Apart from social distancing, eating habits and nutrition play a crucial role in a person’s health. Making wise food choices increases your chances of staying healthy and enjoying optimal levels of energy. There has never been a better time to learn about and protect your immune system.
- Pay attention to food that is rich in vitamin C, D3 and probiotics;
- A healthy immune system needs an optimal caloric intake of 25-30 kcal/kg body-weight per day and various nutrients (macro and micro nutrients);
- Macro nutrients: essential fatty acids and quality proteins;
- Micro nutrients: salmon, kale, seaweed, garlic, shellfish, potatoes, liver, sardines, blueberries, egg yolks, cocoa are some of the foods richest in nutrients on the planet.
Eat to live vs live to eat
As we spend more time indoors, food is always within reach. Boredom, fear of death, depression, the amount of food we have stored in our homes can lead to changes in one’s appetite and eating patterns. A person can tend to go for something that provides instant gratification. This is often food that is rich in sugar or starchy food with poor nutritious intake. However, too much sugar suppresses the immune system. A way to avoid this from happening is by not keeping this type of food in sight or even in your house.
Tips to manage meals during the pandemic:
- learn to cook;
- start planning your meals a day ahead;
- choose healthy, nutritious ingredients;
- make a shopping list;
- don’t stock up on mini size chocolates and cookie bars at the check out counter;
- buy local food and support your local farmers.
Tips for mindful eating
Being mindful when it comes to food means keeping our bodies nourished and healthy, using common sense when eating. It creates the opportunity of connecting with our bodies and feeling the effects that different foods, structures, tastes have on ourselves.
Here are some steps to help you turn a meal into a mindfulness practice:
- Sit down and focus on eating;
- Chew slowly, pay attention to your own rate of eating and the person in front of you;
- Savour the food and the taste, the various textures;
- Simplify your life: place healthy food in places that are easy for you to see;
- Smile between each bite to create a pause and boost the good chemicals in your brain.
“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding a disease or fighting it.” Heather Morgan
Photo credits: Brooke Lark@unsplash