Wellness Basics with Sonia 🍏
It's a tricky time for our immune system with COVID and Influenza A still lurking. The last few years have caused us all some stress and anxiety and this puts more pressure on our already hard working immune system. Taking care of the basics has never been more important.
So where do we start?
Vitamin D - recent studies have shown that people with low Vitamin D are 80% more likely to acquire COVID-19 and are also at an increased risk of a severe case. The key here is to keep our levels up (not just mega dose the minute you get COVID). Aim to keep your serum 25 (OH) Vit D levels > 80 nmol/L and < 200 nmol/L. Regular safe sun exposure is enough for some people who spend a lot of time outdoors - for those us that sit in an office we will struggle without a supplement. Remember Vit D is fat soluble so we can store it up. Vitamin D also helps our mood and our bones so it's a win win.
Vegetables - a minimum of 3 cups of mixed veggies daily (ideally 5), eat in season, buy from the markets (they pick the produce a few days before). Most herbs and veggies are super foods they just may not get a lot of hype. How many colours do you have on your plate? Nutrient dense vegetables are packed with minerals, vitamins, fibre and antioxidants - daily consumption is better than any supplement on the market.
Vitamin C -if you are having your 3+ cups of coloured veggies per day you are well on your way to good levels of Vit C. Did you know parsley, broccoli and capsicum are packed with Vit C? Fun fact: a capsicum contains more Vit C than an orange. Citrus fruit is of course a great way to enjoy your Vit C - eat your oranges and mandarins and add lemon juice to your food or add to warm water with grated ginger for an instant immune boost. You also need Vitamin C to produce collagen - yes we all want nice skin!
Sleep - are you asleep before 11pm and get a minimum of 7 hours quality sleep per night? Sleep has a direct impact on your immune system. Poor sleep patterns also hugely increase your risk of metabolic disease (insulin resistance, type II diabetes). Studies have shown that sufficient sleep can reduce infection risk and it also helps reduce our stress levels. Turn the devices off, have an Epsom salt bath and listen to the Calm App (or do some breathing exercises) this will switch on your para-sympathetic nervous system and give you a restful sleep.
Stress Management - everyone is subjected to stress and in short bursts we can generally handle it okay. However, chronic long-term stress is disastrous for our immune system. Numerous studies have linked autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis to physical and/or psychological stress. I see it in clinic all the time - the Type A personality who hates yoga is generally the one that needs it the most. Stress becomes a habit and you may not even identify as feeling 'stressed' as you've been that way for so long. Put practices in place to move out of 'fight or flight', these may include: meditation, yoga, infrared saunas, float tanks, bush-walks, painting/drawing, breathing exercises, tapping, quality sleep & proper nutrition. There are also some wonderful supplements I can prescribe.
For a more comprehensive look at your health and wellbeing I look forward to seeing you for a consult. Online consultations available worldwide. :)