Covid-19 has forced most of the affected to go into lockdown mode. The infection is so contagious that hundreds of people are getting infected every day in our cities and towns. Transportation services are nil, shopping malls, theatres, parks, beaches, and other recreation centers are closed. The unemployment rate is rocketing, and schools and universities are closed. People live under stress and fear. Supply chain issues, panic buying, and hoarding of essential commodities have added further to our woes. But these testing times are going to stay for long. We have to adjust our needs and should not expect weekend dinner parties.
One has to keep in mind that irrespective of the safety and cleanliness measures one takes, you may get the Coronavirus. So, we must boost our immunity and be courageous and careful. As we confine ourselves to home, chances are there that we are not physically active, and the habit of binge-eating also sets in. So, one has to keep an eye on the quantity and quality of the food. And, amid health crisis times, one must opt for a nutritious diet rather than junk snacks and savories. Below are a few tips to make every meal healthy and tasty.
Always have a Balanced Diet
Your menu should include proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. Proteins are essential for the quick repair and growth of body cells. They enhance killer cell activity and can reduce respiratory infections. They make you feel satiated, and you may not crave for snacking in between the meals. Milk, milk products, dry pulses, chickpeas, etc., are must-have protein sources in your kitchen.
Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, millets, brown rice, etc., often present the staple part of a healthy diet. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, whereas refined cereals have carbohydrates alone. So choose whole grain products for bread, pasta, porridge, salads, etc. They aid in reducing the sluggishness that is common during stay-home situations.
One might often feel bouts of anxiety while self-isolating. Infos like a neighbor falling sick or an unwell relative make you tense. At times you may not be able to sleep. But stressful situations directly affect the body’s immune system. So, it is prudent to have food that has a soothing effect. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, tryptophan, potassium, flavonoids, etc., are chemicals that play a role in reducing stress. So choosing food items with these ingredients is a wise thing to do. You can have salmon, sardines for omega-3, avocado, bananas for potassium, and egg and milk for tryptophan. Dark chocolate and turmeric are among the best antidepressants. Fermented food like yogurt and milk can induce sleep too. It is best to have medical advice if stress issues are persistent. Suggest medicines like Anadrol for sleep disorders due to anxiety can help a lot during such crucial times.
Switch to Healthy Snacks
Ice-creams, pizzas, burgers, chips, crisps, and colas – a mere mention of these words elates our mood. But sugary, salty, and high-fat foods are not desirable for our immune system. One tends to have more cravings for food during a stressful period. But, eating junk food is not the solution. Though it is general advice, avoiding unhealthy snacks is more relevant when we are close to getting a respiratory infection. Processed and super sugary/salty items could worsen the inflammation caused by the virus. A quick solution is to munch on healthy snacks. You can go for air-popped corn, puffed rice with grated veggies, salads, etc. These will cut the oil and salt intake, and also increase fiber consumption. Unsalted nuts, dry fruits, tuna sandwiches, steamed and sauteed lentils, etc., are other healthy options one could choose.
Choose Frozen Food Carefully
Governments all over the world are asking people not to venture out often. Many are requesting people to buy their essentials once in a week or once in two weeks. In such a scenario, it is usual to go for frozen items. But it is advisable not to buy heat-and-eat processed items like frozen pizza, meals, snack rolls, burritos, etc. You should choose those packets which have no additional chemicals like sodium, preservatives, and sauces. Under the frozen category, one can buy plain vegetables, berries, meat, seafood, etc. Dried fruits (mango, peaches) are also a healthy snacking option.
Know the Essential Vitamins and Minerals
We have a group of micronutrients that are essential for the functioning of our immune system. They help put up a solid fight in case our body contracts the virus. For example, it is vitamin A that helps in making antibodies against the microbes, and also in the maintenance of cell structure. So, it is essential to include food items that are abundant resources of Vitamin A such as, green leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkins, fish, cheese, egg yolks, tofu, etc.
B-complex vitamins are essential for the first response of the body when pathogens enter. Their resources are legumes, nuts, green vegetables, chicken, fish, etc. Citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, etc., are sources of vitamin C that are also a must for the natural immune response of the body. Iron, zinc, and selenium help in the removal of free radicals produced by oxidation. They are present in meat, chicken, oysters, etc. Some people might need these in the form of tablets too.
Take the Necessary Precautions
Similar to the advice of washing hands, it becomes essential to clean the raw vegetables and fruits as you bring them home. You can sun-dry them if possible, before storing them. It is advisable to wipe the packed items with a sanitizer before opening them. It is essential to keep cooked and uncooked things separately. Cook the food well and keep the utensils clean.
Under quarantine, our physical activities may be almost nil. So try to include exercise in the daily routine. One can even play some games or dance with children. It is highly essential to keep oneself well-hydrated too. One should have control over the size of the meals. It is every individual’s responsibility to be healthy and safe.
We are amid a pandemic, and our health is at stake. Scientists across the world are engaged in finding a vaccine for the Coronavirus. In crucial times, It is every individual’s responsibility to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. By eating healthy food and keeping your body fit, you can fight the virus effectively and efficiently.