The outbreak of coronavirus has averted the lives of millions around the world. As many of us are finding ourselves stuck at homes or are barely traveling for essential needs, the pandemic has given each and every one of us a tough time. With this unprecedented lifestyle shift from juggling household chores, full-time work, and other competing responsibilities, this pandemic has taken a significant toll on our well being. To cope with the chaos and make things easier we’ve created a list of top 6 food and nutrition tips that will help you lead a healthy life during the pandemic.
- Strengthen your Immune System with a proper diet
To keep up a good and healthy immune system it is essential that you increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables that includes at least five servings a day. In addition to anti-oxidants, fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of vitamins A and C that play a defense mechanism against harmful infections attacking your body. Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes, and chocolate. If your dietary intake is not able to meet your requirements for essential nutrients, then you should consider involving immunity boosters in your diet as this will strengthen your immune system and help your body to fight harmful infections.
- Eat less salt and sugar
The daily salt intake should be limited to less than 5g (approximately 1 teaspoon), and prefer the use of iodized salt when cooking and preparing food.
Avoid foods that are high in salt and sugar and also limit your intake of soft drinks and other drinks that have high sugar levels (e.g. fruit juices, syrups, flavored milk, yogurt drinks).
- Drink enough water daily
Drink enough quantities of water (at least 2 lt.). It is essential for transporting different nutrients and compounds in blood, regulating the body temperature, helping in getting rid of waste, and also works great for lubricating and cushioning joints.
When it comes to increasing liquid intake, water is the best choice but you can also consume other drinks, fruits, and vegetables that contain good quantities of water. Be mindful of not consuming too much caffeine, sweetened drinks, fruit juices, fizzy drinks, etc. as they all have very high sugar levels.
- Prefer fresh fruits and vegetables over canned foods
Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, millet, oats, milk, etc. If you want to eat snacks then some of the healthy snacking options are to eat raw vegetables and fruits over snacks that have high sugar, salt, and fat content. Also, while cooking make sure that you don’t overcook the vegetables as this can lead to loss of essential nutrients
- Avoid eating out
Avoid eating out as it will help you reduce the rate of contact with other people and it will also lower your chances of being exposed to the coronavirus. We also recommend maintaining a distance of at least 1 meter between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Unfortunately, this is not always possible in crowded places like restaurants and cafes as droplets from an infected person might land on surfaces and people’s hands (e.g. customers and staff), and with the coming and going of lots of people you certainly cannot tell if the hands are being washed regularly enough, and if all the surfaces are being cleaned and disinfected thoroughly after every visit.
The guidance above is to improve and maintain overall health and wellness. It is crucial that you eat nutritious foods, involve physical activity in your daily routine, take an adequate amount of rest, and most importantly take care of your mental health as this will make you more resilient. Certainly, the above guidelines are not a cure or any type of guarantee of immunity from contracting the coronavirus but are helpful in not worsening the condition thereby helping you maintain good well-being. In addition to adopting these food and nutrition tips to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, do not forget to wear your mask, practicing social distancing, and also in the event if you have any concerns regarding your health consult a doctor.