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What to Eat During UTI

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is one of the most common types of infection in human beings. These are infections from microbes, which are microscopic organisms that can only be seen on a microscope—most of the UTIs result from bacteria. However, in some cases, UTI can be caused by viruses and fungi.

You can have a UTI in any part of your urinary tract, which includes your urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidney. In most cases, you will have UTI involving the bladder and the urethra. In rare cases, UTI can also affect the kidneys and ureters in the upper tract. Lower tract UTIs are more common than upper tract UTIs.

Related: What You Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infections

Symptoms: How do you know that you have UTI?

 Here are some of the symptoms of UTI you should be aware of:

  • Increase in urine urgency 
  • Bloodstains in urine
  • Pelvic pain in women 
  • Burning sensations when passing urine
  • Increase in urination frequency 
  • Men experience rectal pain 
  • Urine with a strong odor 

If you are diagnosed with an upper tract UTI, you may have symptoms like vomiting, nausea, chills, fever, and pain and tenderness in the upper back.

UTI during home

Can You Treat UTI at Home?

You cannot treat UTI at home completely, but you can prevent it from happening and reduce its severity. If you want to reduce your risk of contracting a UTI, you should drink plenty of water to clear the UTI infection from your urinary bladder faster. 

Also, you can include cranberries in your diet to help suppress the UTI infection. Some studies have shown that cranberries contain chemicals that can prevent bacterial UTI from attaching to the balder lining. This helps a lot in preventing UTI. If you’ve been having frequent UTI, you should not hesitate to include cranberries in your diet.

What to drink for a UTI

When you have UTI frequency or are already infected with a UTI, you should be careful what you eat. Some studies have linked body hydration to the risk of getting UTI. When your body is well hydrated, it increases the urination frequency, which means your body is more likely to flash out the bacterium causing the UTI. 

Drink plenty water

In another study, scientists confirm that urine output is directly associated with recurrent UTI. If you want to stay hydrated throughout the day, you should drink the recommended amount of water. Make it a habit to carry a water bottle with you when outdoor. 

According to a US National Academies of Sciences study, men should take about 3.7 liters of water while women should only drink 2.7 liters.

Stick with the usual 8 cups a day.

drink water during UTİ

Cranberry juice 

Cranberry juice is a magic fluid you should add to your diet if you have UTI. Although cranberry juice does not cure UTI, it reduces the risk of catching the disease. It can help to prevent UTI bacteria from spreading to your urinary tract.

The juice contains substances that prevent the UTI bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract so that it is excreted out through urine. However, this topic is still open to debate and further research. 

Always take cranberry juice without alcohol if you want the best out of the drink.

yogurt for UTI

Drink cold yogurt

Yes, yogurt can also help prevent the risk of UTI in humans. Your body needs probiotics and strong antibiotics as soon as possible when you are diagnosed with UTI. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and support the immune system.

Yogurt is rich in probiotics. When you have UTI, you should take unsweetened yogurt to eliminate the bacteria in your urinary tract. 

Foods to eat for a UTI

What you eat affects your body and health in many ways, right from weight loss, hair growth to bladder health. You can avoid UTI if you stick to a balanced diet. That means you should have the following foods in your diet to strengthens the immune system and can prevent the risk of UTI:

  • Proteins; legumes
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
  • Foods rich in antioxidants; dark chocolate, blueberries, cranberries 
  • Smart drinks like green tea.

Foods to avoid for a UTI

When you have UTI, you should avoid the following foods:

  • Avoid spicy food because it can irritate your urinary bladder and cause discomfort 
  • Until your infection is gone, you should avoid drinking coffee and taking alcohol

A Nutritious Path to a Healthy Liver

Our liver is like a battery- it helps power our body by storing and releasing energy when we need it. The liver converts food into the chemicals important for life and removes toxins from the blood.  An optimal diet for a healthy liver is balanced nutritiously with protein, fat, and carbohydrates and filled with fruit and veggies. Following a nutritious diet can lead to a healthy liver.

Significance. Purpose. Effect.

The liver is the largest and hardest-working organ in the body. It is found beneath the diaphragm, nestled in the upper right part of the abdomen. Blood leaving the stomach and intestines for the rest of the body must first pass through the liver. Here we can see the liver function as the body’s refinery.  The liver processes the blood, breaking down the nutrients and absorbed drugs into forms that the body can easily use. 

The liver also makes bile, a green-yellow fluid that is essential for digestion.  The gallbladder stores the bile and releases it into the intestine after eating.  

Other functions of the liver are: carrying away waste and breaking down fats in the small intestine, producing proteins and cholesterol, converting excess glucose into glycogen for storage, regulating blood levels of amino acids, storing iron, clearing the blood of drugs and bacteria, and regulating blood clotting. If any of these functions go wrong, illness can occur.

water for healthy liver

Significance of Nutrition to a Healthy Liver

Nutrition and liver go hand in hand and work together to get things done. One example is when the intestine absolves carbohydrates and is transported through blood vessels into the liver.  There, they are converted into glycogen and stored.  The liver breaks down this stored glycogen between meals, releasing sugar into the blood for quick energy and lowering blood sugar.  This process occurs so that we can have balanced energy throughout our day.

A second great example is a protein. Food proteins are broken down in the small intestine and turned into amino acids through the liver. The liver uses amino acids to make body proteins- these contribute to the strength and beauty of our hair, nails, bones, and muscles. A toxic metabolic product known as ammonia is produced during the breakdown of body proteins. The liver detoxifies this toxin, makes it into urea, and is removed from the body through the kidneys.

Related: Lifestyle Factors That Affect Your Liver Health

Liver Friendly Foods 

In addition to fruits and vegetables being part of a healthy liver plan, some other natural foods help to protect liver health like fibrous foods such as lentils and whole grains, healthy amounts of beverages derived from natural food sources like coffee and tea.  Regular consumption of these foods and beverages nurtures healthy liver function. 

healthy liver

Let’s Take a Closer Look at Popular Liver Friendly Foods

Grapefruit:  The antioxidants in grapefruit protect the liver by helping reduce inflammation and increase its protective mechanisms.

Berries:  Berries are high in antioxidants, which help protect the liver from damage.

Grapes: Both the seed and fruit contain a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol- especially found in red and purple grapes. Resveratrol provides protection against many diseases, especially liver cancer and liver inflammation. 

Nuts:  Nut intake associated with improved liver enzyme levels in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Conversely, low nut intake is related to a higher risk of developing the disease.

Fatty Fish:  Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in protecting cardiovascular health, balancing cholesterol, preventing inflammation, and protecting liver health. Liver health-conscious should consume fatty fish at least two days a week to get enough omega 3 fatty acids into the body.

Artichoke: The component called “Ciaran” found in artichokes supports the working order of the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts, and the kidneys and intestines. Artichoke speeds up the flow of bile. In this way, it prevents blockages in the bile duct and protects against gallbladder diseases.  At the same time, it facilitates digestion, prevents indigestion, and increases urea in the kidneys to create a diuretic effect. 

Coffee: Coffee increases antioxidant levels in the liver, all while decreasing inflammation. It also helps lower the risk of developing liver disease, cancer, and fatty liver.

Tea:  Black and green tea may help improve enzyme and fat levels in the liver.

coffee for healthy liver

Foods the Liver Can Live Without

Our liver thrives on nutrients for support throughout its unresting work.  While fruit and vegetables are the food of choice to provide the nutrients needed for the liver to be healthy and function, things like processed food and refined sugars can do just the opposite and damage the liver.

Now that we know some of the best liver-friendly foods, let’s take a look at popular foods that the liver can live without:

  • Sugar, such as candy, cookies, sodas, and fruit juices should be consumed in moderation.

High blood sugar increases the amount of fat buildup in the liver.

  • Fried foods, such as french fries, fast food, nuggets, onion rings are super high in saturated fats and should be consumed occasionally or avoided altogether.  

Foods higher in saturated fats make it hard for the liver to work and do its jobs.

  • Alcohol.  Consuming alcohol regularly can lead to serious liver damage.

Alcohol is removed from the body through the liver.  The liver breaks the alcohol down into substances that can be removed.  However, the substances are more dangerous than the alcohol itself.  Following moderate alcohol consumption guidelines can prevent liver damage.

  • Salt must be consumed minimally. 

Too much sodium can cause reactions that lead to liver fibrosis.

  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice, and pasta must be consumed in moderation. 

Due to a lack of fiber, this carb type is known to raise blood sugar.

  • Meat and meat products should be consumed occasionally.

Red meat and processed meats such as deli meats have many negative effects on the liver, especially high in saturated fat.  Overconsumption of these food products can lead to serious problems, specifically insulin resistance and fatty liver disease.

Guide to Building a Balanced Plate Overview – Healthy Eating Plate

A balanced plate or a balanced diet includes foods from five groups that could fulfill all your nutritional needs. Eating a diet that contains all the healthy foods could help you maintain good health whilst reducing the risk of disease.

With scientific advances, dietary guidelines evolve so, it can be quite challenging to stay at the top of current recommendations and also know the right foods to eat. This article will take a close look at how we can build a balanced plate but first, what is a balanced plate?

Also known as a balanced diet, it helps to fulfill all of a person’s nutritional needs. By eating a balanced plate, you can get the nutrients and calories your body needs and avoid junk foods or those without any nutritional value.

Before pondering on ingredients that should fall into portions of your plate, you should understand that foods with similarities in nutrients can be grouped.  But, what foods should you eat? Below are some that you should include in your diet.

Related: 12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

healthy eating plate

Make Most of Your Meal Vegetables and Fruits – ½ Your Plate

½ of your plate should be filled with vegetables as they are an important source of nutrients, including dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A. Moreover, they are low in calories so, most health experts recommend that they are to be consumed daily. There is even a scientific consensus that a balanced, rotating diet of varieties of vegetables is one of the best ways to source nutrients from your food at an early age. To enjoy a plate of vegetables, ensure to include a variety of different colors, in particular dark greens, reds and oranges.

On the other hand, fruits are packed with a variety of amazing nutrients, including folate (folic acid), potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. On a daily basis, make sure you consume fruits even if they contain just ½ of your plate. You can snack on them or have them as dessert.

Vegetables and fruits on white Premium Photo

What is their importance in diet, what are their examples?

Due to the fact that fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of essential minerals and vitamins, they are high in fiber and provide you with a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants.  They can significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic disease and inflammation, lower blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease, help with diabetes control and even improve digestive health among others.

Some examples of vegetables in various beautiful colors are green cabbages, red tomatoes, purple cauliflower, yellow bell peppers, white turnips and mushrooms. These are vegetables you can enjoy with any variety of food.

 You can eat fresh fruits, canned fruits or frozen fruits. Also, you can eat it whole, cut-up, or pureed. Some examples of fruits you can try are blackberries, oranges, pomegranate, white peaches, grapefruit, mango, banana, and pineapple to mention but a few.

However, you should limit your portions of fruit juice or dried fruit. They are higher in calories, easy to over-consume and deliver more sugar.

Go for Whole Grains – ¼ Your Plate

Foods that are rich in healthy carbs include whole grains and starchy vegetables. Such foods provide you with a lot of nutrients including several B vitamins (niacin, folate, riboflavin and thiamin), dietary fiber, and minerals like selenium, potassium, iron and magnesium.

whole grains

What is their importance in diet, what are their examples?

Healthy carbs like whole grains are your body’s main source of energy and they help fuel your brain, central nervous system and muscles. They also aid easy digestion and help to keep your cholesterol levels in check. Generally, it is recommended that people consume between 45-65% of their total calories in form of carbohydrates on a daily basis. At least ¼ of your plate should contain whole grains.

Some examples of whole grains you can enjoy are rolled oats, whole wheat, millet, farro, brown rice, barley. You can also try healthy grain products like tortillas, breakfast cereals, and 100-percent whole-wheat bread.

Remember to limit your intake of refined grains like pasta, white rice, white bread, and products made from white flour.

Protein Power – ¼ Your Plate

Your plate should also contain at least ¼ of lean protein. This protein provides B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and B6), zinc, iron, and magnesium.

protein in healthy eating plate

What is their importance in diet, what are their examples, what should be limited?

Lean protein helps you build muscles, lose weight, support the immune system, provide your body with vitamin B, increase metabolism, lower blood pressure, reduce cravings and snacking and build and repair cartilages, skin, bones and blood.

Foods that provide you with a high level of protein include animal products such as eggs, meat, and dairy, plant proteins like beans, soy and lentils. To enjoy proteins try different animal seafood including lean meats, poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy. You could also enjoy plant proteins like tofu, edamame, tempeh, and soymilk.

Cut down the intake of fatty cuts of meats and processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, bacon and salami.

Healthy Fats – in moderation

Always remember to add a small dollop of healthy fats. Oils that are derived from plants essentially provide you with mono- and polyunsaturated fats and even vitamin E. A lot of people try as much as possible to stay away from fats due to cholesterol but opting for healthy fats could provide you with nutritional benefits.

healthy fats

What is their importance in diet, what are their examples, what should be limited?

Healthy fats promote the normal function of the nervous system and the brain lowers cholesterol in the body, supports heart health and reduces inflammation in the body.

Some amazing examples of foods with healthy fats to choose from are nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, chia seeds. Make sure to cook plant oils that are liquid at room temperature, such as avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and nut and seed oils.

Try as much as possible to stay away from fats that are solid at room temperature, including butter, lard, bacon grease, palm oil, shortening and coconut oil. All of these can raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Healthy Eating Plate is to Focus on Diet Quality

The main reason for eating a balanced plate is to gain a wide range of nutritional benefits and be in good health. Basically, the focus is on diet quality. Below are some tips for a healthy eating plate.

  •         The type of carbohydrate in a diet is more important than the amount of carbohydrate in the diet because sources of carbohydrates like beans, whole grains and fruits are more important than others
  •         The healthy eating plate also advises consumers to stay away from sugary beverages, a major source of calories with little or no nutritional value.
  •         Consumers are also encouraged to make use of healthy oils, and this does not set a maximum on the percentage of calories that you should consume daily from healthy fat sources.

Summary Tips

  •         Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
  •         Base your meals on higher fiber carbohydrates
  •         Cut down your intake of saturated fats and sugar
  •         Drink enough water
  •         Eat less salt

In conclusion, never forget that a consistent intake of healthy foods keeps the doctor away. Ensure to always eat healthy foods in the right portions to remain in great health.

New Regularity in Diet: Functional Foods

   “Superfood” and “miracle food” are terms that can often be heard in diets. Unfortunately, there is no such food that will quickly bring any diet process to the desired point. But there are foods that stand out with their health benefits. What are? Functional foods.

   Functional foods according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are enriched or improved foods that have a potentially beneficial effect on health when consumed regularly as part of a variety of nutrition at effective levels based on important food standards.

   In addition to the variety of nutrition, in the diet, by adding functional foods to our consumption preferences, we not only help increase positive effects for the body but also support our protection against chronic diseases and improving our disease.

Everything is like Hippocrates said 2,500 years ago: “Let the food be your medicine and your medicine will be your food.”

The term functional foods cover a wide range of products:

  • They can be functional due to unprocessed foods that retain their natural structure and bioactive compounds they contain: All fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy products, fish, and meat.
  • Bioactive compound types, components, foods modified for their bioavailability: milk enriched with vitamin D, eggs enriched with margarine, and omega-3 fatty acids enriched with omega-3 fatty acids.
  •  Apart from that, even without food, some food ingredients can be bioactive ingredients used in food products to provide a functional effect: indigestible carbohydrates (such as oligosaccharides and resistant starch) that provide prebiotic effects. 
  • Some functional foods can also be produced with a specific functional compound. Just like turning milk into yogurt for probiotic benefits.

Bowl of yogurt with bluberries and granola

The reason why functional foods can provide health benefits is that they contain bioactive compounds that will have biological activity in the human body. For example ; 

  • Carotenoids (eg lycopene, beta-carotene) in tomatoes promote cardiovascular health. 
  • Bioactive peptides and probiotics in fermented milk/dairy products support the intestines, immunity, and metabolic health. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other fatty fish support brain and cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts support cardiovascular and brain health. 
  • Broccoli and cruciferous glycosinolate increase the antioxidant capacity with vitamin C and K content and may decrease some cancer risk.

Including Functional Foods in Your Diet

Adding plenty of herbal food, healthy protein, and dairy products to your shopping lists is a way to increase your functional food intake. Consider these tips:

  • Increase the variety of foods on your shopping list

By combining choices from different food groups at the same meal or on the same day, you can actually get different bioactive components for your body’s health without realizing it.

functional foods shopping list

  • Fill half your plate with vegetables

Phytochemicals are found in herbal foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. Adding to your meals means you can take benefit of them.

  • Choose cooking techniques by food

Baking can destroy some compounds or increase the activity of the compounds. For example, vitamin C is sensitive to high temperatures. Vitamin A is heat-resistant and availability can increase when it is heated. For example, by adding and heating olives to tomatoes, the bioactivity of the phytochemical and carotenoid called lycopene can be increased and may have beneficial health effects. While the structure of avidin in the egg is raw, vitamin B7 can prevent the absorption of biotin. With cooking, this avidin cannot do this.

  • Choose a variety of colors when choosing food

Phytochemicals usually manifest themselves in the form of a color. By consuming many different colors of vegetable foods, you can consume more phytochemicals and take advantage of health benefits.

colorful functional foods

  • Reduce the intake of highly processed foods

Highly processed foods are generally low in vitamins, minerals, and bioactive. Balance is the key to enjoying eating, it also provides the body with nutrients that need to stay healthy and reduce the risk of disease. Therefore, the balance should be achieved when these foods want to be consumed.

  • Let your preference be enriched foods

Public health studies are studies that require long processes and labor. At the end of these studies, the things that are deemed missing in the society, such as vitamin-mineral deficiency, can be supported by adding them to the most consumed foods in society. For example, if your milk is enriched with vitamin D in your country, you should choose this. Everything is for you and your health.

 

Vivoo Nutrition Team

The 3 Keys to Staying Fit As Seasons Change

For most of us, it can be difficult to adapt to changes in seasons, especially in winter.

But there is no stopping the cyclical changing of the seasons. Consciously adjusting to these changes, protecting our energy, and keeping our immunity strong can help us in our social lives. We can do this by being mindful of the environment that surrounds us. What can we do on a daily basis to adapt to change, protect our energy, and strengthen our immunity?

Step 1. Learn how to stay energetic!

While trying to meet the demands of both business and private life, our minds and bodies work overtime. How can we maintain our energy levels so that we can feel good?

season change

-Don’t be tempted to skip meals

When we skip meals, the amount of glucose in the blood that can be used for fuel decreases. Low blood sugar makes you feel restless, puzzled, and tired. The body begins to increase cortisol production and our stress levels increase. Therefore, it is important to eat at mealtimes.

-Have breakfast every day

The average amount of sleep is seven to eight hours, and our bodies continue to work and spend energy during that time. Between sleep and wakefulness, the body uses the nutrients that it has. If the fasting state lasts a long time, the brain may start to run out of energy. If that happens, problems such as fatigue and attention deficit may occur.

-Eat protein at every meal

Protein helps to strengthen muscles and maintain muscle mass. A balanced intake of essential protein in your daily diet will increase satiety and help you feel fuller for longer. Be sure to include proteins in every meal.

-Care about quality, not quantity

What matters more than the amount of food that we eat is the quality of nutrients that it contains. Foods that are rich in minerals and vitamins should be our first choice when it comes to meals and snacks.

-Prepare smart snacks

The best snacks should contain protein, whole grain, and vegetables or fruit. Some good choices are:

  • Walnuts, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds
  • String cheese and graham crackers
  • Walnuts and apples
  • Bananas, oats, and yogurt.

cracker
-Add key foods to your shopping list

Always add healthy food to your shopping list. When you keep these foods at home, it’s easier to make good choices instead of binging on unhealthy snacks.

-Balance what you eat later if necessary

When we eat, we may not always want or be able to choose fully balanced, nutritional meals. In these cases, it is important to balance the food intake by spreading it throughout the day. If you ate croissants and coffee for breakfast, it would be good to choose half a plate of vegetables and a good quality protein for lunch. Chicken breast with a side salad would be a good example.

-Drink more water

We all know the benefits of staying hydrated on a daily basis. Water helps to remove toxins that accumulate in the body, making your body healthier and more dynamic. Be sure to pay attention to your body’s needs and drink enough water every day.

Step 2. Strengthen your immunity!

Things such as sudden and harsh changes in the seasons, excessive stress, disturbed sleep, and air pollution can cause a weakening of our immune systems. There are several things you can do to support that system, especially as you transition into fall and winter.

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Immune System Strong

-Choose foods rich in nutrients 

seafood

  • Selenium fights harmful microorganisms and protects your cells.

All seafood, whole grains, and chicken meat are the best sources of selenium.

citrus

  • Vitamin C is a good antioxidant.

Tomatoes, red peppers, citrus fruits, and kiwi are the strongest sources of vitamin C.

legumes

  • Zinc plays an important role in protecting the body from damage. It also speeds up the metabolism and contributes to being energetic and positive.

Legumes, turkey meat, and seafood are good sources of zinc.

walnuts

  • Omega-3s have regulatory and supportive properties for immunity.

Walnuts, flaxseed, and avocados are the best sources of omega-3.

Autumn is the period when fish are abundant. As with any food, it is always best to try to consume it while it is in season.

-Take care of your gut/microbiota

The intestines act as a protective barrier in the body that prevents the invasion of harmful microorganisms. It regulates the functions of the immune system with its good microbiota. Taking advantage of probiotics and fiber will help protect your gut flora.

These foods help support healthy intestinal microbiota:

       – Kefir

       – Unsweetened yogurt

       – Pickles

       – Bananas

       – Miso 

Step 3. Focus on yourself!

Modern life is so busy that it’s difficult to stop and smell the roses. Taking time to slow down and listen to your body’s needs can help you manage seasonal transitions.

season change

-Take a walk

Walking even half an hour a day is good for our immune system. The hormone serotonin is secreted after exercise and can help to boost your mood.

-Focus on the instant benefits

Focus on what you have. Listen to the sounds of the birds. Watch the colors in the sky early in the morning. Stop, listen and feel. Stay in the moment. Being present will make you realize that energy is inside you and help you be aware of the changes you are experiencing due to the changes of the seasons.

-Pause

Take a time-out. Make a cup of tea, sit back and relax. Resting will make you feel strong and refreshed. The brain can turn things into a habit. Changing up your routine can have positive benefits for your body and your mind.

relaxing in season change

-Cherish yourself

Write a love note to yourself. Find ‘awe’ moments. Use the power of nature. Make time to relax… Get plenty of sleep and rest. Your body will thank you!.

We wish you a month of feeling fit and healthy.

Vivoo Nutrition Team

Nutrition During COVID-19

Summary

Nutrition during COVID-19 has become more important day by day while the COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 69 million people and taken nearly 1,5 million people’s lives worldwide. A recent review takes a look at vitamins and specific minerals’ role on the immune system.

While precautions focus primarily on social distancing, therapeutics, and hygiene, there are serious underlying vulnerabilities in individuals infected by the coronavirus. The vulnerable factors include advanced age, obesity, systemic coagulopathy or thrombosis, acute respiratory failure, inflammation, immunodeficiency, and neuropathologies.

Nutritional intake during COVID-19 and other supplements and herbs including various combinations and compositions, support metabolism and physiology required for health. A balanced diet, with good nutrients, is vital to health and supports normal B and T cell functions for optimal disease-reducing immunity.

A recent review describes the role of nutrition in COVID-19. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and specific minerals play a significant role in the physiology of the immune system.

Related: The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System

Vitamin A

vitamin a

Vitamin A improves responses to vaccines and augments both cellular and humoral immunity. The daily recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin A is 900 mcg/d for men and 700mcg/d for women.

Sources: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, beef, liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, pumpkins, mangoes

Vitamin D

Grilled salmon filet with fresh greens

Vitamin D supports innate immune responses to influenza A-B, parainfluenza 1–2. Low vitamin D status is associated with an increased risk of both upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Thus, vitamin D status appears to play a role in antiviral immunity. Depending on vitamin D status, immunity could be compromised, especially in the elderly. The daily recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin D is 600 IU for both men and women.

Sources: Fortified milk and cereals, fatty fish

Related: Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin E

nutrition during covid-19

Vitamin E deficiency is known to impair both humoral and cellular immunity. Additionally, the fat-soluble vitamins serve a role in tissue growth. The daily recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin E is 15 mg for men and women.

Sources: Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils

Vitamin C

Dried oranges and clementines on a marble countertop

There is currently no evidence that any supplement can ‘boost’ our immune system and treat or prevent any viral infections, except Vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the major constituents of water-soluble vitamins which tends to make a strong immune system. The daily recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin C is 90mg/d for men and 75mg/d for women.

Sources: Citrus fruit, potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts

Trace Elements

Trace elements that support immune functions include Zn, Cu, and Mg.

Zinc (Zn): meat, shellfish, legumes, whole grains

Copper (Cu): shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes

Magnesium (Mg): Spinach, broccoli, legumes, seeds, whole-wheat bread

Fatty Acids

Additionally, essential fatty acids also have modulating effects on immunity and inflammatory processes. The essential fatty acids and related long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) support immune functions. A balanced diet must include adequate essential fatty acids and both n-6 (sunflower oil, avocado) and n-3 (fatty fish, rapeseed oil and linseed oil, walnuts) for the immune system and control inflammation.

Top view of poke bowl consisting of chopped cucumbers avocado and salmon with mango and blue cabbage placed on green background

Other than that here are some important guidelines on nutrition in COVID-19;

  • Eat fruits daily (guava, apple, banana, strawberry, cantaloupe melon, grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, orange, Longman fruit, blackcurrant, pummelo) with a serving size of two cups (4 servings).
  • Eat whole grains and nuts, 180 g of grains (unprocessed maize, oats, wheat, millet, brown rice, or roots such as potato)
  • Use nuts like almonds, coconut, and pistachio.
  • Eat fresh vegetables (green bell peppers, garlic, ginger, kale, lime, coriander (dried), broccoli, green chili pepper) 2.5 cups of vegetables (5 servings) legumes (beans and lentils).
  • Red meat can be eaten once or twice per week, and poultry 2−3 times per week. Use foods from animal sources (e.g. fish, fish, eggs, and milk) and 160 g of meat and beans.
  • For snacks, choose fresh fruits and raw vegetables rather than foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fat. Avoid irregular snacking.
  • Do not overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
  • When using dried or canned fruits and vegetables, choose varieties without added sugar or salt.
  • Make sure the food is prepared and served at acceptable temperatures (≥72°C for 2 mins).
  • Limit the salt intake to 5 grams a day.
  • Consume unsaturated fats (found in avocado, fish, nuts, soy, olive oil, canola, corn oil, and sunflower) rather than saturated fats (found in butter, fatty meat, coconut, and palm oils, cheese, ghee, and cream).
  • Drink 8–10 glasses of water every day. It helps to transport nutrients in the blood, gets rid of waste, and regulates the body temperature.
  • Avoid all fizzy, carbonated, concentrated juices, and all drinks which contain sugar.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle of exercise, meditation, and regular sleep. Adequate sleep will help to support immune functioning.

Unfortunately, by the time an individual gets a COVID-19 infection, the benefits of nutrition-based interventions can do little to mitigate or reverse the course of the disease. However, proper nutrition during COVID-19 can help improve immune responses and aid inflammatory processes.

The Best Foods to Eat Before and After A Workout

Good nutrition can help an athlete perform better and recover faster after each workout. Physical activity uses more energy than normal and this helps to control weight or lose weight. Eating well for physical activity and exercise can have many benefits like;

  • allowing you to perform well during exercise
  • reducing the risk of injury and illness
  • ensuring the best recovery after exercise.

workout

The Importance of Pre-Workout Nutrition

Pre-workout nutrition is very important for eliminating hunger, maintaining glycogen stores, preserving muscle mass, and preventing dehydration.

Your muscles use the glucose from carbohydrates for fuel. For short and high-intensity exercises, glycogen stores are your muscles’ main source of energy.

The key point before a pre-workout meal is to eat protein with carbohydrates. In fact, fats should be restricted because it takes longer for them to drain from the stomach.

Also, be careful with the type of carbohydrates you consume before exercise. Simple carbohydrates can cause poor performance during exercise, as they cause your blood sugar to rise and fall quickly. Therefore, it is better to prefer complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat pasta/ bread or vegetables or fruits before exercise.

The timing of a pre-workout meal is also very important. Be warned that exercising with a full stomach can cause nausea or even vomiting. Pre-workout snacks should be eaten at least 30-45 minutes before and main meals at least 2-3 hours before. This will help prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise.

Related: Is It Better to Fuel Yourself Up Before Morning Run?

5 Suggestions for Pre-Workout Meal/ Snack

Here are 5 different pre-workout meal examples;

  1. A portion of fruit like 1 medium apple with 1 glass of low-fat milk or 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  2. Bananas with peanut or almond butter
  3. Whole wheat crackers with a slice of cheese
  4. Turkey in a whole-grain wrap with veggies
  5. An egg omelet with a slice of whole-wheat bread

The Importance of After-Workout Nutrition

Nutrition after a workout is very important for recovery, filling glycogen stores, and gaining muscle mass.

In fact, after workout meals help you to prepare for your next exercise. If your glycogen stores empty during exercise and are not replaced after exercise, muscle loss may occur on the next exercise. If you eat after the exercise, your glycogen stores are replenished within the first 2 hours.

After exercise, food should be eaten within the first 30-40 minutes.

A combination of protein and carbohydrates is essential after a workout. Proteins help the recovery and development of muscles while carbohydrates help prepare us for the next exercise by replenishing glycogen stores.

Don’t forget that it is important not to eat too much after exercise. The protein requirement for a normal adult is 1 gram/ kg per day. The protein needed for athletes is around 1.2-2 grams/ kg. But this amount may increase depending on the type of sport and the muscle mass of the person.

5 Suggestions for an After Workout Meal/ Snack

Tuna sandwich after workout

  1. A Banana and low-fat milk smoothie with nuts
  2. A Protein bar
  3. Grilled meat or chicken with a quinoa salad
  4. Tuna sandwich with mixed greens
  5. Scrambled eggs with oats

Before, During, and After: Drink Up

Our body needs water to function and hydration is incredibly important for exercise performance. It is crucial to drink before, during, and after your workout.

  • Before: 17-20 oz. of water at least 2 hours prior to exercise
  • During: 7-10 oz. of water for every 10-20 minutes of exercise
  • After: 16-24 oz. of water for each pound lost due to sweating

Drinking water

Don’t wait until you are thirsty! Thirst is an early sign of dehydration and if you wait until you are thirsty, you have already begun to dehydrate.

After a workout, the prevention of fluid, mineral, and electrolyte loss is very important.

Since these losses increase especially during exercises lasting more than an hour, sports drinks can be added and should be drunk every 15-20 minutes.

Foods to Avoid

Eating high-fiber, lactose, and foods high in fat before exercise or racing can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, these foods should be restricted before exercise.

Conclusion

Do not forget that the diet of an endurance athlete and bodybuilder is quite different according to their exercise patterns. Therefore, sports nutrition will also vary according to person to person.

 

Related: 12 Best At-Home Workouts You Can Do Without Any Equipment

 

Simple Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time of year for food, family, and friendship, but they aren’t always kind to your waistline. Between holiday happy hours and fully stocked dessert tables, opportunities to overindulge are plenty. Before you give up on your goals and start planning your New Year’s resolution, know that you don’t have to choose between enjoying the holidays and staying healthy.

With the right mindset and a little preparation, you can take part in holiday festivities without being overwhelmed by guilt. There’s no reason you can’t stay healthy during the holidays while still enjoying what this wonderful time of year has to offer! Here are some simple tips to get you started.

Find new ways to stay active

Find new ways to stay active

It’s easy to neglect your workout routine during the holidays. When you’re busy with holiday decorating and party planning or putting in extra hours at work in anticipation of taking a few days off, the thought of working out can be overwhelming. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy and fit without spending your holidays at the gym. Go for a walk or jog, try an at-home workout routine, or take an online fitness class. Now is the perfect time to try something new.

Customize your diet and routine

Simple Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

If you want to stay healthy through the holidays, you have to keep up with your routine. That can be tricky when your favorite gym is closed or you’re traveling to see family, but it just means you need to think ahead and make some adjustments to stay on track. Tools like Vivoo can help you customize your diet and workout routine to keep up with your body’s changing needs. In just 120 seconds, you’ll receive insight into key aspects of your current health along with detailed advice for how to adjust your routine to make improvements in nutrition, hydration, and overall wellness. 

Enjoy without overindulging

Enjoy without overindulging

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself during the holidays, just try not to go overboard. Fill your plate with protein and veggies and maybe skip that second helping of dessert. Be wary of booze in particular. Though it may be fun and festive, alcohol is nothing but empty calories and excessive drinking could interfere with your health and fitness goals. Drink in moderation or stay healthy by swapping out the spiked eggnog for a mug of a hot tea or a glass of club soda.

Take time for yourself

Simple Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Between budgeting for gifts, hosting holiday gatherings, and traveling to see family, the holidays can be a season of stress. Though your social calendar may not be quite so packed this year, there’s bound to be a lot on your mind and on your plate. Make sure you take time to relax and enjoy the season! Self-care is important all year-round, so make stress relief a priority to keep your spirits bright. Just fifteen minutes of mindfulness meditation per day or something as simple as soaking in a hot bath while listening to your favorite music can make a difference in your mood.

Fuel your body for success

Fuel your body for success

Even if you’re not bouncing from one-holiday party to another every weekend like in years past, there’s still plenty of temptation to throw your nutrition goals out the window. If you struggle to say no when surrounded by sweets or other tempting holiday treats, do yourself a favor and fuel up first with a collagen protein powder shake. Getting a nutritious start to your day is one of the best ways to stay healthy and it may even help you stick to your goals later in the face of temptation. Blend up a nutritious shake with your favorite fruit and Greek yogurt and sip on your way to the party. You’ll be able to taste everything you want, but you won’t be tempted to take that second slice of pie!

Practice mindfulness in all things

Practice mindfulness in all things

It’s very easy to immerse yourself in holiday festivities. Before you know it, you refilled your plate twice and you’re working on your third slice of pie. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in everything the holidays have to offer. But it’s important to practice mindfulness so you can truly enjoy and appreciate the experience without overdoing it. As you eat, drink, and be merry, pay attention to the tiny details that make every moment special – slow down and be present. After all, these are the things you’ll remember most after the holiday season has passed.

After a long and difficult year, you may be ready to throw caution to the wind and dive head-first into the holiday season. Enjoying the holidays doesn’t have to come at the expense of your health and fitness, however. Whatever form your holiday celebrations take this year, make sure to include time for rest and relaxation. Put some of these simple tips to work to stay healthy this holiday season.

 

Flu Season is Coming: 15 Foods That Are High in Vitamin C to Get You Ready


What Is Vitamin C?

In our daily lives, we need vitamin C especially during the winter to protect our bodies. Vitamin C (L-abscorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that can’t be produced by humans. So we are dependent on outside sources for vitamin C, the most commonly known sources are citrus fruits which protect us from flu. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy, fatigue, weakness, and fragility. The good news is that increasing your fruit and vegetable intake will automatically help you fulfill your daily Vitamin C need.

Related: The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System

What are the functions of vitamin C in the body?

  • Collagen production
  • Wound healing
  • Protein metabolism
  • Antioxidant
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Absorption of non-heme iron
  • Skin health
  • Connective tissue health
  • Bone and teeth health

Vitamin C Sources

92 mg of vitamin C should be consumed to fulfill the daily need. Here are some fruits & veggies that you should add to your diet to get an adequate amount of vitamin C. 

Guava

Whole and cut guava fruits

 

Guava is a tropical fruit found in Mexico and South America. This fruit with pinkish inner part has 126 mg vitamin C in one single fruit and also has antioxidant property. A study showed that blood pressure and total cholesterol lower when one guava is consumed daily. It has 228 mg Vitamin C per 100 grams which makes 248% of daily needs. (377 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 165g)

Bell Peppers

Sweet bell peppers

Bell peppers have 128 mg of Vitamin C per 100 ml and are 139% of the daily needed vitamin C. Something interesting to note is that red bell peppers have 50% more vitamin C compared to green ones. So start adding bell peppers to your dishes today. (190 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 149 g)

Kiwifruit

Kiwi fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C that has 93 mg per 100 grams that is 101% of daily recommended intake. It has the benefit of reducing oxidative stress by lowering free radicals in your body, lowering cholesterol and enhancing your immune system. (164 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 177 g)

Broccoli

broccoli

Broccoli comes to mind when we are talking about a healthy lifestyle and that’s no coincidence. 100 grams of broccoli contains 89 mg Vitamin C which makes 96.7% of our daily dose. Also, inflammation in your body is reduced by half with the consumption of broccoli. (81.2 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 91 g)

Brussels sprouts

Green Leaves With Water Droplets

 

Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, contain Vitamin K, Vitamin A, manganese and potassium besides vitamin C. They enhance bone health and help form collagen in the body. With 85 mg Vitamin C per 100 gram it is 92% of DRI.(Cooked contain 48.4 mg vitamin C per serving-1/2 cup, 78 g)

Lemon

lemon

Lemon is one of the things that comes to mind when you talk about Vitamin C. 100 grams of lemon can fulfill the 83% of daily Vitamin C need with 77 mg Vitamin C, so we can definitely say it is a good source. It has also the antioxidant property that’s why you can try adding lemon to your water, salad, or tea and benefit from this fruit every day. (83.2 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 fruit, 108 g)

Papaya

Sliced Lemon and Black Berries on White Surface

 

Papaya contains 62 mg of Vitamin C in 100 grams and meets 67% of DRI. It has positive effects on memory and reduces inflammation in the brain. Reduction in brain inflammation has been seen in patients with mild Alzheimer’s. (86.5 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 140 g)

Strawberries

strawberries for vitamin c

Strawberry is one of the favorite fruits of summer and spring, plus it is rich in Vitamin C. 100 grams of strawberry contains 58.8 mg of vitamin C which meets 64% of daily needs. This sweet fruit is also helpful to prevent cancer, dementia, vascular disease, and diabetes with its high antioxidant properties. (89.4 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 152 g)

Oranges

oranges for vitamin c

Oranges are our protectors during wintertime, with 53 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams totaling 57% of DRI. It’s advised to eat citrus fruits regularly to fulfill daily Vitamin C needs. You can add orange juice to your breakfast easily to protect yourself from the flu. (121 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 170 g)

Cauliflower

cauliflower for vitamin c

Cauliflower contains 48 grams of Vitamin C in 100 grams which makes 53% of daily requirements. You also get fibers and protein when you eat cauliflower. There are many recipes that you can try by roasting, steaming, or mashing. (Raw cauliflower has 46.4 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 100 g)

Pineapple

Green Pineapple Fruit With Brown Framed Sunglasses Beside Yellow Surface

Pineapple is a sweet tropic fruit that has 47.8 mg of Vitamin C in 100 grams equaling 52% of DRI. Besides the benefit of Vit-C, pineapple contains antioxidants, fiber, manganese, and is helpful in fighting inflammation and disease.(27.9 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 165 g)

Mango

Person Holding Green and Yellow Fruit

 

Mango is a good vitamin C source with 36.4 mg Vitamin C in 100 grams which is  40% of the DRI. There’s also vitamin A. Both these vitamins combined boost your immunity and enhance your eye health. (45.7 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 165 g)

Grapefruit

grapefruit

This citrus fruit is the sibling of oranges and is a good source of vitamin C. Grapefruit is also rich in lycopene and vitamin A, so you can mix it together with orange juice to get extra antioxidants in your body. 100 grams of grapefruit contains 31.2 mg vitamin C with 34% daily recommended value. (71.8 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 cup, 230 g)

Tomato

tomato

Tomato is a vegetable we frequently use in our kitchens, easily adding to vegetable salads, and sauces.  With 23 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams, making 25% of the daily recommended value. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene antioxidants and reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases. (15.6 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 medium whole, 123 g.)

Potato

potato for vitamin c

Potato is a surprising vegetable to have vitamin C in it. 100 grams have 19.7 mg vitamin C which covers 21.4% of DRI. You can add baked or steamed potato to your meals as a side dish and easily fulfill your daily Vitamin C need. (Baked potato has 28.7 mg Vitamin C per serving-1 large potato,299 g)

General Suggestion

You can get the daily vitamin C you need if you have a balanced diet consisting of vegetables and fruits. However, there are some cases to consider. Smokers should get more vitamin c compared to nonsmokers since they need to repair the damage. Also, malabsorption in your body can make the same effect and increase your daily Vitamin C need. 

Another thing to consider is cooking methods. Boiling vegetables in water can cause a loss of vitamin c because vitamin c is water-soluble. Steaming can be a better option for these vegetables. Additionally, try to consume fruits without juicing them and if you want to drink them as juices, try to drink them within 30 minutes of preparing.

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Immune System Strong

 

The Surprising Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a staple food in many parts of the world. They are versatile and delicious and are good sources of fiber, potassium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.

They can offer a variety of health benefits, including some surprising ways to support a person’s health.

1. Nutrition Facts:

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals. One cup  (200 grams) of baked sweet potato with skin can meet the following daily requirements:

  • 26% of dietary fiber.
  • 769% of Vitamin A.
  • 65% of Vitamin C.
  • 26% of Vitamin B6.
  • 27% of potassium.
  • 50% of the manganese.

Sweet potatoes in wooden box

It’s important to note that a medium sweet potato contains an average of 24 grams of carbohydrates, 53% of which are starches. Sweet potatoes have a medium to the high glycemic index, ranging from 44-96. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar levels rise after a meal, and it is noteworthy as foods with a high GI may not be suitable for people with diabetes to consume in large quantities.

Cooking methods can affect a food’s glycemic index, with boiling and baking achieving lower GI values ​​than frying.

2. Promotes Intestinal Health

Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Each of them has different functions in our body. As soluble fiber dissolves, it creates a structure that facilitates digestion and can lower blood cholesterol and sugar. 

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, draws water into your stool, making it easier to pass through your intestines. Both of them work together to help support intestinal health.

3. Supports Immune Functions

Baked sweet potato

One cup of baked sweet potato provides almost half of your daily vitamin C needs while providing 700% (!) of your daily vitamin A needs. Both vitamins are vital for supporting immune function, which is especially important during flu season.

4. Reduces Cancer Risk

Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, the provitamin of vitamin A. Diets rich in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of stomach, kidney, and breast cancer.

5. Supports Eye Health and Healthy Seeing

Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in our bodies and used to create light-detecting receptors in the eye. 1 cup (200 grams) of cooked sweet potato provides more than seven times the average daily amount of beta-carotene needed, thus highly supporting eye health.

How can we add sweet potatoes to our diet?

There are easy ways to add to our diet.

  • You can mash them and make a side dish for your meat.
  • Sweet potatoes can be added to your soups and sauces.
  • They make a great addition to a seasonal salad.
  • Crispy, spicy baked slices can satisfy your craving for french fries.

With Love,

Vivoo Nutrition Team