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Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Importance of Good Nutrition During COVID-19

In these times of heightened anxiety and disrupted routines, the need to eat a balanced diet can be one of the first things to fall by the wayside. Planning and preparing healthy meals is challenging even in the best of times. But now, with entire families quarantining together and many grocery stores having a more limited selection due to coronavirus, it can be tempting to reach for readily available comfort foods that offer little in the way of fulfilling your body’s nutritional needs. Here’s how to practice good nutrition during COVID-19.

Some Foods Can Improve Your Mood and Lower Stress

Many of the foods you probably already enjoy, such as dark chocolate, coffee, nuts and bananas, can help put you in a happier mindset. Incorporating these into your diet can put a spring in your step and give you more motivation to complete your daily tasks.

A Healthy Diet Will Boost Your Immune System

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of catching – and spreading – this potentially lethal virus is a very real fear for most people. While there are many things doctors and medical researchers still don’t understand about this novel virus and why it affects people differently, it remains a proven fact that the foods you eat can make you healthier by strengthening your immune system.
  • Citrus fruits and bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, which increases your white blood cell count to help your body fight infections.
  • Broccoli is a superfood that is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E, as well as fiber and many antioxidants.
  • Garlic does more than add a tasty zing to your favorite recipes – it also has compounds that can assist your immune system.
  • Yogurt is a rich, indulgent treat whose live and active cultures can help prevent illness. Yogurt and other dairy products contain abundant vitamin D, which may play a role in protecting against respiratory conditions.

Plan Your Trips to the Supermarket

The need to practice social distancing and to leave the house only for essential errands has made each visit to the grocery store seem monumentally important. Rather than unnecessarily exposing yourself to possible infection by running out to pick up a few odds and ends for each meal, it’s a smarter idea to plan your menus at least a week in advance and cut down on trips. Make a list before you go, so you’ll minimize the time you spend in contact with fellow shoppers and be less likely to buy impulse items. Here are some tips for making a shopping list.
  • Being self-quarantined doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have more time – or energy – to cook, so keep that in mind. Have a few quick and healthy go-to recipes in your back pocket that you can put together without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • The healthiest meals involve fresh produce, whole grains and lean proteins. Make sure your list is heavy on these items and light on processed foods. If you play your cards right, you’ll often find you can skip most of the middle aisles of the store and stick to the perimeter.
  • As much as possible, try to visualize the layout of your favorite supermarket and make your list in the same order of where you’d find items in the store.

A Healthier Today and Tomorrow

Coronavirus has affected nearly every aspect of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean it has to change your commitment to eating a healthy diet and nourishing your body from the inside out. Remember, eating well is part of self-care.

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