Making Health and Nutrition a Priority during Corona virus (COVID-19)

Avni Kaul, Nutritionist, Wellness Coach & Certified Diabetes Educator, Founder, NutriActivania A passionate nutritionist and an entrepreneur, Avni prides herself on educating, inspiring, and empowering everyone

There is hardly any doubt that the Corona virus or the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of your lives from online classrooms to telecommuting to early restaurant closing times to complete quarantines. Following the public health measures and decreasing exposure to the virus are needed to slow the spread of this disease. No one knows how long those virus safety measures will require one to stay in place, but it presents a good time to protect and improve your health while following social distancing. Healthy eating is particularly important for keeping your immune system in top shape.

People's lives have changed drastically ever since the COVID-19 stay at home policies has been implemented. This can also lead to feelings of strong emotions such as anxiety, isolation, and depression. These emotions can cause poor eating habits and food choices. Bear in mind that proper nutrition should include 2 sources of foods, primary and secondary foods. Primary foods can include your relationships, physical activity, career, spirituality, creativity, and others. Secondary foods are the foods that you choose to eat.

The time you are spending at home also creates an opportunity to get in touch with several important aspects of nutrition including your food choices, how specific foods impact your body, and how much food you are consuming. Luckily, grocery stores remain open during this hour, so take advantage of this to enhance your grocery list. With fewer restaurants open now, you can even improve your cooking skills.
Here are some ways to make health and nutrition a priority during the corona virus or the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reduce the Trips to the Supermarket during this Pandemic and Eat Healthy
Before you shop for quarantine preparations, plan ahead. Think of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for at least 5 days. What will you eat?
What do you require? Think of the foods your family likes, your food preparation ways, interests and skills, and the time and energy
you will need for making those meals. Working from home could also mean there is less time to cook specially if you are now responsible for teaching your kids and doing the job your employer expects.

Think of Nutrition
It is a good time to eat healthy now that you are at home. The healthiest meals consist of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Meat portions need to be smaller if you are eating them. It will also save money and help keep dietary saturated fat in control.

Have a Shopping List
Have a shopping list handy. This way you will be able to ensure that you remember to buy the things that you need .Try to include as much nutritious food as possible in that list. Owing to lockdown, most of your physical activities have been curtailed. Thus, there are more chances of putting on unhealthy weight. So better shop for healthy foods and eat them too subsequently.

People's lives have changed drastically ever since the COVID-19 stay at home policies has been implemented

Also, opt for nutritional based foods that will remain fresh for a longer duration of time, maybe for a week or even longer. Here are some of the options one may choose.

a. Bread preferably whole grain, brown pieces of bread, and whole wheat slices of bread rather than the normal flour-based bread.
b. Grains in the form of amaranth, ragi, barley, oatmeal, brown rice, and millet.
c. Fruits should be sturdy and fresh like the apples, citrus-based, dried, plain frozen, or even canned if available in fresh form.
d. Vegetables also need to be sturdy and fresh like potatoes, onions, beetroots, gourds, etc
e. Milk and fresh juice.
f. Fresh eggs,
g. Beans/Legumes like dals, chanas, rajma, black beans.
h. Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds
i. Herbs and spices such as ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon. These can be utilized for boosting immunity.

From the health point of view, if you visit retail markets, try to stay safe as much as possible. Try to buy food and other essentials online as much as possible. In case you still need to go to the supermarket, do take the necessary precautions.

Use a disinfectant to wipe the handles of the entrance and grocery cart. Then dispose of that wipe inside a covered trash bin. Also, try to press the buttons on payment swipe machines by using your knuckles and later wash them or use a sanitizer. If you are ordering food from outside, try to consume it while it is hot and fresh. If you are planning to store the leftovers, wrap them up tightly before refrigerating.