- Want to build resilience with nutrition going in to the new year 2021?
- Looking to optimize your health with nutrition?
Good nutrition, exercise, hydration, and sleep are important steps that can optimize your health and build resilience. Eating a healthy nutrient dense diet can be a first line of defense against illness. Let’s take a look at some important nutrition tips.
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This information is for educational purposes only. As with any medical advice, always check with your doctor or health care professional for personal and age-appropriate recommendations.
Vitamin D the sunshine vitamin for resilience!
Maintaining your vitamin D is important to optimize your health and prevent chronic disease.
Vitamin D may reduce the risk of respiratory infections (1).
Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fortified foods, liver, and egg yolks. Unfortunately, it is challenging to get enough vitamin D from food alone however, many people get some vitamin D from sun exposure. The amount of sun exposure has become less especially with sheltering in place and vitamin D supplements are needed to optimize levels for many people.
Check your vitamin D level to see how much supplement may be necessary (preferably once a year going into the fall season). A safe maintenance dose for most people is around 1000 IU ’s and if taking a Vitamin D supplement, remember to take with some fatty food as it is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Consume foods rich in vitamin C.
How does vitamin C improve your health and build resilience?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can decrease inflammation and strengthen your immune system (2). It is an essential, water-soluble vitamin and important to optimize your health. High amounts of vitamin C are found in oranges, strawberries, lemons, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bell peppers. The RDA for adults is around 60mg.
Eat from the rainbow for good nutrition.
By eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, you increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and they support a healthy immune system.
- RED foods like red peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries contain phytonutrients including lycopene.
- ORANGE/YELLOW foods such as oranges, lemons, carrots, and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids which help with immune function and cell growth. Some of these foods are also rich in vitamin A.
- GREEN foods include broccoli, kale, Brussels, and green apples and may contain lutein, isoflavones, and vitamin K.
- BLUE/PURPLE foods are rich in anthocyanins and resveratrol. These include blueberries, red grapes, eggplant, and blackberries. A variety of fruits and vegetables is important for health (3).
Zinc is an essential mineral.
Zinc is essential for your immune system to function properly (4). It has been shown to protect against the common cold and it is important for adequate taste and smell.
Supplementation of no more than 15-25 mg/day of zinc appears to be safe for most individuals, but it is important to not take excessive doses as it may interfere with copper absorption. Foods high in zinc include animal protein, seafood, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Hydration for health.
My favorite beverages include water, coconut water, herbal teas (mint, ginger/turmeric, green tea) and bone broth.
Fermented foods to improve nutrition and gut health.
Did you know that about 70% percent of your immune system is in your gut and maintaining a healthy gut can improve resilience and health?
Fermented foods are a good start to improving gut health (7). Healthy fermented foods to enjoy include kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt. If taking a probiotic supplement, a combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may be beneficial.
Magnesium for good sleep.
Sleep is so important. You may have heard these suggestions before:
- try to go to bed at the same time every night
- shut down the electronics a couple of hours before bed
- sleep in a cool room
Have you heard about magnesium and sleep? Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme pathways in the body. It helps maintain good levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA and may reduce stress and anxiety (8, 9). Food sources of magnesium include beans, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, dairy products and chocolate.
Supplements are often recommended. I prefer magnesium glycinate as a supplement to be taken a couple hours before bedtime. The RDA for adults is around 310-420 mg per day however, always check with your healthcare professional prior to taking supplements .
Optimize your health and build resilience with these important nutrition tips.
Contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org for an individualized nutrition plan.