Celebrity doctor reveals how diet can help strengthen your immune system and what he eats in a day

A prominent Australian doctor has revealed his tips and tricks about his diet to keep his immune system strong including eating healthy fats and avoiding juicing fruits.

Dr Sam Hay, GP and chief medical advisor for SAS Australia, said that although it may sound simple, a daily balanced diet with plenty of protein, healthy fats and plenty of fruits and vegetables is the key to good health.

However, he also recommends increasing the intake of mushrooms, grains, and potatoes and including more animal fats and omega-3s for better all-round wellness.

“If your diet is not dense or well-integrated, it will not support our immune system,” he told FEMAIL.

Australian Dr. Sam Hay and star of Channel 7's Australian affiliate SAS has revealed top diet tips and tricks for keeping your immune system strong.

Australian Dr. Sam Hay and star of Channel 7’s Australian affiliate SAS has revealed top diet tips and tricks for keeping your immune system strong.

And there has never been a more important time to get in touch with your health, with Australian Mushroom research finding that 45 per cent of Australians feel it takes a day or two longer than others to recover after they are unwell.

Many also admit that they feel as if their immune systems are not adequately prepared as COVID-19 cases rise.

“Many Australians are concerned about their immunity – nearly half are stressed and all feel that their immune system is not ready,” he said.

Dr. Hay shared his top tips for taking care of your immune health and strengthening your body’s natural shield against disease = what you usually eat in one day to stay healthy all year long.

Dr Hay said we don't need to avoid animal fats anymore and that healthy fats like avocados, nuts and lean meats should be in your diet.

Dr Hay said we don’t need to avoid animal fats anymore and that healthy fats like avocados, nuts and lean meats should be in your diet.

1. Do not avoid fat

“We were told throughout the ’80s and ’90s that fat was bad for us, and if you’re overweight it’s because you have a lot of fat but that’s not the case anymore,” said Dr. Hay.

“We don’t need to be anal about animal fats like we used to be except in cases where people have high cholesterol.”

Dr. Hay said stick to healthy fats in foods like avocados, nuts, lean meats including chicken and low-fat sausage.

2. No fruit juice, eat it whole

Although fresh fruit juice may seem like a quick and easy way to get two servings a day, Dr. Sam said it’s best to eat whole fruit to increase your nutrient intake.

“When juicing fruit, you tend to get a lot of sugar without the bloat of fiber that doesn’t fill you up very much,” he said.

“There is a danger of over-consuming calories without any of the great benefits.”

Although fresh fruit juice may seem like a quick and easy way to get two servings a day, Dr. Sam said it's best to eat whole fruit to increase your nutrient intake.

Although fresh fruit juice may seem like a quick and easy way to get two servings a day, Dr. Sam said it’s best to eat whole fruit to increase your nutrient intake.

What is Dr. Sam Hai’s day on a plate?

breakfast: Smoothie with protein powder and fresh fruits or a cooked breakfast with eggs, vegetables and mushrooms

lunch: Banh Mi vietnamese roll

Snack: A handful of nuts or a piece of fruit

Post-workout treatment: Cheese, crackers, or a handful of chips and beer

Dinner: Lean meat such as chicken or sausage with fresh salad and vegetables

3. Eat the rainbow

Doctor TV suggests getting at least two or three good handfuls of fruits and vegetables a day using all the colors of the rainbow to get a range of vitamins and minerals.

“Stand in the middle of the fruit and vegetable store and look at all the colors – green, red, orange and purple are the main colors,” he said.

“There is also a yellow color to potatoes and many people lose eggs like mushrooms.”

Dr Hay said Australian mushrooms act as a ‘holistic nutrition factor’.

“They boost immunity and taste good,” he said.

The umami flavor helps reduce the amount of salt you want to use as well.

4. Balance is the key

Dr. Sam Hay says that a balanced diet is extremely important to your overall health and can help strengthen your immune system.

“I like to look at the bigger picture – draw on all the food groups and get a balance of grains, grains, and vegetables, and a lot of people don’t get enough protein,” he said.

If your diet is low in fiber, it will not feed back into the gut properly and will not develop a good microbiome that is closely related to the immune system.

Dr. Hay also recommends moderating foods that are high in salt and sugar and consuming excessive alcohol and energy-dense drinks.

Dr. Sam Hai’s Day on a Plate

Aussie GP said he chooses fresh whole foods over processed but the occasional burger or beer is OK.

Dr Hay said he usually eats breakfast around 7 a.m. after waking up at 4 a.m. to go to the gym.

For breakfast, Dr. Hai chooses fruit juice with protein powder on weekdays

Will go get something more

For breakfast, Dr. Hay chooses a fruit smoothie with protein powder on weekdays, but will opt for something more “luxury” on the weekends like a cooked breakfast with eggs and mushrooms on the weekends.

“I train a lot in the mornings, so it’s important that I replenish what I use in the gym,” he said.

I would choose something quick and effective like a smoothie with protein powder and good fruits to make sure I’m getting all the micronutrients and antioxidants.

“On the weekends, I’ll cook something more fancy or go out for breakfast — usually some eggs, good healthy vegetables and bring in the spinach and mushrooms.”

For lunch, Dr. Hai said he often eats salad rolls, but Vietnamese paan mi is his favorite.

“I like being spontaneous for lunch after a sick morning — I like being able to make a decision based on how I feel at the time,” he said.

For lunch, Dr. Hai said he often eats salad rolls but Vietnamese Banh Mi Hee is his meal

For lunch, Dr Hai said he often eats salad rolls but Vietnamese Banh Mi Hee is his “go to” meal.

Dr. Hay said he would occasionally eat a high-fiber snack such as a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit during the day.

After work, the GP admitted that he would indulge in a handful of chips or some crackers and cheese and that he “liked beer”.

“I have a view that nothing we eat is actually bad for us but there are certain things we eat too often that have consequences,” he said.

Dr. Hey said it's okay to eat

Dr. Hay said it’s okay to eat “trick food” like burgers, but only one or two meals a week.

A “standard” dinner for Dr. Hay says is usually lean meat with a salad or fresh vegetables.

“It depends on what looks good at the butcher every day, but I usually choose lean sausage or chicken,” he said.

Dr. Hay said that “cheating foods” is OK, but eat it in moderation.

“I’m only human, I love burgers and all of that stuff,” he said, “but you should reduce it to just two or two meals a week instead of several.”

“A lot of foods you don’t want to eat regularly are high in fat, salt, and high in sugar — they have too much energy and not enough of those micronutrients that support growth and immunity.”

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