As countries take stronger steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, self-quarantine and partial closing of businesses may impact usual food-related activities. Stable individuals, as well as those with severe respiratory problems, are advised to remain at home.
In certain countries, restaurants and take-away sales are being restricted, and a few fresh items are becoming less accessible. Healthy eating is crucial to overall wellbeing, especially at a time when the immune system may need to retaliate.
Restricted access to fresh foods could compromise the chances of continuing to eat a safe and varied diet. It may also theoretically contribute to increased intake of heavily refined products. However, even with limited resources, one can keep eating a diet that encourages good health.
The following are the dietary guidelines that should be adhered to during COVID-19:
Regular Intake of Unprocessed Food
Consume fruits, herbs, legumes such as lentils and beans. Try to have nuts and whole grains like unprocessed corn, millet, barley, wheat, rice or nutritious tubers like potatoes or roots such as carrots. Food from livestock sources such as beef, poultry, eggs and milk should also be consumed regularly.
You should have at least two cups of fruit on a daily basis, along with two and half cups of vegetables. This must be accompanied by 1 cup of grains, and 2-3 servings of meat and beans.
Pick natural veggies and fresh berries for snacks instead of products that are rich in starch, fat or salt. Do not reheat vegetables and fruit as this may result in the loss of essential nutrients. Select a variety without additional salt or sugar when using prepackaged or dried fruits and vegetables.
Adequate Water Intake
Water is vital to life. It carries nutrients and substances in your blood, controls the temperature of your body, remove toxins, and nourishes and joint cushions. Consume 8 to 10 cups of water each day. Water is the best option, but you can also drink other beverages, fruits and vegetables infused in water, such as lemon juice, coffee and tea.
But be cautious not to intake too much caffeine, and stop sugared fruit juices, syrups, concentrated fruit juices, and carbonated drinks, because they both contain sugar. Fresh or preserved fruits, such as berries or pieces of citrus fruits, along with cucumber or herbs such as basil, lavender or thyme, can be applied to improve the flavor.
Moderate Consumption of Fats and Oils
Eat unsaturated fats that are present in seafood, avocado, almonds, olive oil, soya, canola, sunflower, and corn oils instead of saturated fats that are contained in fried meat, cream, peanut butter, milk, yogurt, ghee, and pork fat.
Prefer white meat and seafood that are usually minimal in fat instead of red meat. Stay clear of processed meats because they are high in saturated fat and salt. When feasible, prefer for low-fat or low-fat variants of dairy products.
Resist trans fats that are manufactured industrially. These are mainly encountered in packaged foods, junk food, unhealthy snacks, refined carbs, frozen pizzas, sausage rolls, cookies, hydrogenated oils and spreads.
Restricted Salt and Sugar Intake
Reduce the amount of salt and high-sodium seasonings when cooking and preparing food. Restrict the regular intake of salt to less than 5 g, but use iodized salt. Discourage snacks that contain a significant amount of salt and sugar.
Restrict the consumption of soft beverages or energy drinks and other high-sugar products such as fruit juices, refined sugar concentrates and syrups, condensed milk, and packaged milkshakes. Pick fresh fruit rather than sweet and salty treats.
Sufficient Fiber Consumption
Fiber adds to a sound stomach related framework and offers the feeling of satiety, which forestalls overindulgence. To guarantee a sufficient fiber admission, intend to incorporate vegetables, organic products, beats, and wholegrain nourishments in all dinners.
Wholegrains nourishments incorporate oats, pasta and rice, quinoa and whole grain bread and wraps should be consumed regularly as opposed to refined grain food sources, for example, white pasta and rice, and white bread.
Limited Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is not just a drug that affects the subconscious and causes dependency, and is dangerous at any amount taken, it often destabilizes the immune system. Alcohol use and particularly heavy use, therefore, weakens your body’s capacity to adapt with contagious diseases, including COVID-19.
It is advised that alcohol be averted in general, but especially in the case of self-quarantine. As a psychoactive drug, alcohol often impacts your emotional health and decision-taking, making you more prone to harm, such as spills, accidents, or abuse while you are in quarantine with somebody else.
Alcohol intake is often reported to raise the effects of stress, anxiety, paranoia, and agitation – effects that can increase through loneliness and self-quarantine. Alcohol consumption is not a healthy coping strategy, either in the short or long term, while you may believe it would help you cope with tension.
Alcohol also makes certain medications less effective, while increasing the potency and toxicity of others. Do not consume alcohol in combination with pain medication, as alcohol will interfere with your liver functions and might cause serious problems, including liver failure.
Under no contexts should you take any form of alcoholic beverages as a precautionary or therapy measure towards COVID-19? Alcohol is not a required component of your eating plan and is not part of a balanced living, which will also not appear on your grocery list.
General Food Guidelines
The following are general guidelines related to the food you should consume during COVID-19:
Plan a List of Things You Need
Various cases of over buying have been reported. Panic buying behavior can have adverse implications, such as rising food prices, excessive-consumption of food and uneven distribution of the products. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize your own interests, as well as those of everyone else.
Consider what you’ve already had at home and schedule your consumption. You can feel the urge to buy vast quantities of food, but be careful to remember and use what is already in your refrigerator, as well as products with lesser shelf life. This way you will reduce food wastage and give others access to the nutrition they deserve.
Always Choose Fresh Products
Initially, utilize natural products and those with a shorter shelf life. If fresh products, particularly fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, remain available, they should be prioritized over non-perishables.
Frozen fruits and vegetables may often be easily utilized for longer periods of time and also offer a comparable nutritional profile as fresh products. You may take into account the thought of freezing leftover food to stay clear of unnecessary wastage.
Prepare Your Meals at Home
Many people do not seem to have time to plan home-cooked meals during their daily lives. Having to spend longer periods at home is the perfect opportunity to start making those recipes that you haven’t had time to make before. You can find many nutritious and fresh recipes online.
Reap the benefits of the abundance of readily accessible knowledge and play with the products that you may use, but try to bear in mind the concepts of safe eating provided in this guide.
Food Delivery Options
While home-cooked meals will be prioritized, several cities and countries have more sophisticated distribution services for supplies and ready-to-eat foods, and several companies are now beginning to provide this service.
Some alternatives provide contact-less choices where there is no need for human touch, thereby promoting self-quarantine and isolation interventions. This should be given priority, especially by reputable enterprises that comply with stringent food hygiene specifications.
It is critical that food is maintained at appropriate temperatures for food supply and transportation. Bearing in mind that such facilities might be overloaded, you may want to suggest investigating what is accessible in your region.
Understanding Portion Sizes
It may be challenging to get portion sizes correct, particularly when cooking from scratch. Being at home for extensive periods of time, especially without anyone to keep you company or with restricted activities, can also result in overeating.
Therefore, it is important to get advice via the regional dietary recommendations for what comprises balanced meals for adults and be aware that children may require smaller servings.
Make the Most of Your Family Meals
The social isolation correlated with the epidemic of COVID-19 also ensured that many households spend more time at home, offering them more chances to share food together. Family meals are a significant way for parents to become mentors for healthier eating and for improving family bonds.
Greater time at home during this phase can also provide different opportunities for children to be interested in preparing nutritious meals and may enable them to learn valuable life lessons that they may take into adulthood.
Allowing children to select which vegetables to include in the meals can allow them to eat at the table. Interacting with children in cooking, it is essential to keep food basic and to educate kids about appropriate food hygiene, including handwashing, cleaning of interfaces, and trying to avoid the usage of particular raw ingredients.