When NTB performs maintenance on a truck, we would never use vegetable oil for the engine. We use the oil best suited for the job. The one with the correct properties so that we have long-lasting, smooth-running engines. It’s important to think of feeding our bodies in a similar way to how we approach engine care. Immune health is currently at top of mind for many and we have some thoughts on maintaining the body to be healthy while on the road to start the new year right.
You Are What You Eat
The old saying isn’t exactly meant to be taken literally, but if you think about fueling your body when you eat, it can be easier to make sustainable decisions about what you eat. According to an article on the Centers for Disease Control’s website, vitamin A supports a healthy immune system, vitamin D helps the body resist bacteria and viruses, and zinc “promotes immune functions and helps resist infectious diseases, including... pneumonia,” among other maladies.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists beef liver, sweet potatoes, spinach, pumpkin pie, carrots, and vanilla ice cream as the top six food sources for vitamin A. What’s better than dinner and dessert, with an extra helping of immune health? The list goes on, showing that with a healthy diet, it’s easy to ensure you get enough vitamin A to help ward off unwanted novel or seasonal invaders.
Trout, salmon, milk, and eggs are all among the top 10 foods on the NIH food sources list for vitamin D. In addition to its immune system benefits, vitamin D is also necessary for the body to produce bone and reduce the occurrence of muscle cramps. Any driver will tell you that keeping muscle cramps at bay will make for a better workday.
On the NIH list of sources for zinc in food are pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas, and almonds, which are all great snacking foods that are easy to keep nearby while you drive. A great recipe for roasted chickpeas that can be prepared ahead of time can be found here. They can be seasoned however you like and will keep for about four days. Love ranch flavor? Sprinkle some ranch seasoning on your roasted chickpeas. Is wasabi your thing? Grab a packet of wasabi powder to coat those chickpeas.
A good 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise will keep the heart, lungs, muscles, and mind healthy. While waiting at the loading dock to hook up your next trailer, take a brisk walk around the lot to get your heart rate up. Last year, we provided a blog post with great resources to start an exercise routine for truck drivers.
Use Healthy Habits to Replace Unhealthy Habits
In addition to exercising daily, picking up healthy habits such as drinking plenty of water and keeping a good sleep schedule are huge steps to a healthier life. You also may want to make 2021 your year to kick some habits to the curb while incorporating newer, healthier ways of life. If you’ve been wanting to quit smoking, this may be a great year to do it. Did you know that cigarette smoking affects the immune system? According to an article on Healthline, “Quitting smoking improves circulation, increases oxygen levels, and lowers inflammation—all of which give your immune system a boost, so it’s easier to fight off colds and other illnesses.” Develop a habit of planning your meals and include healthy foods you truly enjoy to make it easier to ditch junk food. That planning process will make it easier to focus on reducing sodium and sugar, as well.
Fill your days with healthy habits for a longer, happier life!
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