The Golden Oldies: Simple health wisdom to follow daily.

Simple health wisdom to live by
It's that time of year when the leaves are turning, the fields have been harvested and temperatures are toying with us by dipping below zero overnight. Canadians know what that means - Winter is coming!  A big reminder for us to be extra vigilant about our health and immune system.
As we move from BBQs to stews and shorts to sweaters, let's revisit some of those Golden Oldies sayings that Grandma used to tell us when we were kids.    We didn't know it then, but these simple sayings were packed with health and wellness wisdom that even as adults, we can live by. Let's see who remembers these old sayings!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away - Swift Liquid Nutrition

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

As kids, we loved eating apples. We loved drinking apple juice too! Apples are abundant in the Fall and we could grab them out of harvest baskets and crunch on them to our hearts content. Little did we really know just how packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants these little cuties were for us. Let's explore what kinds of Vitamins they provided for us and how they were already playing a role in supporting our Immune health. 

Vitamin A - Sometimes I think this little powerhouse Vitamin doesn't get enough attention - but it's critical to supporting a healthy Immune system! It regulates cellular immune responses and enhances immune function because it acts like an anti-inflammatory. For an added bonus, it's great for bones, teeth and vision too. 

Vitamins B1, B2, B6 - I like to call these the friendly "B Family" because they all get along so well!    Vitamin B6 is like the key that helps to keep the immune system strong, but together, the full "B" vitamin family helps to energize us and plays a key role in helping us maintain a healthy immune system.

Vitamin C - Probably the most famous of all immune support vitamins...but what's important to remember is that our bodies don't produce it, so we need to acquire it through foods, drinks and supplements.

Vitamin E - A powerful antioxidant which helps to fight infection.

Vitamin K - This lesser-known vitamin supports bone and cardiovascular health.  You'll find it in the skin of apples...where many of the best nutrients are found.

Calcium - Most of us know that we need this mineral to support healthy bones, but did you also know that your heart, muscles and nerves need calcium to function well?

Potassium - An average medium apple provides 6% of the recommended daily intake of this key immune support mineral.   It functions as an electrolyte, managing and regulating key processes in our body.

Manganese - This is a trace mineral, which means you don't need much, but it plays an important role in the metabolism of nutrients.

Copper -  Another trace mineral that plays a role in making red blood cells and helping to maintain immune function.

Fibre -  Gives us the fuel for good bacteria to survive and thereby support a healthy immune system.

So try and eat an apple a day and remember to wash it, but  don't peel it.   The highest concentration of nutrients are actually found in the peel!

Eat your vegetables.

Corn on the cob, sweet pees, baby carrots - no problem! These were the fun veggies, full of vibrant colour....and filled with nutrients like Vitamins A, B, C, K, fibre and protein. Yummy! A second helping of these always resulted in a "good girl" from Grandma!
But then we had the brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach.  Yeah, not quite so fun!   I used to think of them as the "serious" veggies, always pushing them around my plate hoping Grandma would give up on me.  But she didn't, and boy am I happy about that now.  These green veggies are full of antioxidants, vitamins & minerals, are low on carbs and calories, have anti-inflammatory qualities, help to lower cholesterol and fight disease. That's a lot of serious green power which as an adult, I can't seem to get enough of.
 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...?

Eating a good diet, exercising and restful sleep (the REM kind) are essentials for our physical, mental and emotional health. When we talk about health, it's always better to be proactive vs. reactive. Arm yourself with the vitamins and minerals that will support and help to build your immune system, keeping in mind that balance is the key. When one part of our system is a bit off, it impacts the others. So it's important to make sure we don't neglect any of those parts. 

In today's busy world where we seem to be juggling at least 3 things at once, sometimes it's hard to find the time to eat the right things. If your diet leaves something to be desired, then supplements are a good option. They will help to fill in some of the nutrient gaps so you don't get run down. Liquid supplements are quick and easy to digest and have a high absorption rate. So if you have trouble swallowing or digesting pills, drinking your vitamins is a quick, easy and effective alternative. Remember that  deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals varies with our lifestyle, work situation and habits - so adjust your supplementation accordingly.

When it comes to exercising, there are a few things to keep in mind.   If you've got a dedicated exercise routine, then I applaud you!   It takes discipline and it's a smart habit to cultivate. Just remember... if you're working out, you're also burning through vitamins faster, so you'll need to make sure your supplementation reflects that. For me, well, I fall on and off the exercise wagon all the time! If you're the same... or if the gym just isn't for you, remember that a brisk walk around the neighbourhood for 20 minutes is a good start to getting that heart pumping! If you've got a sedentary job, maybe sitting at your computer for most of the day, try and do a big stretch at least once an hour to limber up those muscles. Cats do it best - and often!

 

Sleep is so integral to maintaining your health. The most restful part of our sleep is the REM stage when you're in that deep, deep slumber.  If you struggle with relaxing, letting the stresses of the day go or turning your brain "off", there are natural vitamin sleep agents like B6 and Melatonin that can help by relaxing that brain muscle during those particularly challenging times.  Then all there'll be left to say is....sweet dreams.

 

Today, there are so many choices, it pays to be informed about what foods and supplements are right for you. It's amazing how all things old, like the golden oldies rules, still remain priceless.

 

Keep looking after yourself and until next time, 
Drink your vitamins and cheers to your health!