It’s winter time again!!! By now cold mornings, chilly nights and motivation dips are sure to be setting in. You’re surrounded by sniffling, sneezing, coughing peers everywhere you go and exercising and throwing down cold protein shakes are probably the last thing on your mind.
However, did you know that maintaining consistency in your workouts and protein intake becomes especially important during this vulnerable time in the seasons. Exercise and protein intake are both extremely beneficial to building and maintaining a strong immune system to keep those cold and flu symptoms at bay. Most people’s first instinct is to reach for vitamin C, zinc and echinacea but it’s your protein powder that could potentially have all the immune boosting nutrients you require. Since your immune system is made up of proteins and relies on new protein synthesis to function, it is no surprise that not getting enough in your diet can weaken your immunity. Having a strong immune system requires a well-balanced diet containing the proper amounts of all essential nutrients - including protein.
These three very overlooked natural elements and important macro nutrient can supercharge your immune function if current levels are too low. These include
- Regular exercise (Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC) increasing the body's immune system cells that fight disease.)
- Exposure to fresh air (supplies your immune system with the oxygen it needs to kill and destroy bacteria, viruses and germs.)
- Daily exposure to sunshine (sunshine stimulates your immune systems' vitamin D and T cells, which ultimately results in boosted immunity)
- Adequate protein intake. Protein is vital to build and repair body tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections
The Importance of Protein & Immunity
A diet lacking in quality protein sources that provide an array of nutrients like those found in whey protein, hemp protein, cheese, beef, and fish can leave your immune system compromised. While vegan based diets are high in quality plant nutrients, a poorly planned vegan diet may leave avid followers short in the four key nutrients, b12, Calcium, Iodine and Iron all which are required for a healthy immune system. While the contents of these 4 nutrients is unarguably found in higher amounts amongst animal products, there are still plenty of plant based sources that offer these nutrients such as super-foods, green leafy vegetables and bright coloured fruits. The trick is getting enough of these foods in on a regular basis with increased consumption during the more vulnerable periods of seasonal change and or during times of increase physical or emotional stress.
Some of our favourite vegetarian superfoods include
Some of our favourite vegan superfoods include
Supergreen blends including spirulina, chrolella, barley grass, wheat grass
Super red fruits& veges like: pomegranate, beetroot, raspberry’s, elder berries, blueberries, black berries, cherries, red grapes, goji berries
Legumes, Hemp Protein, Pea Protein
Therefore increasing your intake of nutrient dense foods like protein powders and plant or animal based super-foods is essential in maintaining overall balance and restorative powders of your entire system. Just like a delicate car engine it only takes one deficiency for a complete breakdown in other bodily functions.
Photo by @sarahpflugphoto