After a particularly bad cold and flu season this year, it’s important to know what we can do to build and maintain a strong immune system to keep us healthy. A balanced diet of healthy foods is the foundation of our overall health and wellbeing. If you are already following healthy eating habits, this puts you in a great position. Need some help? Then take a look at these Jenny Craig tips to help boost your immunity so you can spring into spring!
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
Choose foods that are in season. Not only are they more affordable, they’re also more likely to be fresh. A great post-winter boost is anything that’s high in vitamin C – think oranges, capsicums, mandarins and kiwi fruit. What many people don’t realise is that the body doesn’t produce vitamin C by itself, so it is important to make sure you include it in your diet.
Much is said about nutrients, vitamins and minerals to support your immune system but there are lifestyle choices you can make, too. High stress levels can compromise your immune system. Although you may not be able to remove all the causes of stress in your daily life, you can listen to your body. When it ‘asks’ for time off, don’t ignore it. Activities like reading, having a bath, walking, running, yoga, Pilates and meditation can all be effective in releasing tension and stress.
When the weather’s still cool, it seems much harder to find the energy to go to the gym, visit the pool, or even just get out of the house. But don’t give up! Exercising is not only a great way to get in shape, but it also increases our immune function, improves sleep quality, and makes our bodies stronger. So even if it means changing the type of exercise you do until the weather warms up, keep it as a part of your daily routine whenever possible.
Exciting research is revealing that healthy gut bacteria is a great way to ensure a strong immune system. Think about what you’re consuming, as certain nutrients will help maintain healthy digestion. Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria that can be found in whole and fermented foods, such as raw sauerkraut, miso, yoghurt, kefir, kimchi and microalgae and can be beneficial to gut health and digestion. If you’re not sure, consult your pharmacist about a quality probiotic supplement.
The body rejuvenates and strengthens when it’s at rest. If you can, try to get seven to eight hours’ sleep per night. If you can’t manage that, see if you can fit in a ‘power nap’ at some point during the day. It doesn’t need to be long; 20 minutes is better than several hours. Your body will thank you and reward you by keeping your immune system running properly.
Make sure you’re eating right
Now the weather’s getting warmer you might find you’re less drawn to the heavy comfort foods we often crave in winter. What’s important is to follow a healthy balanced diet that includes all the main food groups including wholegrain cereals, lean meat or other proteins, good fats, fruits, vegetables and reduced-fat dairy. These foods give us the essential nutrients we need to maintain a fully functioning immune system. A diet lacking in certain food groups, or with a high proportion of foods such as processed meats, fried foods, high fat foods, soft drinks and alcohol can suppress the immune system and cause us to gain weight, too.
Still need help to find the best way to get your body feeling great for spring? At Jenny Craig, our team of food specialists and dietitians spend their time devising healthy and delicious meals that give your body the nutrition it needs, while limiting the calories. Check out the amazing range of great-tasting foods that you can eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, while still losing weight in a responsible and sustainable way. This means you can stay healthy, boost your immune system and feel great for spring, summer and beyond.