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Tips for a mindful diet during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 outbreak has brought a shift in people’s daily lives around the world. People are strictly adhering to health organizations’ and government’s guidelines to protect themselves from transmission and infection of this novel virus.

Maintaining social distancing and personal hygiene are the two things you must be practicing nowadays. But is that all that you need to do? It will be wise to work on immunity as well.

Individuals who consume a balanced diet tend to have a healthier immune system and are at a lower risk of developing chronic/infectious illness.

Here are a few food and nutrition tips for quarantine:

1. Consume a healthy mix of all the food groups

Including foods from all the categories is important to ensure intake of the appropriate nutrients. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), whole grains (oats, wheat, brown rice, millets, etc.), roots and tubers (potato, yam, cassava, etc.), meat and meat products (chicken, mutton, eggs) and dairy products (milk, paneer, cheese, curd, etc.) It’s natural to encounter a shortage of food supplies during the time of crisis. You should be open to modifying your diet as per your current food stock and still ensuring daily intake of all important nutrients.

2. Drink and thrive

Water is always the best choice to consume than other sugar-sweetened beverages. Staying well hydrated i.e. consuming 6-8 glasses of water per day (for most adults) can help your body naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that may cause illness. You can even add slices of citrus fruits, few mint leaves, sliced lemon, etc. to enhance its taste and power.

3. Not all things tasty are healthy

Most of us tend to like foods high in sugar, salt and oil as they are more palatable which can lead to overconsumption.

  • Use sugar and salt judiciously while cooking and preparing food

  • Try to avoid intake of soft drinks, sodas which are high in sugar. You can choose fresh fruit juices instead

  • It’s also important to avoid saturated fats (coconut oil, ghee, cheese, etc.) and opt for unsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts, avocado, fish, etc.)

  • Consume white meat (poultry) instead of red meat as they are generally low in fat

4. Be aware of the portion sizes

Portion size is the amount of food you choose to eat per serving. Being home during the COVID outbreak for an extended period of time can lead to overeating, as it’s quite normal to have the urge of binge eating while you’re quarantined. But make sure you limit your meals up to 3-4 times a day.

Switch from unhealthy snacks to a piece of fruit or small serving of salad to avoid overeating or bloating. Just a slight modification in your eating habit can keep you active and energetic throughout the day.

5. Prepare food at home

Now is the time to learn and cook some healthy and delicious recipes for yourself and your family. Maintain good food hygiene by keeping your hands, kitchen and utensils clean, keeping raw and cooked food separately, storing food at safe temperatures, etc. And while you pursue these tips in your daily diet, make sure you give equal importance to following a healthy lifestyle that includes not smoking and drinking, exercising regularly, sleeping adequately and on time, and avoiding stress.

Disclaimer: Indian Health Bureau does not claim any responsibility for the information contained in this article. The information may not hold good for everyone. The post is for general awareness only and should not be construed as a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Please consult your doctor to know what is good for you.



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