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Dr. Todd's Wellness Tips

Dr. Todd's Wellness Tips

In these extraordinary times, we are committed to the health and wellness of our customers and associates. Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Todd Pesek, suggests these simple practices for elevating your wellness routine:

First and foremost, always follow these important hygiene practices to reduce your risk of contracting or spreading viral infections:

  • Wash your hands. Use hot water and soap on all sides and between your fingers for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those you touch often (your phone counts).
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

What you eat and drink has a strong impact on your immune system. Let food be thy medicine!

  • Produce - Fresh, high-quality, preferably organic produce with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and pigments (the colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple). This is not the time to skimp on veggies and fruits! Please eat your produce as much as you can. Also, be sure to wash thoroughly with soap or food-grade hydrogen peroxide before consuming.
  • Omega-3 fats - These promote healthy inflammatory balance. You want to ensure you are doing all you can to protect against chronic inflammation, which can compromise your immune system. You will find omega-3 fats in nuts and seeds and also cold-water fish (like salmon, tuna, halibut and cod) and grass-fed proteins, such as grass-fed beef. Be mindful of plant-based options—the vast majority of your diet ought to be plant-based and comprised of fresh produce.
  • Get some good bacteria - 80% of your immune system is located in the digestive tract, so gut health is important to keeping a strong immune system. Probiotics are good bacteria to add to your diet through fermented foods, such as raw sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, kefir or kimchi, or you can take probiotics in supplement form.
  • Drink plenty of water - Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. Add lemon juice to your water, as it acts as a digestive and detoxifying agent and helps clean the liver.
  • Increase your vitamin D - Low vitamin D levels are linked to decreased immune function. So try to soak up some sunshine outside and eat foods like mushrooms, egg yolks and fatty fish.
  • Get more vitamin C - Fruits and vegetables are great sources, including berries, citrus, bell peppers and dark green vegetables. Adding spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric to your diet can help boost your immune system.

If you want additional immune support beyond your food, there are effective whole food supplements that can help.

Finally, some good old-fashioned, common-sense advice to repair/restore health, build strength and reduce stress:

  • Sleep seven to eight hours per night.
  • Exercise! The outside isn’t closed. So take a walk alone or with someone in your home.
  • Maintain a positive mental attitude. This is a good time to take up journaling or meditation.
  • Essential oils, like peppermint and eucalyptus, are great and can be rubbed on your hands or used in a diffuser.

If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask for one of our trained wellness consultants at your local Heinen’s.

For more tips like these, check out the Wellness archive on Heinen's blog.