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Eating habits during Covid-19

Patients are right now looking for the ways to cope up with the pandemic and the most important question is what to eat? With children and entire families home together all day, and work and school schedules disrupted, loss of a daily routine can increase anxiety and disrupt healthy eating. 

Also there are challenges of healthy meals to make for the family and also for children too. What to feed them, what to make out of the limited grocery too. It’s tempting to buy whatever is available, even if it’s not something that’s part of your normal diet.

It’s hard to cope up with being in isolation and not able to reach out to favourite food and snacks. A few pretzels and chips are okay but people do have a problem eating everything at once. Processed foods and shelf-stable items like baked goods contain a lot of simple carbohydrates that create a yo-yo effect on our blood sugar, which can drive anxiety and worsen mood.

How to then make right choices?

  • Make a schedule or a daily meal plan: A schedule is more predictable for you and for everyone in your household.
  • Stay connected through Apps: You have to stay connected through apps with your family or friends on apps like Skype, Zoom etc..
  • Grocery shopping plan: Plan to buy groceries which are less processed, high-salts and high sugar snacks.
  • Concentrate more on fresh vegetables and fruits and lean proteins.
  • Save money on flavoured juices and high sugar soda, instead edible citrus food with berries.
  • Plan and enjoy: Enjoyment and health should come hand in hand. So, plan your day to have comfort food but not all on the same day.
  • Manage your diet: If chocolate is not in the fridge then you don’t2 have to eat it simply. 

You might be surprised to learn that certain nutrients in foods have been shown to reduce anxiety or spur the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine — and we all want to feel as good as we can during these times of uncertainty.

Reduce anxiety and boost immunity by choosing:

  • Citrus fruit and red bell peppers (both rich in vitamin C, which in some studies has been shown to support your immune system)
  • Spices: ginger, garlic, turmeric, and capsaicin (from chili peppers) can be easily added to soups, stews, stir-frys, or salad dressings.
  • Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, clams, mussels, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks. You may recognize zinc as an ingredient is the cold remedy Zicam, as zinc has some virus-fighting effects.
  • Magnesium-rich foods may help you to feel calmer, and help support immunity. Stress can deplete our magnesium levels too. Examples are legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains.
  • Fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids. A study on medical students in 2011 was one of the first to show that omega-3s may help reduce anxiety.
  • Eat probiotic-rich foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir.
  • Add some antioxidants to your anti-anxiety diet, which can support your immune system.

The bottom line:

Staying at home during Covid-19 is really very tough and also it boosts our anxiety a lot. And due to this people ignore healthy food and hop on whatever and also on food they like the most. So, it’s really necessary to plan and schedule the meal.

(Source: Health.Harvard)

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