Anyone who knows me, my mum especially, knows that I will prescribe exercise for almost any or everything (within reason)! So, I was in my element when Lucy Jones, an award winning Dietician include keeping active, alongside a healthy diet, as a way to boost your immune as we chatted over the perfect post workout breakfast of granola lathered in Bio-tiful Dairy Morello Cherry Kefir, smashed avocado on toast and (for me) a decaf americano with almond milk.
Prior to breakfast at London Grind, we got to take part in a self-defence kickboxing class. It was a quick 30 minute blast of punches, kicks and lots of planks. Cos y’know, winter is coming and the evenings are especially dark now the clocks have turned back…
Bio-tiful Dairy conducted some research in the U.K which showed that almost 12 million of us Brits are entering into a Christmas and Winter “pre-tox” as we speak! Yet, it’s at this very time of year that 47% of us say that we fall ill more often; I’ve already had a head cold in October so I’m keen to do as much as I can to avoid anymore illness before summer comes back! It’ll also be no surprise to any of us that 49% of us, that’s almost half, put on weight during the winter but the good news is that we’re trying hard not to; 22% exercise more across November while 20% of us intentionally eat more foods to help boost our immune systems. And that’s made a little easier by Bio-tiful Dairy and their range of Kefir products yet sooooo many of us don’t actually know the benefits of Kefir or other health foods.
Did you know: Due to the fermentation process Kefir goes through, it’s suitable for those who like me, are lactose intolerant!
It’s been big news recently how important gut health is and I was fascinated to hear from Lucy that microbiota in our stomachs accounts for 70% of ur immune system (…and weighs a whole 2kg by itself!). And although there is no quick fix to setting up your system right, there are of course things we can all bear in mind to help keep well this winter…
> Eat a range of colourful, vitamin rich foods (pack in those fruits and vegetables peeps!)
> Consider supplementing with Zinc which helps support immunity. It can also be found in lean meats, fish, seafood, nuts seeds and beans.
> Friendly gut bacteria found in fermented foods and supplements (probiotics, prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in your gut) support your body’s defences against viruses and can shorten any illness.
> Keep hydrated! Remember that alcohol can suppress your immune system so drink plenty of water with all your festive drinks.
> Make sure you eat enough; this is one I even struggle with sometimes. This is crucial for energy and mental performance.
> Get enough sleep to complement all that good food you’re eating. Research suggests that a minimum of 7 hours should be our target.
…and then like I mentioned, earlier, keep active! Keep in mind though, that intense exercise can put increased pressure on your body which temporarily reduces your immune system making you prone to illness.
…so sometimes, it’s not all “go hard, or go home”, eh?! …You can pick up Bio-tiful Dairy Kefir in their original flavour in addition to Morello Cherry in Tesco stores nationwide (from 6th November) as well as Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Co-op, Ocado, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and Selfridges (plus other independent health food stores).
Have you tried Kefir before?!