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March 2020 National Nutrition Month | NEWS-Line for Nurses

March 2020 National Nutrition Month


Dr. Nicole Avena Provides Tips to Boost Your Immunity and Navigate a Plant-Based Diet for Optimal Nutrition

The quest to achieve a healthy lifestyle and boost one’s immunity continues to motivate consumers to experiment with new food and health trends. During National Nutrition Month, Nicole Avena, PhD, nutrition expert and author of “What to Eat When You’re Pregnant” provides recommendations on ways to power up your immune system and offers insights on popular diets.

“You don’t want to start a diet like keto if you are trying to keep your immune system in check. However, plant-based eating can be healthy, because plants have a lot of nutrients and are usually low in calories. In general, diets are hard to stick to because our food environment makes it virtually impossible to eat healthy. As new diets continuously emerge, it can be challenging to interpret legitimacy,” says Dr. Nicole Avena.

Dr. Avena provides the following tips:

Start a plant-based diet slowly. Have one plant-based meal per day as a start, then move onto tackling other parts of your diet as you get more comfortable. Studies have shown that switching to a plant-based diet can help improve health, such as reducing cardiovascular disease. Just realize that all plant-based foods aren’t created equal, especially if you opt for plant-based junk foods, like corn chips and French fries. Consider plant-based alternatives to your favorite things, like plant-based butter, cheese, and even sausage.

Take it easy. Stress is a sure way to compromise your immune system. Be sure that you are taking care of yourself and making time to rest and restore in order to keep your stress levels at a minimum.

Boost your Immunity. Supplementing your diet with Vitamin C is a great way to ward off colds and flu. We don’t typically get enough Vitamin C from our diets alone, so a supplement is often the best way to go. vitafusion Power C gummy vitamins are easy to take and a great way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C.

Fuel your body with proper foods. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is the best way to ensure you keep your immune system in check. Citrus fruits aren’t the only food you should turn to keep your immune system strong - red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger and spinach are all great options. A balanced diet with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and unsaturated fats will help you stay satiated, while also allowing for nutritional variety.

Nicole Avena, Ph.D., is a research neuroscientist and a pioneer in the field of food and nutrition. Her 'wellness series' is for those wanting to improve eating behaviors & nutrition.

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