Personal Protective Nutrition(PPN)-Create Meals to Boost Immunity
Experience and education are key when searching for nutrition advice… look no further.
Pemi-Baker Community Health welcomes our newest Community Partner, Denise Poudrier Normandin, Registered Dietitian, founder, and CEO of Enlighten Nutrition & Wellness. Denise is a passionate advocate, leader and motivator of healthy eating, physical movement, and lifestyle medicine practices. She has over two decades of experience as a Registered/Licensed Dietitian, Nutrition & Health Educator, Consultant and Coach. With Covid-19 cases on the rise, maximizing the health of our immune system by eating well and exercising is more important than ever!
Focusing on food sources that support a healthy immune system is essential to maintaining and/or improving health. Think of food as nature’s medicine! Food can heal or harm our bodies. It is important to consume whole foods. A whole food has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances, therefore more nutrient-dense. Meanwhile one should limit, highly processed foods, saturated fats, refined grains and added sugars. Evidence suggests a healthy eating pattern is linked to lower risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. These largely preventable chronic diseases put people at a greater risk for illness, including COVID-19.
NATURAL IMMUNITY BOOSTERS
- All bright-colored fruits and vegetables. They offer extensive antioxidant protection and bolster the body’s infection-fighting mechanisms. Think of red-orange vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes all are rich in beta-carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A. Beta-carotene comes from plant sources and has been shown to protect lung strength as we age. The American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including beta-carotene, by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Vitamin C-rich foodslike citrus, broccoli, sweet bell peppers, kale, and kiwi.
- Vitamin D found in salmon, mushrooms (exposed to sunlight), eggs, and fortified foods like milk.Also known as “the sunshine vitamin” is produced when skin is exposed briefly to natural sunlight.
- Zinc is an essential mineral for immune function. Found in high amounts in meat and seafood and in moderate amounts in chickpeas, sunflowers, and pumpkin seeds.
- Natural herbs and spices: ginger, garlic, onions, oregano, rosemary, and thyme all have properties that help fight off viruses and harmful bacteria.
- Eat a variety of plant-based foods: nuts, seeds, beans (all kinds).
Good nutrition requires planning ahead, designating time in your schedule to shop, plan, prepare and enjoy healthy meals. Make the most out of every trip to the grocery store or local farmers market by considering:
- How many meals will you prepare at home from scratch?
- How many people will you need to serve?
- Will breakfast be a quick meal like cereal, whole-grain toast with avocado or hard-boiled eggs with fresh berries?
- What leftovers can you turn into a quick snack or lunch the next day?
FITTING IN FITNESS
Like healthy eating, being physically active is one of the most important actions that people of all ages can take to improve their health. Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 adults and teens get enough exercise to maintain good health. Lack of physical activity combined with poor dietary choices contributes to excess weight. Find physical activities that you enjoy and will want to do! Recruit a buddy to join you. Make exercise part of your daily routine.
The CDC Physical Activity Guidelines, 2nd Edition recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combo of both, preferably spread throughout the week.
Get moving today… here are some key benefits of staying active:
- Fosters normal growth and development.
- Makes people feel better, function better and sleep better.
- Greatly reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Builds strength and helps our body manage unhealthy stress.
- A healthy body builds a healthy mind.
The time is now! Make your health and wellness a priority so you can live life to the fullest! Insurance accepted. Contact Denise to book a virtual telehealth or in-person appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org or on line www.enlightenlivewell.com
Denise is a registered dietitian through the Commission on Dietetics Registration, a board-certified diplomat in Lifestyle Medicine through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and a preferred provider of Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). She is committed to building stronger, healthier individuals, families and communities through individual and group nutrition consultations, telehealth, corporate training workshops, wellness retreats, health, and lifestyle coaching, and speaking engagements.
With over 50 years of experience, serving clients from 22 towns in central and northern New Hampshire, Pemi-Baker Community Health is committed to creating healthier communities. Services include at-home healthcare (VNA), hospice and palliative care, on-site physical and occupational therapy and aquatic therapy in their 90-degree therapy pool.
~Written by Denise Poudrier Normandin, MA, RD, LD, DipACLM