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4 Immunity Boosting Habits To Help You Stay Healthy

Tag: healthy

4 Immunity Boosting Habits To Help You Stay Healthy

Most of us probably know at least one person who rarely gets sick. You’ll hear them feeling under the weather once in a while, but overall, they’re as healthy as a horse. What sets them apart from us mere mortals? Two words: immune system. But hey—good thing there are easy steps we can take to give our own immunity a boost. And while there are a ton of ways to do that, we’ve narrowed today’s list down to four basic things that will give you the best headstart there is!



1.Get enough quality sleep.

According to studies, sleep and immunity are correlated and affect one another—consistent and quality sleep can help strengthen the immune system by allowing effective and balanced function. In short, proper sleep provides the immune system with the support it needs so that it can do its job: defending the body from infection and disease.


  1. Exercise!

Did you know that chronic inflammation can affect the immune system by slowing it down? Thankfully, regular exercise reduces inflammation, according to a study, which can ultimately help the immune system function better. Exercise is also linked to the following: a reduction in stress hormones (with chronic stress having a significant effect on immunity by manifesting as an illness), and stronger antibodies that aid in fighting off infection.


  1. Eat right.

According to Harvard, there are no specific foods that can “prepare the body for microbial attacks and excess inflammation”,—but certain ‘dietary patterns’ may better prepare the body’s immune response to illnesses. And because our immune system relies on different micronutrients to function properly, it’s important to eat healthy and nutritious meals based on our individual needs. Some examples of nutrients that were found to be critical for both the growth and function of immune cells include the following: vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein.


  1. Minimize stress.

The stress hormone, called corticosteroid, can lower the number of lymphocytes in our body—that is, one of the main types of immune cells that help protect us from illnesses. This can make our immune system less effective, reducing our ability to fight off antigens and making us more prone to infections. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to manage stress. It can be through meditation, deep breathing, exercise (yes! Exercise again), and even counselling if it’s needed.



It’s worth noting that having a strong immune system can’t be achieved overnight. It’s all about dedication and consistency and a willingness to make the lifestyle change needed to become a better, healthier you. You can start slowly, taking small steps as you go, but the important thing here is to begin. Get into these good habits now and experience less instances of sickness for yourself!


3 Ways To Jump Start Your Meditation Practice

For anyone who’s just getting into meditation, starting can seem a bit of a challenge. After all, when you look at the many types of meditation techniques out there, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of time and effort is involved. And while it’s true that meditating can take a while to get used to, once you get the hang of it, it’s sure to become a seamless, integral part of your everyday routine. But what are some of the things that can help you jumpstart your meditation journey? In today’s article, we want to share with you our top three! 


  1. Meditating doesn’t mean being thoughtless. 

Many people who are new to meditation think it’s all about emptying the mind—but that’s just not the case! It’s downright impossible not to think of anything at all, and trying otherwise will not only be futile, but it can also turn you off from meditating. Instead of fighting your own naturally occurring thoughts, a healthier way of managing them while in the middle of meditation is to be aware of them enough to let them go. Once a thought has run its course, observed without you attaching meaning or judgment to it, you can then go back and refocus on your body and breath, and what you’re sensing and feeling at a given moment. 


  1. Always start with a realistic goal. 

Are you the type to go big or go home? This mindset is admirable, but not if it sets you up for failure. If you’re new to meditation, there’s nothing wrong with a 2 to 5-minute session a day to start with. First and foremost, test the waters and figure out what works for you—because, in all honesty, there are a lot of things to consider, and what’s effective for a handful of people you read about online may not be the approach for you. You can start small, meeting little achievements as you go, and from there, you can build up a steady, lengthier meditation session that fits your schedule and needs.  


  1. Right vs. Wrong vs. You

You’ll find a lot of “experts” online who will tell you exactly how to meditate, going as far as to convince you that theirs is the right way. While we’re not saying they’re wrong, more often than not, their “tried, tested, and proven” methods have been tailor-fit for them and them alone. This means that while you can give what has worked for them a try, don’t let yourself get boxed in: it may not work out for you in the long run, and you’ll feel unaccomplished and frustrated. Here’s what you can do instead: take everything that you consume from these meditation gurus as suggestions but don’t forget to try new things for yourself. Experiment a little bit and find something awesome that works right, just for you. 


Beginning something new is always a challenge, and because it is, it’s perfectly fine to start small. You don’t have to be a Zen Master on day one—all you have to be is dedicated and willing to see what you’ve committed yourself to until the very end. So keep on meditating no matter how slow the start. Over time, you’ll find the calm, peace, and balance you’ve been aiming for! 


What Is Internal Inflammation? & Here Are 5 Foodie Hacks To Help You Heal It


First things first: what is internal inflammation.

Simply put, it’s a sign that your body is fighting back. Which is, in theory, good! It’s the body’s process of trying to eliminate potentially harmful infections, injuries, and/or toxins before they can do any real damage.

When something damages our cells, our body releases a chemical that triggers a response from our immune system. This response just happens to include releasing antibodies, proteins, and a heck of a lot of blood to the damaged area.

Hence the swelling.

Healthy, normal inflammation will last a couple of hours at most. In the case of acute inflammation, it can last for days.

It’s considered chronic inflammation when that response lingers. This leaves your body in a constant state of high alert. If left untreated, it can leave some serious damage on your tissues and organs (we’re talking internal scarring, potential tissue death, and fatigue – very serious stuff).


How do I get Internal Inflammation?

There’s a whole list of culprits behind internal inflammation, including (but not limited to):

  •   Untreated injuries or infections
  •   Autoimmune disorder (where your immune system attacks your healthy tissues by mistake)
  •   Long-term exposure to irritants

There are also studies that link the following factors to internal inflammation, although they’re less well-known and not as straightforward as the first three:

  •   Obesity
  •   Smoking
  •   Alcohol indulgence
  •   Chronic stress

How do I Fight Internal Inflammation (with Food)?

Even if you don’t believe in that age-old “you are what you eat” adage (although you really, really should), there’s no denying the science behind optimising your health with food. Thousands of studies, hours of research, and millions of resources all point towards diet playing a huge role in our general, overall health.

Crappy food consumption often yields crappy feelings, whereas rich, whole foods often leave us feeling the same way.

So there are certain foods you can consume or avoid if you want to stay far, far away from inflammation. And they all have a significant amount of studies to verify their legitimacy.

Let me list them down.


  •   Salmon (and other cold-water, fatty fish).Great source (arguably the best source) of omega 3-fatty acids, EPA, DHA, high-quality protein, and a whole lot of other good stuff. The fact that it tastes so, so good is a tremendous bonus.


  •   Avocados. Another winner in the “good kind of fat” category, avocados are, quite literally, a superfood. Rich in fibre, potassium, magnesium, and monosaturated fats – all the things your body needs to fight off infection (and inflammation).


Who knew all those avocado toast breakfasts would pay off?


  •   Fruits (especially berries). Small but powerful, blueberries contain more antioxidants per cup than any other fruit. You can also load up on strawberries (a sweet treat), cherries (maraschino? More like maraschi-yes), and oranges (citrus-y goodness) for a fruit-flavoured inflammation-fighting diet.


  •   High-Fructose Corn Syrup. The one thing that makes all dieticians hiss (like a cat). HFCS is one of the main types of added sugar in Western diets, and let me tell you; you don’t want all that extra processed fructose in you.


A high-fructose diet has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver, and chronic kidney disease … just to name a few.


  •   Refined Carbohydrates. Carbs aren’t bad. In fact, you need them in a healthy, balanced diet.


Refined carbs are the problem, here. Because refined carbs have had most of their fibre removed, leaving carbs with a high glycemic index (GI). Foods that have high GI are known to raise blood sugar more rapidly – and more extensively – than foods with moderate or low GI.


A rapid spike in blood sugar can encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria – something you definitely don’t want.

Basically, the answer to fighting internal inflammation is sort of ridiculously simple. Balanced diet, healthy lifestyle. Everything in moderation. Enjoy your beers and your brews, your coffees, and your ice creams. Just remember to keep the portions in check, and you’ll be golden.


If you’d like to find out how Hearty Health can help keep you eat well and feel, or find out more about how you can get Hearty Health ready meals direct to you or at your facility, simply call 1300 728 764 or email hello@heartyhealth.com.au

Can Healthy Eating Make You Smarter? Here’s What We Know

For the longest time, parents were perfectly happy feeding their kids a whole bowl of sugar-coated cereal soaked in 100% milk with a side of artificially-flavoured orange juice every morning before school. They likewise survived until lunchtime on little else than a mug of coffee and two slices of avocado toast or two sunny-side-up eggs.

The goal wasn’t necessarily mental stimulation or clarity so much as it was “make it ‘til you can get a proper meal in.” A crying shame, to be sure, but very, very few can actually whip up a hearty, filling breakfast that nourishes both the brain and the body when pressed for time.

And besides; is such a thing possible?


Smarter Snacking

According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, a diet “high in fat, sugars, and processed foods in early childhood may result in lower IQ scores.”

That’s a yikes.

Meanwhile, scientists over at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have learned that levels of lutein – a nutrient present in leafy greens (like spinach and kale) and eggs – may be linked to cognitive performance across our life span, particularly “in the grey matter of brain regions.” It’s basically like an anti-aging compound for the brain.

And speaking of eggs, did you know that they’re also packed with a memory-improving substance known as choline? Meanwhile, salmon and walnuts are over here brimming with essential fatty acids that improve brain function.

So what’s the verdict? Can food really make you smarter?

“Smarter” might be too generic a term. I’m not saying that eating nothing but salmon and eggs for the rest of your life is going to boost your IQ some ten, twenty points. But there is significant evidence that suggests doing so will improve your comprehension and memory capacity (both short-term and long-term retrieval).

Basically, there are some foods that could potentially improve all matters regarding grey matter, and their assertions are all scientifically backed. Here’s a quick list:

    1. Salmon – a great source of that delectable “good kind of fat,” omega-3 fatty acids. Recent research (published around 2017) suggests that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are crucial for improving cognitive functions.


    1. Eggs – a delicious-and-nutritious two-for-one, eggs contain high amounts of choline and lutein; two substances linked heavily to memory matters. Lutein helps slow down cognitive decline. Choline, on the other hand, is essential for brain and nervous system functions that include mood, muscle control, and – yep! – memory.


    1. Walnuts – touted as a “brain-booster” and “mood-stabilizer,” a decent amount of studies have linked walnuts with improved productivity and problem-solving capabilities. No surprise there, seeing as walnuts also contain high traces of good old omega-3.


    1. Spinach, Kale, and Other Leafy Greens – we mentioned spinach and kale in the context of lutein, but did you know that the iron in them can give you a shot of brain clarity?

      Iron is an essential mineral that the body uses to transport oxygen to all systems. If you’re low on oxygen-carrying red blood cells (which will happen if you’re low on iron), you could experience an intense brain fog linked with fatigue.


  1. Beets – and on the topic of bringing oxygen to the brain, beets contain specific dietary nitrates; special compounds that can be converted to nitric oxide. Our bodies use nitric oxide to relax our blood vessels and increase blood flow (specifically, oxygen-rich blood) to the brain.It may seem like a stretch, but a 2016 study showed that older adults – aged 60 and up – who drank beetroot juice for six weeks straight experienced significant brain benefits. What’s more, their brains took on similar appearances to those of adults younger than them.

The Verdict?

We are what we eat. If we choose to eat food that could, potentially, improve our grey matter and cognitive functions, who’s going to be upset? Popping a handful of walnuts every day or increasing your spinach intake may not give you tangible or immediate brain-boosting results, but it’s also not going to harm you in any way.

So cook up your salmon and serve it with a side of beets! Even if it doesn’t give you the photographic memory you were looking for, it’s still going to taste (and feel!) pretty darn good.

If you’d like to find out how Hearty Health can help keep you eat well and feel, or find out more about how you can get Hearty Health ready meals direct to you or at your facility, simply call 1300 728 764 or email hello@heartyhealth.com.au

3 High-Protein and Highly Delicious Breakfast Options To Get Your Day Started Right

High protein breakfast


Sure, toast is nice and all but wouldn’t your belly benefit from a change of pace—and taste? So in the interests of taking your tastebuds to the next level, here are 3 totally mouth-watering ways to wake up your tummy every morning.


Updated Eggs on Toast

We know, we know, eggs on toast isn’t exactly groundbreaking but eggs do have over 16g of protein per serve, so it’s in all our interests not to ignore them. 

To give our protein pals a little more zing, start with a slice of quality sourdough bread, slightly toast and follow up with a layer of sundried tomato spread. Then poach 2 eggs with white vinegar and layer on top of the bread. Follow up with a dash of tabasco sauce and you’ve got a recipe to relish. 


Bircher Bowl

Make this the night before for a wake-up call worth getting up for. Start with oats and then team them up with a high-protein Greek yoghurt, followed by sliced almonds, dried apricots, and a dash of milk. Perfect.


Brilliant Brekkie Wrap

Adding a wrap to your protein-packed breakfast is a game-changer for those always on the go.

Simply start with a soft wrap, layer on avocado and cream cheese, add a layer of smoked salmon and a few slices of fresh cucumber. Then roll into a one-handed bundle of joy. 

Now that you’ve got breakfast sorted, why not talk to us about lunch, dinner, and dessert?


To find out more about how you can get Hearty Health ready meals direct to you or at your facility, simply call 1300 728 764 or email hello@heartyhealth.com.au