Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, our daily lives have changed. We are forced to apply social distancing and avoid visiting some places we like, as well as dining out. This can make us easily frustrated and could lead to unhealthy eating habits during this period that might last for longer. However, maintaining a healthy diet can be easily achieved if we put enough effort and preparation.
Healthy nutrition is important at all times, however, in this pandemic, it is even more crucial since a nutritious diet can help support our immune system and fight against the virus.
Start by planning your grocery shopping prior to going there. This can help you get in and out of the store quickly without buying unwanted items. Prepare a list that contains all the ingredients that you would need for 2 weeks, and avoid buying big quantities of foods. Buying more means that you might be consuming more foods, also other people won’t have enough for themselves.
When you buy fresh foods, buy a variety of these in the quantity that you usually buy. In your plan, mention a mix of frozen and fresh foods (bread, vegetables, fruits and meats), and other foods that are shelves stable such as rice, legumes, pasta, and some dried and canned foods.
You can buy your foods online if you would like to avoid being around people in the supermarket. You can also order your items and have them delivered at your house. Many supermarkets have this option, especially after this pandemic, to avoid having a crowd in their shops.
Make sure that you consume plenty of veggies and fruits especially ones that are rich in minerals, fibers, and vitamins. You can also opt for canned or frozen fruits and vegetables as they also have minerals and vitamins in them, however, they might come with some added ingredients (including preservatives, sugar or salt). Therefore read the labels before you pick the items you need to avoid consuming unwanted additives.
Make your diet rich in healthy fats, nuts, and whole grains. Add sesame, peanut, olive, and oils that are rich in unsaturated fatty acids. These are great food examples that support your immune system.
If you find yourself tempted to consume comfort food when you are stressed, you should know that it’s ok to do so once in a while rather than put strict and stressful rules. However, do not make it a habit of consuming these foods as most of them have high levels of salt, fats, and sugar. Read the food labels just so you know the nutritional value of what you are eating.
Drink water regularly! Being hydrated is very helpful for immunity. Make sure you drink enough water daily and opt for unsweetened beverages to limit unnecessary calories.
Finally, if you find yourself craving alcohol to try to cope with the stress around you, then you need to set some rules first. Make sure you drink in moderation and you limit your daily and weekly consumption in order to avoid dependency. Alcoholic drinks are packed with calories and have a very low nutritional value.