I’d like to think I’m a pretty credible source for nutrition information when I want to be. Having studied nutrition during my biology degree, amassing endless amounts of knowledge from Youtube fitness videos and even writing my own dissertation on the topic of veganism – briefly touching on vitamins and other micro nutrients. I thought I’d put what I’ve learnt to use.
Personally, I tend to find that I am less susceptible to illnesses than others around me, I’m not claiming to have superhero powers as Never-Sick-Man but I’d like to think my nutrition plays a big role in boosting my immune system and here’s how I do it…
Magical elixirs that will solve all problems (kind of)
I call them elixirs as I feel so refreshed and healthy when I drink them, I am talking about smoothies and juices. We bought a Nutribullet last year and it has been a game-changer for me, allowing me to blend frozen fruits with ease. Partner this up with my juicer I got as a gift for Christmas and you’ve got a shield-building tag team partnership that will see you through the worst of times.
With smoothies I tend to stick to mainly fruit for the ingredients, I usually have them as my first meal of the day. Fruit is known for its fructose which gives you the energy boost you need in the morning to get going. All fruits are teaming with vitamins, nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants etc. All of these healthy components are vital for keeping illnesses as bay. Pair this with hydrating water and you’re good to go. Because I try to keep fit and go to the gym I always add Whey Protein into the mix for an added protein kick to aide with the muscle building recovery process – it also turns the smoothie into more of a milkshake consistency alongside a banana.
My typical smoothies generally look like this:
- 100g Frozen berries (containing raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and red currants)
- 1-2 bananas, the more you add the creamier the smoothie will be
- 1-2 scoops of Vanilla whey protein
- Top with water
Who doesn’t want a smoothie served up in a daiquiri glass?
The second tool in my virus tackling toolbox is my juicer. Don’t be put off them by the flaky juice diets that they are often paired up with. Juices can be a real immune booster, they make you feel great, not to mention clear up your skin and detoxify your insides. As with the aforementioned smoothies, juices can contain fruits however, juice ‘experts’ usually recommend a higher ratio of vegetables to fruit in a recipe.
The possibilities are endless, I find that as long as I have at least 2-3 sweet fruits such as green apples, pineapples and oranges, that my juice tastes great no matter what vegetables I add in. Personally I like to mix and match my vegetables and have been known to throw in spinach, beetroot, cucumber, tomato, bok choy, carrots… the list is endless. Juices are particularly good for any leftover veg as there are no quantity requirements once it meets the blade.
My typical juice usually looks like this:
- Handful of carrots
- 1-2 beetroot pieces
- Half a cucumber
- An inch of ginger
- 2 green apples
- A couple of handfuls of spinach
- Half the juice of a lemon
Bonus tip – Being active massively promotes overall health
Now it isn’t a well kept secret that exercise is good for you, however it is mainly associated with the exterior, physical attributes visible to the eye such as increased muscle, lower body fat percentages and increased overall strength.
It is actually lesser known that exercise positively affects your mental health, increases blood flow and primes the heart for the onset of cardiovascular disease – which is one of the biggest killers. The list is endless for the positive ways that exercise can improve your quality of life and keep you in tip-top shape to prevent any injuries and illnesses you may have encountered without it.
I go to the gym to keep active, I also spend most of my time travelling by foot as I don’t drive and rarely use public transport whilst travelling around the same city. You may not want to join the gym but there are plenty of other ways to keep active such as swimming, jogging or even walking your dog. The important thing is to keep active and not let yourself become accepting of a sedentary lifestyle as this is what will kick start your downward spiral of health issues.
So, to boost your health I’d recommend reading some more into smoothies and juices and trying to fit each into your meals throughout the week, start off with a smoothie on alternating days and then if you’re feeling brave throw a juice in there. I understand both of these need the equipment to be able to make them so start of with one at a time and begin your vitamin expedition and repel those illnesses that are stopping you in your tracks.