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Nutritional therapist Caroline Peyton is offering some useful tips for everyone around eating healthily in a pandemic.

A qualified naturopath, Caroline has run her clinics in the South West for ten years helping people improve their lives through nutrition and healthy eating.

She said: “As we approach Christmas the normal attitude is “to hell with the diet”. It’s understandable as there is usually non-stop socialising, parties, late nights, extra drinking, rich food from the beginning of December until we hit New Year.

“This year is different. Not only are our social plans massively curtailed but we also have an ongoing viral pandemic and the risks associated with it. For some people this has understandably created a lot of fear. And now we are in the depths of winter it’s easy to give up on any notion of healthy eating because “what’s the point?”

Caroline believes with the risks around Covid19 and other winter viruses, looking after your immune system is more important than ever.

“You can do so much to keep your immune system strong and fighting for you (not against you). Nutrients vitamin C, zinc and selenium are essential nutrients for creating a strong immune system and help the body mount a healthy immune response.”

Studies have already shown that there is an increased risk of a poor outcome with Covid19 for those are categorized as being obese, have diabetes or have symptoms associated with poor metabolic function (carry excess weight, high cholesterol or insulin resistance).

Caroline has come up with ten tips to maximise intake of immune supporting nutrients and to help keep weight and blood sugar levels under control: 

1. Make batches of non –starchy vegetable soups, freeze and eat a portion each day (not potatoes, parsnips or swede which are high in starch/sugar).

2. Eat a rainbow  of vegetables every day. Aim for at least give varieties and portions. In soups, in stir-fries, roasted, steamed, casseroles. For anyone who struggles with vegetables add cauliflower to mash potato; carrots and peppers to a tomato sauce; greens to a casserole. 

3. Restrict your fruit intake and avoid fruit juice. The high sugar content can upset blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain. 

4. Avoid sugary fruit like bananas, grapes and tropical fruits and opt for less sweet apple and pear varieties and berries.

5. Keep bags of frozen berries in your freezer and add to porridge or a protein smoothie for breakfast. 

6. Have a small handful of plain nuts and seeds every day.

7. Eat one to two portions of seafood a week such as prawns, crab or sardines.

8. Eat two portions of pulses a week (eg. make a chickpea and vegetable stew; add lentils to your vegetable soup, eat hummus).

9. Add protein to each meal as this helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Eg. eggs, chicken, salmon, tuna, lean mince.

10. This cannot be achieved by diet alone - everyone should supplement Vitamin D3 throughout the winter. Studies have shown how essential this nutrient is to immune resilience yet populations in northern countries are often deficient as we obtain it mostly from sunlight on our skin.  If you are on medications speak to your pharmacist. 

Caroline is an established and leading naturopath and nutritional therapist with clinics in Swindon, Cirencester and Kempsford and this year celebrated her 10th business anniversary.  For more information visit https://www.peytonprinciples.com

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

Scott Media

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