Proper Nutrition = Healthy Lifestyle

Winter marks the flu and cold season, and with the holidays fast approaching, it can be very disruptive for those that can’t find the time for healthy food choices. 

Proper nutrition is vital to staying healthy while maintaining an active lifestyle. 

Did you know that you can avoid the flu by adding more fruits, such as apples and red grapes plus vegetables to your daily diet?

Sandra Millward is a certified holistic nutritionist and on-the-road wellness coach for the Canadian Men’s Olympic Field Hockey Team. 

She reveals some of the benefits of immune boosting foods, along with helpful information you can use to avoid the flu.

Millward says, “To Quote Dr. Linus Pauling, two time Nobel Prize recipient, ‘You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a nutritional deficiency. Therefore, to get started, in order to boost your immune system starts by eating a full spectrum of antioxidant rich foods daily.”’

Millward explains, “Antioxidants can protect us from cell damage and minimizes the damage that rogue molecules produce in our cells to keep us healthy, keep us beautiful, glowing and cold and flu free!”

She continues, “A full range of antioxidants need to work together in synergy, simply put – as a team! 

Your team should consist of a rainbow’s colour of fruits and vegetables  especially orange, red, purple, yellow, blue and remember, we need more than just a high amount of one single antioxidants like the traditional use of vitamin C.” 

In fact, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other whole foods feature a spectrum of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, the trace minerals selenium and zinc, and a palette of important phytonutrients such as flavonoids and carotenoids,” says Millward.

By including in your meal planning immune-boosting foods it will help you stay healthy.

Millward includes a list of some of her favourite antioxidants below to keep the cold and flu season away and build your immune system!

Antioxidant vitamin C: Vitamin C that helps with the production of white blood cells, which are believed to be essential in fighting infection.

Foods rich in vitamins: cherries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, red, green and yellow peppers, oranges, lemons, limes, Meyer lemons (blend of orange and lemon).

Fun tip:  Red Peppers contain twice as much Vitamin C as citrus fruit and less sugar!

Antioxidant Beta-Carotene: Is a safe source of vitamin A, which is vital for good eye health and vision, a strong immune system, and healthy skin.

Foods rich in Beta Carotene: apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelon.

Fun Tip: Beta-Carotene foods are usually recognized by their yellow or orange color.

Antioxidant vitamin E: vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system

function by reducing free radical damage and to slow the aging process of your cells.

Vitamin E Rich Foods: Avocado, broccoli (lightly steamed), spinach (lightly steamed), chard, mustard, turnip greens, mangoes, almonds, hazelnuts, butternut squash, kiwi, olive oil, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, and sunflower seeds.

TIP: Vitamin E can be used topically and has been a beauty secret kept by many women.

Antioxidant Flavonoid: anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties..

Flavonoid Rich Foods: onions, parsley, blueberries, bananas, dark chocolate and red wine.

Tip: two glasses of red wine per day is the French secret to getting flavonoids while ‘mysteriously’ having a national lower heart related disease.

Antioxidant Carotenoids: The Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine suggest that this high antioxidant contains strong anti-cancer properties and it is also known to convert vitamin A to promote beneficial eye health. 

Most studied carotenoids in eye health are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Carotenoid Rich Foods: yams, kale, spinach, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mangoes, oranges.

Tip: My personal favourite and the most beneficial in my life in managing post workout pain, is Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin includes for example, salmon, trout.

If you have taken all of your antioxidants and still become ill, check out this natural cold and flu shot:

Juice of 6 fresh lemons

1 bulb of garlic

2 tsp or Ginger powder or 1 tsp of fresh

2 Tbsp Manuka Honey

3 cups of Pineapple juice (fresh is best)

¼ tsp Cayenne Powder

Blend all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Take 1 cup up to 4 times per day until your symptoms have disappeared.

Check out her website for more information:

Submitted by Christine Blanchette whom you can follow on Twitter and Youtube