus at the moment. I would urge you to get your info from a reliable source and not from what you hear from other people or on social media. I feel as though we’re making a bad situation far worse as it stands. Follow what the experts are telling us:
Practice good hygiene, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home as much as you possibly can and practice social distancing!
Now, I’m not here to give you medical advice or information – I’m here to talk to you about staying healthy using nutrition. This is what I have been studying for years – never related to a pandemic of course, however staying healthy and avoiding illness is what nutrition is all about. Moreover, holistic nutrition is all about both nutrition and lifestyle – not just about what we eat but also about how we live. Taking a holistic approach!
Despite the fact that we can all get sick from time to time, there are many things we can do that can help keep our immune system strong and in turn allow it to keep us from getting ill. Here, I’m talking about keeping our immune system healthy, in no way am I implying that I have the cure or the answer to the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world very hard!
Please keep in mind that this is not magic, it’s not going to work overnight and if you are sick, see a doctor first and foremost. However, if you are not sick and would like to give yourself a better chance at staying that way, here are some things that might help:
Stay hydrated: I know we’ve heard this many times before, however giving your body sufficient clean, fresh water is imperative. If you’d like to switch it up and don’t often drink a lot of water during the colder months, try some herbal teas instead. You’ll not only get the hydration your body so desperately needs, you’ll also get the benefit of added vitamins from the fruits or herbs used to make the herbal teas themselves.
Eat a LOT of fibre: If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I talk about the importance of fibre all the time. There’s a very valid, scientifically proven, reason for this. 70% of our immune system lives inside of our gut. One of the MOST important things that helps keep our gut healthy is, you guessed it, FIBRE. Any and all plant foods contain fibre. The foods that are most rich in fibre include: chia seeds, almonds, chickpeas, split peas, kidney beans, Oats, popcorn (provided you don’t add too much fat) and avocados. There is no need to obsess about eating these foods – as I mentioned, ALL fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and legumes are high fibre foods; just make sure you include them into your diet.
Fibre is undigested in the stomach and travels to our intestines where it feeds our good bacteria. Happy gut bacteria = better health. Fibre is also associated with weight loss, lower and more stable blood sugar levels (which in turn helps avoid the development of diabetes) and helps avoid constipation.
As I mentioned, lentils are an excellent source of fibre – I’ve written blog post all about lentils, you can find it here: https://holisticnutritionninja.com/2020/02/25/everything-you-need-to-know-about-lentils/ Here’s you’ll also find links to some of my fave recipes using lentils 🙂
Sleep: Many internationally and scientifically valid studies have shown consistently that sufficient sound sleep is of utmost important for our mental and physical health and it has also been shown to help keep our immune system functioning optimally. What is consistent in all studies is the powerful effects of having a routine.
Now that many people are at home, this is the perfect time to start monitoring you natural sleep cycles. It has been shown that people who go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday have healthier and more sound sleep, maintain healthier weight and show positive outcomes when testing overall health and immune system responses.
Try to sleep at whatever time you normally go to bed and wake up without an alarm; don’t stay in bed too long after waking up. Do this for a few days consecutively and monitor how many hours you’re sleeping. The consensus is that normally most people do well on 8 hours of sleep, however, this is not a rule. If your sleep cycled is 6.5 hours or if it’s 10 hours, that’s perfectly fine provided your sleep is unbroken, you wake up feeling well rested and you sleep for the same or almost the same number of hours every night.
Antioxidant Rich Foods: You can think of antioxidants as minuscule but very brave soldiers ; their job is to fight (neutralise) invaders (free radicals) that are present within our bodies. We ALWAYS have invaders in our bodies – this is a natural process that occurs even by the simple process of breathing and converting oxygen into a component that can travel through our blood.
Antioxidants that are present in foods, neutralise free radicals to keep us healthy. To maintain good health, we need to ensure getting sufficient antioxidant rich foods in our diets. Antioxidant supplements are also available however there is not sufficient evidence that shows the benefit of using these. Getting sufficient antioxidants from our diet is a much safer bet!
Antioxidant rich foods include: dark chocolate (yey), pecans, blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, goji berries, raspberries, kale, spinach and beets. Other foods that are also rich sources include onions, garlic, leeks, grapes, aubergine, tea, red wine, seafood, liver, nuts and some seafood.
Use Superfoods: If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m not the biggest proponent of superfoods – not because they’re not healthy, but because they are inaccessible to the masses. However, given the current state of the Covid-19 crises, I would certainly suggest using superfoods such as the ones pictured below if you can.
Top superfoods for immunity: Bee pollen, Hemp powder, Spirulina, Chlorella Matcha powder and Maca powder.
You don’t NEED these to be healthy, but if you have them use them, and if you can get your hands on them I would recommend implementing into your diet.
Avoid (or minimise) stress: I’ll be the first to admit that my stress levels have been very high lately – things seem to be getting a bit better for me mentally and emotionally speaking. I still get bad days of course, but I’ve dealt with anxiety before and I developed a set or morning rituals and practices that I’ve found are really helpful – to me at least. I’ve written about this in the past, here’s the link to my blog post all about my stress-busting morning routine that I’m implementing more rigorously than ever now. https://holisticnutritionninja.com/2019/02/08/my-morning-routine/
Exercise: As much as I REALLY don’t feel like doing much right now, I’m VERY lucky to live with a personal trainer who pushes me to move and I ALWAYS feel better for it. I was going to skip the workout this morning, I was feeling a bit low and not up for much. We did an easy workout instead and I’m feeling so much better and more energetic now.
Follow an online program, do yoga, go to YouTube for inspo – whatever it is, give yourself the advantage – mentally and physically – or moving your body. It doesn’t have to be a super intense workout that leaves you sore for days. All I’m suggesting is merely going out for a walk in nature (away from people) or doing a 15 minute yoga video you find free online.
Finally, please know that I am publishing this post to try and help anyone reading – I in no way want to exploit the current situation. I’m simply sharing my studies and practices together with some products I find helpful for those of you who are interested.
THANK YOU for all your love, support, messages & comments on my most recent post. You guys mean the world to me and I’m so grateful I get to connect with you!
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Until my next post, be well xXx