COVID-19 has made the world more conscious of our health. With gyms getting shut down and reopening again, keeping safe and healthy is more important than ever before. What we put in our bodies can have an effect on how our body’s defence system functions, including our immune system.
That’s why we called upon Victoria Matkovic of Thrive Nutrition to explain to us the nitty gritty of our immune system, so we can keep on track with our gym gains. Victoria has also given us her favourite juice recipe to keep our health on track. The stronger the immune system, the less time spent missing out on the gym because you’re sick. It’s a win win.
But why is it up to our immune system to decide whether we’re well enough to go to the gym? It’s to do with unstable atoms in the body called ‘free radicals’.
Free radicals are naturally formed in our bodies when cells are damaged through normal bodily functions. Exercising, exposure to sunlight, bacterial and viral infections, as well as smoking and drinking alcohol are all potential causes of free radicals.
Excessive build-up of free radicals can result in health complications in the long-term, such as disease and health conditions as well as some cancers. Having adequate antioxidant levels in our bodies is shown to increase the response rate of our immune system, to then take care of the free radicals. Although, there is no evidence to suggest that antioxidants can cure a disease/illness.
To get the required antioxidants for immune system gains, you can usually find them within fruits and vegetables. To keep that immune system thriving, Victoria explains that juices are a great way to get more veggies and fruits into our diet. The juice recipe below is loaded with Vitamin C to help support our immune system. Vitamin C, along with Vitamin A and E, are antioxidants that help protect our cells from the free radicals we were talking about before.
Foods high in Vitamin C are fruits and vegetables like berries, capsicum, dark leafy greens, broccoli and citrus fruit. Vitamin E is found in our nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, as well as dark green vegetables. Lastly, Vitamin A is found in high amounts in liver, oil, fish, eggs, dairy, carrots, sweet potato and spinach.
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
- 2 large oranges, peeled
- 1 carrot
- ½ lemon
- In a juicer, add in the carrot, spinach, oranges and lemon and juice.
- Serve juice in a glass with ice.
A big thank you to Victoria Matkovic from Thrive Nutrition for the useful information and recipe!