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Why is it important to eat your 5-a-day?


Having your five a day really does protect your immune system

It's always important to get your five-a-day - your body needs all those nutrients found in fruit and veg to function at peak condition. With all these winter viruses floating about it's even more important to give your body all the weapons it needs to fight back.

"Eating healthily throughout the winter months can be challenging," admits Kate Butler,  Head Nutrionist at Holland and Barret, "particularly around the festive season when refined foods and alcohol are plentiful.

"However, it is important to embrace winter fruits and vegetables to keep both mind and body strong at this time of year."

It's not just our bodies that need a good dose of vits. Our minds can also use the help.

"Some of us tend to add unwanted pounds over the winter when we know our bodies are less visible to others." Says BACP Accredited, UKRCP Registered Independent Counsellor/Psychotherapist, Martin Cox,

"Avoid the dieting rollercoaster and the emotional turmoil this can bring by maintaining healthy eating including plenty of fruit and veg. Eating well nourishes the body AND mind and can really boost your mood."

Depression may have an adverse affect on our immune system according to a study by the Ohio State University and to David Brendel, M.D., Assistant Medical Director of The Pavilion, McLean Hospital.

Keeping your mind healthy can also help to fight off potential cold and flu viruses and other nasties.

"Your five-a-day are rich in antioxidants, nutrients and micronutrients", explains Metro GP, Dr Anuradha Arasu, "Antioixdants are essential for the proper function of the immune system as they mop up  free-radicals that can negatively affect the immune system, and nutrient and micronutrient deficiencies have been shown to weaken immune responses in animals in the lab, so having your five a day really does protect your immune system."


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