Top 5 Nutrition Tips, According To These World Leading Health Experts

Doing all that you can to manage optimum health is no easy feat at the best of times. Add in a global pandemic and your usual healthy habits may be pushed down the priority list as we try and navigate our way through the new 'normal'. 

Author, Gillian Fish, spoke to 21 global health and environmental experts about how our immune system, good sleep habits and nutrition hold the key to unlocking mental, emotional and physical resilience during these difficult times.

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A common theme that ran throughout the interviews is how mental health and regular exercise go hand-in-hand with good nutrition to holistically boost our overall health and wellbeing. Here are 5 top expert tips on nutrition:

Tip 1: Eat a Mediterranean diet and omega-3 fatty acids to improve brain function

By Dr. Joseph C. Maroon - Award-winning Neurosurgeon & Professor of Neurosurgery

  • What we eat is an important influence on how our brain functions: 70% of our immunity is found in the cells in our gut, and the gut is connected to the brain through the vagus nerve. 
  • Eat everything that goes into a Mediterranean diet: fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef, wild salmon from Alaska, generous amounts of olive oil, Pinot Noir red wine and dark chocolate. These foods not only provide the basic fats, proteins and carbohydrates we need, but specifically have the better fats, proteins and carbs needed to function at our best. 
  • Salmon is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but to cook it in high heat or deep fry it can destroy these fat molecules and actually turn them into a toxin. The same can occur with olive oil if it is cooked with too high heat or allowed to burn.

Tip 2: Avoid inflammation by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables

By Dr. Ross Walker - Leading Australian Integrative Cardiologist

  • Two to three pieces of fruit along with three to five servings of vegetables per day has been shown to support the immune system as well as prevent inflammation.
  • Vegetables are great for your heart. The most powerful of all vegetables is broccoli, packed with sulforaphane – a compound with powerful anti-cancer properties.
  • Tomato, in all its colourful varieties, is also very nutritionally valuable because of its high concentration oflycopene.

Tip 3: Eat foods high in zinc and essential vitamins to boost immune health

By Dr. James L Wilson - Naturopathic Doctor & World Leader in Integrative Medicine

  • Zinc is one of the most critical things you can take to increase immunity. Zinc has almost 300 biochemical functions in the body, many of which are related to immune health. One concern I have about vegans during this crisis is their lack of zinc intake. 
  • Taking a large amount of vitamin C is also of great overall nutritional benefit. 
  • Vitamin D has been overlooked as a key facilitator of many immune reactions in the body.
  •  Vitamin A works with zinc and vitamin C to support immunity and they all work with cortisol, the most powerful anti-inflammatory in the body, to help fight infection.

Tip 4: Avoid refined foods

By Dr. Leila Masson - Paediatrician & Harvard-Trained Public Health Specialist

  • Say ‘no’ to super-processed white flours, fast foods, and sugar. 
  • Eat whole foods, drink water – not alcohol or sugary drinks; reduce or cut out meat; and eat more legumes 

Tip 5: Supplement with magnesium morning and night for a better sleep

By Dr. Min Yeo - One of Australia’s Leading Functional & Integrative Medicine Doctors

  • In particular during a pandemic, sleep deprivation can lead to an increased susceptibility to infections – possibly because of impaired T-cell response. 
  • Consider supplementing with magnesium morning and night to improve sleep. 
  • Magnesium encourages the healthy functioning of certain brain receptors that calm the mind, and also helps to relax muscles throughout the body.

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Gillian Fish is an author and CEO of Sydney-based The 6AM Agency and Igloo integrated creative communication agencies. Resilience is her second book. You can download the first three chapters of the book for free here: https://www.the6amagency.com.au/books/resilience. For more information on The 6AM Agency visit https://www.the6amagency.com.au/.

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