With the rise in cases Variable Omicron, the focus has shifted back to health, with renewed enthusiasm in 2022. If you want to boost your immunity, know that your diet and general lifestyle play a big role.
Dr. Irfan Sheikh, head of nutrition, scientific and medical affairs at Abbott Nutrition, says one’s New Year’s resolutions should include “powerful nutrients.” “They have been proven to support Public Health – Including immunity and brain development, muscle mass and strength, bone health and more.
The doctor lists 11 of the following health essentials; Read on.
1. Protein: It provides the building blocks for every cell in the body such as muscles, bones, hormones, antibodies, etc. Consuming 0.8 to 1 g/kg of high-quality protein per day helps build muscle and may help you feel fuller for longer between meals. While eggs are an excellent source of protein, foods like chickpeas, cheese, quinoa, Greek yogurt, peanuts, and almonds also help. Don’t forget dairy products.
2. DHA Omega 3: This unique fat mainly found in seafood nourishes the brain and maintains visual acuity. Fatty fish is an excellent food source of omega-3. You can also meet your recommended omega-3 intake by eating plant foods, such as vegetables, nuts and seeds. For vegetarians, seaweed, nori, spirulina, and chlorella are different forms of algae that have health benefits.
3. Choline: Our brains and nervous system depend on choline for memory, mood, and muscle control. Pregnant women need extra choline to help their babies’ development. The main dietary sources of choline consist mainly of animal foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
4. Calcium: About 99 percent of the calcium in the body is found in the bones and teeth. Calcium helps muscles contract, aids in blood clotting, and helps our brains and nerves communicate. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are the most obvious sources of calcium. Additionally, you can also include non-dairy foods like tofu, leafy greens, and beans in your diet.
5. Vitamin D: This multitasking nutrient helps our bodies absorb calcium, and promotes a strong immune system. It is also called the “sunshine vitamin” and can be found in foods as well. There are a few foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D3, such as fatty fish meat, fish liver oils, egg yolks, orange juice, and cheese.
6. Zinc: Keeps immune cells strong and healthy and aids in wound healing. Zinc is also essential for proper growth and development, especially during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy. Meat is an excellent source of zinc, especially red meat. For vegetarians, foods like chickpeas, lentils, and beans contain large amounts. The seeds are also a healthy addition to your diet.
7. Selenium: Selenium acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This mineral is also important for reproduction and proper thyroid function. Milk and yogurt contain about 8 micrograms of selenium per cup, or 11% of your daily needs. There are bananas, cashews, lentils, and spinach that contain these nutrients.
8. Vitamin A: Known as the “anti-infective vitamin,” this nutrient keeps the skin, mouth, stomach and lungs healthy. It is also key to sharp vision. Take it with some fat for better absorption. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, and spinach are full of vitamin A.
9. Vitamin E: It helps your body defend itself against free radicals and supports a healthy immune response. Vitamin E is a common nutrient found in most foods, including cooking oils, seeds, and nuts.
10. Vitamin C: It acts as an antioxidant. It also helps protect against anemia by absorbing more iron from plant foods. Oranges are well known for their source of Vitamin C, apart from that, some foods that are full of Vitamin C are kiwis, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, and red peppers.
11. Fluids and Electrolytes: They lubricate joints, keep cells and tissues healthy, remove waste, and regulate body temperature, especially when you’re sick. Consuming fluids containing electrolytes — such as sodium, potassium, and chloride — helps improve hydration. Many foods and drinks contain electrolytes, including leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, and fruits such as bananas, prunes, and dried apricots. Apart from this, beans, lentils, nuts and sandalwood seeds also contain significant levels of electrolytes.
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