In years past immunity was a hot topic during the winter months or flu seasons, but it now seems to be a daily concern. 2020 harshly reminded us the importance of immune health and encouraged more people to investigate immune-promoting nutrition (while some hoarded hand sanitizer).
Immune health has always been important, though, and it goes beyond reacting once you are already feeling under the weather. Your immune system depends on your daily habits and will strengthen with consistency. How you eat, sleep and manage stress when you are healthy will determine how efficiently your immune system runs when you are exposed to a bug. It’s like building a fortress before a battle—you wouldn’t start building the walls once you’ve already been attacked.
Just to back up quickly, let’s review what the immune system even is. It is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend our bodies from infections. So, the way we can boost our immunity is by supporting these important cells and consuming enough quality protein. Nutrition is crucial to our immune strength!
As an athlete (yes, you are), immunity is even more essential. Your body requires additional nutrients to fuel and recover from your activity, leaving it vulnerable to illness if not given adequate nutrition. This goes beyond the products you take before, during and after training. PNG represents performance wellness, meaning we believe in quality nutrition throughout the day for peak performance in all aspects of life. This differs from the standard sports nutrition approach that solely focuses on nutrient timing around your training. An active lifestyle requires attention to all-day nutrition. Your supplements then fill in any gaps and support the quality nutrition foundation you’ve created.
The great news is that you can start strengthening your immune system right now. It doesn’t take any fancy equipment or require an intricate plan; a colorful, balanced diet works beautifully. Good nutrition promotes a strong immune system before you get sick. This includes eating lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats like nuts and seeds—all while reducing the processed food in your routine.
Help support your immune system and protect yourself from infection by including the following key nutrients in your diet.
Function: Help produce the cells that regulate immune response, making them essential to a strong immune system.
Foods: whole grains, animal protein, legumes, nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables
Function: Protects us as a potent antioxidant by fighting off free radicals and boosting immunity. Important for initiating the cellular immune response.
Foods: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bell peppers, kiwi, oranges, papaya, strawberries, melons
Function: Supports the proper functioning of immune cells. More on Vitamin D here.
Foods: Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, though some foods are fortified with it. The best way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure. 15-20 minutes a day allows our bodies to produce daily vitamin D it needs. Supplementing may be necessary for those living in climates with less sun year-round.
Function: Helps the immune system work properly by aiding in the repair of all cells. Enhances healing.
Foods: Oysters, red meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, seeds
PNG Immunity Boost is an excellent way to ensure you’re supporting your immune system. It conveniently contains your daily doses of all four of these important nutrients and is made using natural ingredients and natural flavors to ensure you are getting all the things you need and none of the things you don’t. Zero calories, zero sugar and zero artificial ingredients.
It can be difficult to get in enough fruits and veggies when you’re always on the go, so we created Immunity Boost to simplify immune support. It is an easy, stress-free way to stay healthy and support your active lifestyle. Now in 2 delicious flavors, Mixed Berry and Citrus Orange, just add 1 serving to 8 ounces of water for a delicious and nutritious boost to your day (our single serving packets are perfect to keep in your gym bag or purse!). You can think of it as your daily immune support to cover any area you may be lacking in your diet.
Still Got Sick?
Some things are out of your control. If you lead a healthy lifestyle, keep a balanced diet, and still get sick—stick to the basics: rest, hydrate and continue to eat nutrient-dense meals. Consistently eating a high-quality diet will allow you to fight off illness quicker. Fruits, vegetables and added support from Immunity Boost will do you wonders!
Contributed by: Brooke Wyatt of Long Game Nutrition
Follow her on Instagram: @dietitianbrooke_
Comments will be approved before showing up.