Nutritionist Gabriela Peacock, who has helped a long list of VIP clients boost their health and wellbeing, has shared her advice on how to use nutrition to support your immune system

Gabriela Peacock reveals how your diet can help you to stay healthy

  • October 23, 2020

There’s a distinct chill in the air, Halloween is just around the corner and pumpkin spiced lattes are back in coffee shops – there’s no doubt that fall has arrived.

And while there’s plenty to love about the change of weather, one thing none of us is looking forward to is the impending arrival of cold and flu season.

However hard we try to avoid it, during the winter months it almost seems inevitable that we’ll end up feeling tired, rundown and generally just lousy all round.

Which is why Gabriela Peacock believes now is the right time to start thinking about our immune health. 

Nutritionist Gabriela Peacock, who has helped a long list of VIP clients boost their health and wellbeing, has shared her advice on how to use nutrition to support your immune system

Nutritionist Gabriela Peacock, who has helped a long list of VIP clients boost their health and wellbeing, has shared her advice on how to use nutrition to support your immune system

The A-list nutritionist, who helps her clients – including the likes of TV star Piers Morgan and British royalty Princess Beatrice – boost their health and wellness, says this is especially important at a time that many of us are feeling stressed and anxious. 

She says: ‘Anything that increases stress will have a negative effect on our immunity, and stress is something that’s very hard to control at the moment.’

Gabriela explains that the capacity of our immune systems is impacted by multiple lifestyle factors, including emotional state, stress, smoking, physical activity and exercise levels, dietary habits and nutritional status.  

‘By supporting healthy habits in these areas, you can sustain a healthy immune system,’ she adds.

So what can we do to create healthy habits? And how does nutrition and diet play into this? Below, Gabriela has answered some of our key questions about how we can help support our immune systems this fall and winter.

As we approach cold and flu season, many of us are looking for ways to stay healthy and strong

As we approach cold and flu season, many of us are looking for ways to stay healthy and strong

Why should we focus on nutrition? 

Although at the moment it can feel hard to control what’s going on around us and to manage our stress levels, one thing we can control is our diet.

Gabriela points out that although good nutrition cannot prevent the pathogens that get you sick from entering your body, it can help you stay strong and healthy so when you are exposed to them you have the best chance to fight them off.  

She says: ‘Deficiency or insufficiency of any number of important nutrients that are key components of the immune response can lead to an impaired immune response.

‘For example, Vitamin D is known to modulate the immune response and historically deficiencies in Vitamin D have been linked to seasonal illness.’

The nutritionist has built up a range of high-quality supplements, GP Nutrition. Supplements are there for when we need that bit of extra nutritional support, but Gabriela points out that sometimes the first thing we can do is simply make a few changes to what we eat.  

Nutrition is a good place to start when considering immune health, and Gabriela recommends consuming a balanced diet that's rich in vitamins and minerals

Nutrition is a good place to start when considering immune health, and Gabriela recommends consuming a balanced diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals

What does good nutrition look like? 

Gabriela says the best way to promote good nutrition is to consume a balanced and healthy diet that supports balanced blood sugar levels.

The simplest way to do this is by creating protein-focused meals with a minimum of five vegetables per day and by trying to make your plate as colorful as possible. 

The nutritionist points out that you don’t need to radically overhaul your eating habits to better support your immune system, as even a few small tweaks can make a big difference.

She says: ‘If you push yourself too hard you increase your stress levels and it becomes a vicious cycle. You need to make realistic changes.’  

The following vitamins and nutrients are some of the most important for a healthy diet, so you can start by adding a few of the foods mentioned onto your plate each mealtime.   

One of the best ways to construct a healthy balanced diet is by trying to make your plate as colorful as possible with a range of vegetables

One of the best ways to construct a healthy balanced diet is by trying to make your plate as colorful as possible with a range of vegetables 

Vitamin D: We can often get all the Vitamin D our bodies need from sunlight, but in the colder darker months we may need some help from food sources. These include oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel), red meat, egg yolks and fortified foods. 

Essential fatty acids: This includes omega-3s which are found in oily fish like mackerel, salmon or sardines. Or you can get them straight from their source, which means seaweed or algae. Nuts and seeds are also rich in omega-3s. 

Carotenoids: Found in red, yellow and orange plant foods, such as carrots, squash, sweet potato, turmeric, orange and tomatoes.

Flavonoids: Found in green, blue and purple plant foods, leafy greens, berries, artichoke, red onions, apples and peppermint.  

Zinc: Found in in red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, wholegrains, avocados, and berries.  

Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits, broccoli, greens and peppers. 

Vitamin E: Found in nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables (broccoli and spinach), avocados and wild salmon. 

Vitamin A: Found in eggs, oily fish and dairy.

B-carotene: Found in bright orange/red/yellow plants like carrots, yellow peppers, yellow fruits like mango and apricot, and green leafy vegetables. 

Gabriela says that you don't need to make big changes to your diet to see an effect, as small tweaks can often make all the difference

Gabriela says that you don’t need to make big changes to your diet to see an effect, as small tweaks can often make all the difference

Although a good diet is the first step, if you’re struggling to provide your body with all the nutrients and vitamins it needs, Gabriela says it’s worth considering a supplement.

She points out that we can struggle to get enough Vitamin D through food alone, so she recommends that adults supplement their diet with at least 10 micrograms of Vitamin D during the fall and winter in temperate climes like the UK.  

During the wintry months, it might also be worth considering an all-round kit, such as the newly released GP Immunity, which contains a range of nutritional support designed to help you look after yourself from the inside out.  

Nutritional support from GP Immunity 

A day dose of GP Immunity includes:

  • 500% RDI of Vitamin D
  • 120% RDI of Zinc
  • 200% RDI of Vitamin C
  • 250% RDI of Vitamin B12
  • Daily probiotic
  • Pea protein 
  • Purple superfood

RDI = Recommended daily intake

Can supplements help?

Although Gabriela points out that there’s no need to take supplements all year round, she says they can be beneficial when we need a little help.

She says: ‘A lot of people ask me why supplements and why not just food? The reason is there are just so many stressors in our lives at the moment. 

‘If we were super happy and relaxed on the beach in the summer we wouldn’t need a supplement, but we are all so challenged at the moment.’ 

During the colder months, the nutritionist says her clients often come to her feeling tired and run down, which is when she may suggest supplements from her GP Nutrition range.

‘You don’t have to take them all the time,’ she says. ‘But over the winter when your immune system might be a little compromised, I recommend that all my patients take probiotics and a good quality multinutrient. 

‘I’m a great believer that you don’t need one supplement all year round. You need a supplement to support your lifestyle, which is why at this time of the year it’s a good idea to think about your immune system.’ 

Not only do long dark evenings leave many of us prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but the holiday season can lead to stress and anxiety, which in turn can result in sleeplessness and low mood.

GP Immunity has been designed to take the fuss out of finding the right supplements

GP Immunity has been designed to take the fuss out of finding the right supplements

This is why Gabriela created GP Immunity, a handy grab-and-go kit that features essential vitamins and minerals to support you from the inside out. 

‘It has all the nutrients your body needs to re-balance,’ the nutritionist explains. ‘It will address everything from feeling a bit down to having low energy levels and sleeplessness.’

GP Immunity contains GP Nutrition’s bestselling GP Gold superfood drink, which is full of antioxidants and nutritious berries like aronia, as well as its Clean Me capsules packed with essential vitamins and minerals like Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Selenium.  

Gabriela adds: ‘It’s not just your classic antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also has other ingredients that you find in superfoods that support the normal function of your immune system.’ 

There’s also a daily live cultures capsule to support a healthy gut, which Gabriela explains is great for digestion and will help you break down and absorb the nutrients in your diet. 

Can I still treat myself? 

The simple answer is YES! Gabriela’s approach is all about being realistic and not depriving yourself.

Treats can contribute to a healthy diet, as coffee, dark chocolate and red wine all contain anthocyanins, which have antioxidant effects.

The key is moderation. For example: 

  • A couple of glasses of wine is fine but drinking alcohol in excess can put a strain on our immune systems.
  • Limit cups of coffee to two or three a day, and always drink it with food. 
  • Try to stick to dark chocolate as and aim for a high percentage of cacao. 

What else can I do to support my immune system?

Aside from nutrition, Gabriela says there are several simple steps we can all take to help boost our immune health.

1. Sleep: Do your best to get seven or more hours of good quality sleep each night. 

This will benefit your emotional state and stress levels, as well as appetite and energy levels, all of which have an impact on immune health.

2. Reduce stress: Keep work in a separate room if you are working from home. Embrace hobbies that reduce stress like walking, dancing, or cooking. 

Also be kind to yourself – this is a challenging time and all you can do is your best.

3. Stop smoking: This one may sound like a no-brainer, but stopping smoking or cutting down can help promote a strong immune system.

4. Stay active: Exercise is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. 

Aim for at least a 30-minute walk every day.

5. Support gut health: Take a daily probiotic (or live cultures capsule) to support a healthy gut microbiome.

What’s in GP Immunity?  

GP Nutrition has designed GP Immunity to make it easy for you to help your body receive the vitamins and nutrients it needs to support a healthy immune system.

You don’t need to spend hours researching or shopping for multiple different supplements as it’s all in one box!

In each box you’ll find nutritional support for either 7, 14 or 28 days. Each daily dose of GP Immunity includes:

  • GP GOLD Super smoothie sachet – packed with phytonutrient and antioxidant rich superfoods that help fight oxidative stress and protect against free radicals. 
  • Bespoke GP Multinutrient capsule – to support your body’s defences with high-levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Selenium. 
  • Digestive Support Capsule – to support digestion and metabolism, by maintaining stable blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 
  • Clean Blend Capsule – to support and maintain the liver’s natural detox function. 
  • Probiotic Capsule – to nourish you gut, healthy gut bacteria is important for optimum immune function.

Think GP Immunity could work for you? Visit GP Nutrition to learn more about the supplements and see how you could save 30 per cent on your kit.  

boost immunity, coronavirus, COVID-19, food for immunity, drinks for immunity

6 healthy drinks to boost your immune system

  • October 22, 2020

Falling sick is not a risk you should be taking at times like these. For keeping diseases at bay, you need to boost your immune system, which requires eating the right nutrition. The antibodies present in our immune system combat diseases, infections, and it is important that you keep it healthy and strong. The pandemic has made us realize the importance of immunity in our daily lives. A study conducted by the University of Melbourne found that a strong immune system can fight the virus and help you recover from the infection. If you too wish to build strong immunity, these 5 drinks might be able to help you. Also Read – COVID-19 vaccine trials can’t tell if the shots will save lives, protect the elderly

Tomato juice

Fresh tomato juice contains folate, which alleviates the risk of infections. It also provides a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and potent antioxidants that provide the body with numerous health benefits. All you have to do is cook sliced tomatoes for about thirty minutes over medium heat and toss into a food processor and blend it until it reaches the desired consistency. Also Read – Volunteer in Oxford Covid-19 vaccine test dies in Brazil, but trial continues

Vegetable-based green juice

Mix green apple, lettuce and kale in a blender and mix well – this is a great immunity-boosting drink that you can add to your daily diet. Apple skins contain a type of plant pigment flavonoid known as quercetin that helps strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. Lettuce and kale, on the other hand, contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infection and boost your immune system. Also Read – COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 77,06,946 while death toll reaches 1,16,616

Red fruit juice

Bring the goodness of beetroot, carrot, ginger and apple into a single glass. This drink is a powerhouse of nutrients that will decrease inflammatory symptoms and help your immune system. Not only this, but it also helps you deal with cold or flu symptoms, which can hinder your everyday work.

Citrus fruit juice

Citrus fruits are touted as the best sources of vitamin C and strong immunity boosters. What you might not know is that vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which helps your body fight against infections and viral diseases. Vitamin C deficiency has long been associated with the impairment of immune response. For a healthy adult, 200 mg a day is enough to boost the immune system.

Watermelon juice

Watermelon has a high content of water that keeps your body hydrated. It also helps in detoxification. It contains healthy nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium. Not only that, but it also helps relieve muscle soreness, which is a common symptom of flu.

Pumpkin juice

Prepared with pumpkin seeds, this juice is high in zinc, magnesium and fiber, three of the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy immune system. It also helps decrease inflammation. To prepare this healthy drink, all you need is a cup of pumpkin seeds soaked overnight, filtered water and a pinch of salt. Blend it for about 30 seconds, until the seeds are fully pulverized. Strain it and drink.

Published : October 22, 2020 1:51 pm

Breathe Better for Healthy Lung Month

Breathe Better for Healthy Lung Month

  • October 20, 2020

Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.

Please note: Information below is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition.

We all know that oxygen is essential to live. But do we actually do anything about to improve our oxygen intake in our daily lives? Sure, we breathe. That’s definitely an important step, but it might not be the only step to taking care of your respiratory health and protecting your lungs and entire body from trouble in the future.

October is National Healthy Lung Month, and that means it’s the perfect time to make a smart change in our lives for the sake of both our present and our future. Now, don’t worry — we’re not saying you have to buy a $500+ purifier or completely change your daily routine. Maybe you just need an affordable, portable boost of oxygen in your life!


See it!

Shop Boost Oxygen Supplemental Oxygen packs starting at just $8 at LifeToGo! Use code FALL10 to get 10% off sitewide for a limited time!

Boost Oxygen is a breathable oxygen supplement you can use any time you need it. It’s oxygen on the go! The air we breathe only consists of 21% oxygen, but Boost Oxygen contains 95% for all-natural respiratory support. Why is this important? LifeToGo provided some amazing insight. You’ll find the benefits of oxygen all over your body. Your tissues and organs need it to function properly, it helps you digest and metabolize food, it creates nutrients and replenishes cells and it keeps your immune system strong!

So what happens when you don’t get enough oxygen? If you find yourself experiencing altitude sickness, hangovers, fatigue, headaches, fogginess, illness or athletic exertion, it might be time for an oxygen boost. The average person inhales 17,000 times per day (that’s 2,900 gallons of air), so you want to make sure some of that air is doing some serious good for your body and mind!


See it!

Shop Boost Oxygen Supplemental Oxygen packs starting at just $8 at LifeToGo! Use code FALL10 to get 10% off sitewide for a limited time!

There are numerous ways to clean up the air you breathe. Purifiers and humidifiers may help, as well as vacuuming and dusting your home often. Opening the window is great too, though it might be too chilly to do so soon. That’s why you need other options — especially ones you can use whenever you feel like you need immediate results. And don’t worry — Boost Oxygen isn’t going to make you all jittery like caffeine or energy drinks. It’s more about finding balance and peace so your body can function the way it’s meant to!

Boost Oxygen comes in different sizes and different flavors. Keep things summery year round with Pink Grapefruit, get some aromatherapy benefits with Peppermint, keep calm and carry on with Methol-Eucalyptus or try out the special Think Tank variety, designed to support memory and focus. Prefer no flavor or odor? The Natural version is for you. Want to try multiple? No problem, because they come in variety packs! Grab your favorite today and celebrate Healthy Lung Month with a deep, clean, beautiful breath of air!

See it!

Shop Boost Oxygen Supplemental Oxygen packs starting at just $8 at LifeToGo! Use code FALL10 to get 10% off sitewide for a limited time!

Want more? Check out other healthy brands available at LifeToGo here!

Disclaimer: While we work to ensure that product information is correct, on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and/or different information than that shown on our website. We recommend that you do not solely rely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings and directions before using or consuming a product. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer. Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Us Weekly assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products.

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Tips for Healthy Eating During Pandemic – NBC Los Angeles

Tips for Healthy Eating During Pandemic – NBC Los Angeles

  • October 20, 2020

Since a vaccine is still in the works to combat COVID-19, we’re left trying just about anything to stay as healthy a possible during a pandemic. One thing that everyone can all do, however, is to boost their immune system with healthy foods.

Health professionals tell NBC 7 if someone gets COVID-19 or the flu, or even both, it’ll most likely be much easier to recover if they’ve been eating foods rich in nutrients

These are immune-boosting foods that can help prepare your body to fight off a virus, cold or flu. Those who have a nutrient-packed diet will also find they sleep better and have more energy since they’re consuming the right minerals.

Nutritionists suggest you load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins for dietary success.

It’s also best to plan for groceries so that it could result in purchases of fewer processed, high-salt or high-sugar snacks.

“Processed foods in general, it’s basically synthetic. It’s made from a machine,” said Dr. Amy Lee, who is an expert in weight control, obesity and nutrition. “It’s nothing natural that we actually garden and plant and harvest. So our human bodies basically have to get used to and adapt to all these new synthetic ingredients that we weren’t used to before.”

Lee also suggests families create a schedule or a daily meal plan. A schedule is more predictable for everyone in a household and it can get all involved so they feel connected to the effort in some way, creating motivation.

You can also manage your environment to improve your diet.

If candy and chips aren’t in the kitchen cabinet, then you can’t eat them.

It’s also very important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Health experts recommend that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, but if you’re outside a lot or exercising, it should be more. Stay healthy!

Stay Healthy During College: 5 Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Tips

Stay Healthy During College: 5 Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Tips

  • October 20, 2020

Students attending college in 2020 are facing challenges unknown to previous generations. With the presence of COVID-19 still impacting the educational experiences of students, many are wondering how to stay healthy during college.

Of course, that means wearing a face mask, washing your hands, and observing appropriate physical distancing. But a complete picture of health means more than that! As one study in Psychiatry Research found, the pandemic has led to increased mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. You may be experiencing this yourself.

Thankfully, students can adopt several habits to stay healthy during college, no matter where they are learning. Here are five tips that can help you maintain mental, physical, and spiritual health every day and during times of heightened stress.

Boost your immune system with THESE 5 healthy juice recipes shared by Nutritionist Arooshi Agarwal

Boost your immune system with THESE 5 healthy juice recipes shared by Nutritionist Arooshi Agarwal

  • October 18, 2020

Having healthy juices is an easy and effective way to enhance your immunity to combat all diseases and infections. Here are 5 juice recipes from Arooshi Agarwal, Nutritionist and founder of Arooshi’s Nutrylife to amp up your immune system.

Our immune system works constantly without a pause and so it requires the best fuel for its performance in figuring out which cells belong to our body and which doesn’t. These internal little wonderful warriors (antibodies) that protect us from diseases, infections, and what not needs ultimate care so that we are kept healthy and strong from inside. The immune system doesn’t only need the right conditions to perform but also requires the right nutrition. 

The current global crisis has made us realize the importance of immunity in our daily lives. Good immunity won’t come easy without taking care of the gut (small intestine) and liver health. More than 70% of our immune system is in our gut which forms a foundation of our overall health. These two are one of the most important organs in our body that ensures the immunity that we need in our daily life to combat all sorts of illnesses. Having different types of juice is one of the most effective ways to boost our immune system. Hence, Arooshi Aggarwal, nutritionist and founder of Arooshi’s Nutrylife, shares some easy juice recipes. 

5 juice recipes shared by nutritionist Arooshi Agarwal. 

Green Juice

Green juice is a powerhouse of supplements for a solid immune system. It works best for detoxifying the liver. You need Wheat Grass, bottle gourd, a handful of mint leaves, and lime. Do not add salt or any condiments, try taking it raw. Blend these green veggies. You can adjust the consistency either with water or coconut water. The ideal time to consume this juice is in the morning. This juice is packed with antioxidants, iron, potassium magnesium which have a nerve and muscle relaxing effect. This juice helps in reducing the inflammation, cools down the body heat and antioxidants help in building up the antibodies.

White Juice

For this juice, you will need bottle gourd, green apple, celery and ginger. Ginger has always been the go-to food for colds. This is because it kills rhinovirus, the infectious agent responsible for the common cold. Celery is filled with sodium, a natural electrolyte that helps to treat dehydration. Green apples are also rich in vitamin C that boosts our immunity. Blend these together with water and drink. 

Orange juice

For orange juice, you will be needing carrots, pumpkin, and apricots. This juice is rich in Vitamin A which is also fat-soluble vitamin and helps us fight against eye infections and provides a better vision.

Red juice

For this refreshing juice, you will need beetroot, tomato, ginger, garlic, and turmeric. These are wonder veggies to improve immunity. These veggies keep gut flora (good bacteria) healthy and improve gut health. Not only this juice refreshes the mood but also helps to treat influenza, runny nose, and body aches. This juice is so healthy that it calms down the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis as turmeric, garlic, and ginger have strong inflammatory effects. 

Yellow juice

For this, you will need pineapple, carrot mint leaves and lemon. This juice is loaded with immunity builders. It helps in treating cold, cough, and sore throat. Pineapple can reduce the bronchial inflammation which provides better respiration and relieves from the excess mucus formation. This juice is high on Vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, potassium, and antioxidants which also benefit the skin and hair health.


These five juices will be a blessing to your immune system and vital organs. Also remember, hydration, exercise, and a healthy diet play a very important role to keep your immune system up. While juicing may benefit your physical health, it is equally important to take care of your mental health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa!

Also Read: Significance of self screening in early detection of Breast Cancer explained by Dr Chandrani Mallik

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Ways to improve your immunity against Coronavirus

Ways to improve your immunity against Coronavirus

  • October 16, 2020
While the country is grappling with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been shown through research that the process of combating the ill effects of the disease goes much beyond clinical support. An individual’s immunity and ability to tackle a health hazard is directly proportional to his/her immunity and nutritional status.

Our immune system is an intricate network of cells, tissues and organs that band together to defend your body against foreign invaders – like germs, viruses and bacteria. A healthy immune system protects us by creating a barrier that stops those invaders from entering our body. Hence with the advent of COVID-19, the role of a healthy immune system plays the role of a savior. Nutrition, choice of foods and lifestyle is decisive to an excellent health at all stages of life.

There can be ways to work on improving your immunity at home by inculcating the following practices in our lifestyle.

1. Eat right from the start:

Healthy and balanced nutrition should be inculcated from childhood. Once your child is 12 months old, they’ll be eating more of the foods that adults eat. Eating a healthy diet sets a good example for your children. It’s important for children and adults alike to limit foods that are high in sodium, unhealthy fats and added sugars.

When you are planning your meal for the whole family, try to add all types of food groups in your food plate, such as carbohydrates, add whole wheat or mixed grain chapati or hand-pounded rice. For protein, calcium add milk, curd, paneer, pulses, legumes, egg, chicken, fish. For healthy fats add olive oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, almond, walnut etc. For vitamins, minerals and antioxidants add colourful fruits and vegetables and also add prebiotic foods like yogurt and probiotic milk. Hydration is also paramount in the healthy working of the body. This type of diet can fulfil all the nutritional requirements of your body without any supplementation.

2. Rainbow food palette:

Foods have phytochemicals present in them that determine their colour. These are nothing but antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that provide nutrition to your body and help build immunity. Every natural colour given by nature to fruits and vegetables possesses special phyto nutrients that are specific to that colour. Hence, including foods from various colour families to your meals will ensure no important nutrient is missed out from your diet. Following a rainbow diet is easy as you can find many food alternatives in a colour family and it does not involve following unrealistic diet trends. Not only do the colours provide special nutrients but the vibrancy of the palette is also a mood booster!

Include foods from families of red, blue, green, yellow, orange and white in your diet to increase immunity.

4. Mindful eating:

Inadequate nutrition has been linked to lower resilience for fighting diseases and being an easy target for infections and viruses. Nutrients contribute to our overall health. Their intake in sufficient and right amounts is paramount to the well-being of the mind and body. However, getting engrossed in your screens while having meals can be a disaster, despite the nutrients you are having in your meals as you are unaware of the quantity intake. This habit leads to overeating. To curb this, one needs to be vigilant and peaceful while eating and not indulge in any activity during that time. Believe and follow “Mindful Eating”- enjoy the taste of food, restrict the portions and chew well for good gut health and proper absorption of nutrients. Avoid watching digital screens or reading while eating meals. It helps is coping with physical or mental stress during tough times and is especially necessary at this crucial time.

4. Plant-based eating:

Plant based eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources. Following this, you avoid food which is high in calorie, simple carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and high levels of sodium that can give you obesity and other health-related issues.

● Try to avoid table salt, replace it with lemon or herbs.

● Avoid packaged and processed food and snacks such as chips, namkeen, biscuits, rusk, burger, pizza. Try to take home-cooked snacks such as homemade roasted chana or roasted foxnut

● Avoid fizzy and carbonated drinks and replace them with nimbu pani, jaljeera, salted buttermilk.

We should remember that one of the most effective ways to combat viral infections, including COVID-19, lies in the optimal combination of diet and immunity. We should all contribute our bit to the ecosystem to uplift the health condition of the community as a whole.

Inputs by Vandana Luthra, Founder and Co-Chairperson, VLCC Group

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World food day: Healthy food habits to armor our immune system in the changing weather

  • October 16, 2020
Key soldiers in the fight include vitamins like A, C, E, B6, D, and minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium that help maintain a strong immune system and they are also antioxidants. (Representational image: IE)

By Namit Tyagi

The Autumn season has just begun in the country and we all are starting to fall a little sick with the common symptoms of cold and cough. Most grown-ups face such common symptoms twice a year whereas in children it is observed to be around 5-6 times. Everytime the weather changes, the count of allergens in the air also spikes up to nearly 200 viruses. The most common virus is Human Rhinovirus (HRV) that causes 40% of all colds. Thus these are mild viruses and can be eliminated easily from our body by following few precautionary measures.

To keep your immune system strong this season, adapt certain dietary habits and enjoy the festive season without any hurdle:

Eat more citrus fruits and vegetables – Citrus fruits are an amazing source of Vitamin-C. It strengthens our immunity system and keeps our skin smooth and elastic. Citrus fruits are also rich in Vitamin-B nutrients, copper, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium as well. For their antioxidants properties, add them in their mid-morning or evening snack in the form of either salad or juice. Infact, having an orange a day is sufficient enough to fulfill all our Vitamin-C requirements.

Make sure you eat enough protein – Protein helps our body in infinite ways. From muscular development to improving digestion. It is an important compound required in blood oxygenation which is then carried in all over the body. Add protein in your every meal in an adequate amount to fulfill your protein requirements thus help your body produce antibodies to boost immunity. The sources of protein include lentils, egg whites, quinoa,soya, broccoli and other dairy & poultry products.

Don’t overlook prebiotic foods – Add prebiotic sources in your meal or smoothies. Prebiotics are found in foods such as onion, garlic, banana, and curd. They assist in maintaining a balanced gut microbiome, which is a vital player in how your immune system functions. Prebiotics work by increasing the population of good bacteria in the gut which in turn sparks the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are tiny proteins that help the immune system function.

Get enough vitamins through your diet – Key soldiers in the fight include vitamins like A, C, E, B6, D, and minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium that help maintain a strong immune system and they are also antioxidants. Some foods that are rich in these vitamins include carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, almonds, avocados, salmon, oysters, tuna, and lean chicken breast. Enjoy adding them to your regular meals, evening or morning salads and smoothies.

Add Herbs and spices in your diet – Turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, Tulsi, Giloy, ashwagandha, Mulethi are ayurvedically known for boosting immunity, you can enjoy them as kadha or tea in the early morning or evening. You can add ashwagandha powder or tablet with milk at night or post-dinner to have sound sleep because sound sleep helps in boosting your immune health.

Thus, adding on a few basic ingredients from our kitchen in our dietary routine and swapping junk evening snacks with a bowl of fruits and sprouts could make a big difference in terms of health and energy levels in our body.

(The author is Co-Founder & Head Nutritionist, Neuherbs & Neusafe India. Views expressed are personal.)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arrives to testify before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis during a hearing on a national plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch - Pool/Getty Images)

Dr. Fauci’s 3 Tips For Healthy Living Will Help Your Immune System Function Optimally

  • October 15, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arrives to testify before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis during a hearing on a national plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch - Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 31: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arrives to testify before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis during a hearing on a national plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch – Pool/Getty Images)

Chances are your searches for “How to boost my immune system?” have increased over the recent months and weeks as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and enter cold and flu season, and rightfully so. Good thing Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, shared tips you can implement into your daily routine to strengthen your immune system and hopefully ward off the coronavirus.

In an interview with Business Insider, Dr. Fauci said, “Sometimes people, when they don’t get out in the sun a lot, they’re deficient in vitamin D.” He went on to explain that research has shown that those with low levels of vitamin D “have more of a propensity to get infected when there are infections around.” Dr. Fauci also made one thing clear: taking numerous multivitamins and herbs “really doesn’t boost immunity.”

To get your immune system to functional optimally, Dr. Fauci instead recommends getting enough sleep – most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night – following a good diet (choose one you enjoy!), and trying to avoid and alleviate stress as it can negatively impact your immune system. “That is much more healthy living than giving yourself supplements of anything,” he said.

You can start implementing these three tips today by getting into bed a little earlier than normal, making sure your meals contain nutritious foods, and using tools like meditation, journaling, yoga, exercise, and talking to loved ones or a professional mental health expert to reduce any stress you may be experiencing.

9 Tips on How to Start a Healthy Plant Based Diet From Experts

9 Tips on How to Start a Healthy Plant Based Diet From Experts

  • October 13, 2020

If you want to boost your immunity, lose weight, and be all-around healthier, you may be considering switching to a plant-based diet, but the question is: Where to start? Luckily, when you find reliable experts and resources it makes the transition not only easy but enjoyable. With these nine tips on how to start a healthy plant-based diet, you will ease into it, save money at the supermarket, and feel full while eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods.

Everyday Health, an online publisher with the mission to inspire and enable wellness, recently hosted a panel of experts on everything there is to know about starting a plant-based diet. The three experts included.Dr. David L. Katz, Preventive Medicine specialist, Marisa Moore, Registered Dietician Nutritionist and Lucy Danziger, Editorial Director of The Beet. Each of them offered easy, helpful advice about how to start your plant-based eating journey, including where to get your protein and the importance of fiber in your diet Here is everything you need to know about starting a plant-based diet and loving it.

1. Plant-based diets are one of the most inexpensive ways to eat.

A plant-based diet is as cheap as you make it and can even be done on a strict budget says Marisa Moore, RD. Her advice:  Take the time to plan your meals and how to maximize the groceries you are buying. “The best thing you can do is buy in bulk,” says Moore. Buying in bulk also means you can make your meals in bulk and then refrigerate what you don’t eat right away and use it throughout the week or even freeze it for the following weeks. Use the bulk items, such as peas, chickpeas, beans and turn them into soups, veggie burgers or dips.”

She also pointed out that canned beans are typically a little more expensive, so decide if you would rather spend a little more to save time you can do that too. If you’re on a strict budget, you can either save time or save money, but that’s usually the trade-off.

Moore’s advice is to shop seasonally and be flexible about the produce you eat from week to week, because not only is what’s in season cheaper but the nutrients are higher when the produce is local and in season. If you prefer out-of-season produce, head straight to the frozen section since frozen fruits and vegetables have almost the same nutrients as fresh, but the price tag of frozen foods is cheaper than buying them fresh and out of season.

2. Increase your fiber uptake over the recommended allowance of 5 servings a day.

Americans aren’t eating enough fiber, even if you are meeting the recommended daily allowance (that the USDA has advised us to eat, which is five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, or about 25 grams for women and 39 grams for men, says Dr. Katz. His recommendation is to see that as a lower limit and try to well exceed it for your healthiest results. Fiber is also filling and gives you a better chance of staying on track if weight loss is the goal, he adds. “Eating [the RDA] recommendation is actually the minimum amount of fiber you should be getting daily: Eat more fiber than the entry-level,” and shoot for 7 to 9 servings a day, says Dr. Katz. Actually, it’s not just about the fiber in these fruits and vegetables, but also the phytochemicals and antioxidants that come with the fiber. So when you get all those fruits and vegetables you are also getting the micronutrients — some of which don’t even have a name but we know are good for your body and provide the necessary nutrients to feel your best.

3. Where to get protein? Fall in love with “pulses,” such as chickpeas, beans, and peas.

Pulses, which are basically the family of legumes that we think of as beans and lentils and chickpeas and peas, are great sources of protein, fiber, and iron in a plant-based diet, says RD Moore. “Even if you aren’t a fan of all pulses, make sure to get creative with the ones you do like, such as lentils, and explore different spices and herbs,” recommends Moore. Here is a list of the top 15 legumes with the most protein per serving.

To make legumes more interesting, Moore suggests you add seasoning in the form of spices. “The spices and herbs you use add another level of nutritional benefits, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties,” she says. “Take a minute to compile your grocery list and make sure there is a variety of plants, spices, and herbs on it.” Turmeric is one such highly beneficial spice but there are several with health benefits that help to lower inflammation. As for lentils, Moore adds that there are several types and if you want variety in your food, you can try any number of lentil varieties to make soups, stews, salads, and more, and never get bored.

4. Skip Processed and add more whole foods that are grown in nature to your plate.

The point of going plant-based is not to add dairy-free ice cream or potato chips to your diet and call yourself plant-based. Instead, fill your plate with as many fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains, says Danziger. “You want to buy as fresh as possible and choose anything that looks as close to the way it looked when it grew in the ground,” she adds. “It’s important to buy whole grains that are as unprocessed as possible, such as wild rice quinoa or barley because when it gets processed is when it loses all its nutrients.”

5. Eat more fiber-filled foods like fruits and vegetables to lower your risk of disease.

A high-fiber diet high in fruits and vegetables has been linked to lowering your risk of disease. Dozens of recent studies have shown a diet high in plant-based whole foods lowers the risk of all diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more, Danziger points out.

Fiber helps develop a healthy gut, and what happens in your gut, ultimately affects your whole body, which is why everyone is obsessed with probiotics and the microbiome. “Even if you don’t cut out all animal products, start your meals with a big green salad filled with legumes, lentils, edamame, avocado, and quinoa,” Danziger recommends.

A loaded vegetable salad will fill you up and you won’t even want what you might have eating for lunch on days before you went plant-based such as the chicken salad or the dinner you used to think of as a normal protein source like steak. The more you fill up on plant-based high-fiber foods the less you want those animal products that are full of unhealthy saturated fat. The high-fiber salad will keep you full and help kickstart digestion and a healthier gut, which actually leads to disease prevention.

6. If it comes in a bag, it’s most likely not good for you. It’s that simple.

When you go plant-based you usually are trying to be healthier. Avoid processed foods that are sealed in the bag. Potato chips are one of the most processed foods in the supermarket. Instead of heading down the junk food aisle, head over to the produce aisle and grab potatoes. Danziger suggests cutting a potato in thin slices, bake it and you have a healthier potato chip. “That will allow it to keep more of the minerals that the potato absorbed in the ground.

7. Skip counting calories and instead eat foods rich in nutrients until you are full.

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t mean counting calories or weighing your food the way some diets used to require. Rather, fill your plate with nutrient-dense whole foods such as dark leafy greens and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and eat until you are full. Eating more foods rich in nutrients, such as broccoli and beans, allows you to feel fuller faster, therefore eating fewer calories overall, says Dr. Katz.

When assessing the quality of the food you eat, remember, that you don’t need animal products to get protein since the cow was able to get everything it needed from a plant-based diet. So we also can survive quite well on a plant-based diet. The protein in the foods we eat comes to us from plant-based foods like vegetables. “If we are what we eat, then the food that we eat is also what they eat,” explains Dr. Katz. By simply shifting to a more whole foods diet, you are eating a more optimal and balanced diet and skipping the animal fat which is what causes heart disease.

8. Be mindful of your Iron, B12 and Omega-3 levels when switching to plant-based.

Switching to a plant-based diet means being more aware of the vitamins and nutrients in your food and making sure you get enough of the essential vitamins that can be scarce on a plant-based diet. Certain vitamins like iron, B12, and Omega-3 fatty acids are more available when eating animal protein. When meat and fish are cut out of your diet, you need to either eat whole foods that are rich in these vitamins or take supplements says Moore, the RD. You can still get these nutrients on a plant-based diet, but you need to eat a greater amount of these vitamin-rich foods to ensure you are meeting your daily needs.

Great sources of B12 include fortified grains and nutritional yeast. You can reach your Omega-3 daily goals by eating hemp seed, walnuts, microalgae or flaxseeds. A nutrient-rich diet means combining your foods in a creative way, Moore suggests. “Add iron-rich foods like spinach with Vitamin C foods [like tomatoes] to boost your iron absorption.”

9. Eat more foods high in soluble fiber to optimize the immune system response.

As important as insoluble fiber is, since it’s the fiber that helps move food through your intestines, you should also prioritize soluble fiber as well since it’s the fiber your body can break down into the food. Foods high in soluble fiber include dried beans, oats, barley, apples, peas and potatoes, and more. “Soluble fiber slows the entry of fats and sugars into the body,” says Dr. Katz, “while stabilizing hormonal regulation of immune system response.”  That means if you eat pasta without soluble fiber, your insulin will spike [which you don’t want], but if you add peas to your pasta, it will blunt the spike and optimize the immune system response [which you do want]. The wider variety of fiber in your diet by adding fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts, the more antioxidants in your body, which also boosts immunity.

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