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Focus on Nutrients

08 Apr 2020

This week’s resilience building habit is a focus on nutrients.

A focus on nutrients doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy treats. It’s nearly Easter weekend and a great opportunity for you and your bubble-buddies to share some fun festive food and activities. Life at home can be a bit bland without things to look forward to and enjoyment of food can bring people together.

But when you’re not enjoying food for fun it’s important to eat for fuel. At the moment most of us don’t need fuel for endurance exercise. What we need is fuel for physical immunity and mental resilience. People often eat fairly well at home but the wheels fall off when they are out of the house. Lockdown is a good opportunity to exercise thought and control in the food you bring into your home.

A diet oriented towards plant-based foods and away from ultra-processed foods is best for your body and mind. But fresh produce can be a challenge at the moment so it is a great time to consider canned and frozen fruit and vegetables.

Check the ingredients list to assess the quality of the product. The best products will be exactly what the label says, no more. For example, canned apples would ideally be 100% apples without sugar, flavours or anything else. For some product categories it’s appropriate to have minimal extra ingredients, you just need to read the list and compare products. Obviously this is not the time to stand about in the supermarket handling every can they sell. The supermarket’s online website will have the key information of almost every packaged product so do your research before you leave the house.

Now is also a good time to consider probiotic foods for gut health. Up to 80% of serotonin (happy hormone) is made in the gut so it’s an important contributor to mood. A healthy gut can also help with physical immunity, digestion, nutrient absorption and sleep quality. Supermarket superfoods that promote gut health include kombucha, kefir, kimchi, kraut and probiotic yoghurt. You could also consider a probiotic supplement but it’s good to nail the diet side first. The benefit of using high-nutrient foods and drinks to promote gut function is that the nutrients can improve the function of other areas of your body at the same time. It's efficient.

High quality nutrients are an important building block for a strong healthy body. This will reduce your risk of illness, and speed up your recovery if you do fall ill. If you’re concerned about getting the right nutrients and optimal nutrient absorption please don’t hesitate to message Life Pharmacy Takapuna for advice.

Author

Claire Bellingham

Claire Bellingham is Life Pharmacy Takapuna's very own health columnist.  Claire has been a personal trainer at Les Mills Takapuna for 15 years and writes a monthly health column in Channel Magazine.

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