The benefits of eating healthily
As you may know I am now running fortnightly workshops at Maggies, cancer caring centre, based in the grounds of the City Hospital, Nottingham. And as it is breast cancer awareness month I thought it would be appropriate to write something about how food can help boost a suppressed immune system, lift your mood and help make you feel less stressed, at what can often be a very stressful time of your life
I advocate a healthy balanced diet to all my clients, including those going through a stressful time. A healthy balanced diet can, depending on your circumstances can help you to maintain, gain or lose weight. Of course there are instances when you need extra nutritional support, but I believe for the most part food in its natural state is the best nourishment. And if like me you like cooking that can be a stress buster in itself.
My previous blog goes into more detail about what can constitute a healthy balanced diet, so lets spend some time looking at stress and the impact it can have on your diet and in turn how food can impact on your stress
If you are under a lot of stress you are more susceptible to feeling unwell both emotionally and physically, one part of the solution is to eat plenty of stress busting foods and drink to boost your immune system. Try some of these simple steps
- Don’t skip breakfast; it can help with mood, memory and attention. Try eating porridge or my overnight oats (a cold variations), wholegrain cereal like branflakes, Weetabix or shredded wheat. Brazil nuts are also great as they contain selenium – a great mineral for lifting your mood.
- Eat a variety fruit and veg – so you get a ‘rainbow’ of colour and a boost of vitamin A, C & E and Zinc. All of which play a positive role in your immune system
- During the day drink black or green tea – full of antioxidants
- Stay hydrated with water – often you can mistake thirst for hunger so always have a drink first; wait about 10 minutes and then have something to eat if you are still hungry
- Have a warm milky drink at night – the calcium soothes tension as well as eases anxiety and the protein has a calming effect on the body, which could lower blood pressure.
- Rest and relaxation – take time for your self; read a book, have a warm bath, listen to your favourite cd or watch your favourite dvd
- Limit your alcohol intake. It is a depressant not a stimulant so drink within safe limits
- De-stress with some exercise or activity – brisk walking is great way to burn calories, get some fresh air and absorb some much needed vitamin D
Have a read through some of my additional blogs about stress and the immune system