The season of excess is upon us! We all know the old adage “everything in moderation,” meaning that it’s good to avoid extremes, so don’t overindulge in festive food and drink but also don’t abstain. You can eat and drink in moderation and still enjoy the festivities.
There is nothing worse than waking up the day after a party with a hangover, but did you realise that this is caused by ethanol, a substance found in alcohol which is a toxic chemical which, among other uses, is used as an industrial solvent added to gasoline for vehicle fuel!
It’s no surprise therefore that ethanol is responsible for some nasty effects in the human body, including dehydration, disrupted sleep, electrolyte imbalance and an upset stomach. With this in mind it is a good idea to focus on healthy drinks as a substitute for alcohol and to keep your body hydrated.
Drinks that Support your Immune System
There are drinks that you can make yourself to support your immune system.
Hot lemon and ginger tea – lemon and ginger are both full of antioxidants and vitamins, so drinking a cup every day can be good for your immune system.
Berry smoothie – berries are really good for you as they’re full of the vitamins your body needs.
Orange or grapefruit juice – a glass of your favourite citrus juice every morning with your breakfast will give your body some much-needed vitamin C
Alternatively, Captain Kombucha Original Bio-Organic Drink from Holland & Barrett is a delicious naturally bubbly drink with unique nutritional benefits. Every bottle is created and fermented with Captain Kombucha culture and only the highest quality certified BIO ingredients.
Keeping your immune system healthy and functioning is essential and one of the best ways to support your natural immunity is to nourish your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive (the ones your body can’t make by itself).
There isn’t just one vitamin that helps to support the immune system, there are a few! Here are some of the best vitamins to keep topped up if you want a healthy functioning immune system:
Vitamin A is essential for the normal functioning of the immune system. Some sources of vitamin A include eggs, cod liver oil, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C helps support the cellular functions needed for a healthy immune system. Oranges, orange juice, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, strawberries broccoli, and red/green peppers are some of the best sources.
Vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine) helps support our immune systems, as well as nervous system function, protein metabolism, and red blood cell formation. It’s usually found in animal products like pork, fish and eggs and plant foods like chickpeas, wholegrains, bananas, squash and more.
Vitamin B9 (Folic acid). Also known as folate, vitamin B9 plays an essential role in chemical reactions in the body that affect our immune system. Good sources of folic acid include broccoli, leafy green vegetables, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin B12 helps make nucleic acid and cell proteins associated with our immune system. You can find it in meat, fish, dairy, eggs, enriched nutritional yeast, fortified milks and mock meats.
Vitamin D helps to keep your immune system functioning normally. We make most vitamin D by exposing our unprotected skin to direct sunlight.
Taking vitamins such as milk thistle in the form of Holland & Barrett Over Indulgence Milk Thistle Capsules or Overhang Revitalising Drink With Milk Thistle can help with recovery from excessive food and drink intake. Alternatively, take a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral formula tablet such as Holland & Barret Radiance Multi Vitamins & Minerals One a Day which provides all round nutritional support for adults.
One of the biggest ways you can support your immunity is to eat a healthy diet. Superfoods, which are so-called as they are believed to be nutritionally dense, contain a variety of nutrients such as vitamins, fibre and antioxidants that can benefit your overall health. These tips can help you get more superfoods into your diet:
Look at the colours on your plate. Is all of your food brown or beige? Then it is likely that antioxidant levels are low. Add in foods with rich colour – choose the veg you like!
Add shredded greens to soups and stir fries.
Try replacing your beef or poultry with tofu or another meat alternative.
Add berries to oatmeal, cereal, salads or baked goods. Start your day with a tasty bowl of porridge made from Prewetts Coarse Oatmeal which is available from Holland & Barrett and is high in natural fibre
Make sure you have a fruit or a vegetable every time you eat, including meals and snacks.
Have a daily green or matcha tea. Try Heath & Heather Organic Imperial Matcha Tea Bags from Holland & Barrett.
Make turmeric, cumin, oregano, ginger, clove, and cinnamon your go-to spices to ramp up the antioxidant content of your meals.
Snack on nuts, seeds (especially Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds) and dried fruit (with no sugar or salt added). Holland & Barrett Nut Mix contains Brazils, Cashews, Walnuts, Almonds and Pecans, all rich in vitamins, fibre and protein.
Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications or are under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional and always read the label before use.