It was around mid-march this year when Indians were gearing up for a nationwide lockdown to break the coronavirus chain. Little did we anticipate that the lockdown would become the new normal for months to come.
How To Maintain A Healthy Diet During COVID -19?
So our routines have disrupted. Many people find themselves at home. Some are even working from home. A change in routine also has a direct bearing on your diet. More importantly, we all have realized the importance of a healthy diet during these testing times. There has never been a greater emphasis on eating immunity-boosting foods and supplements.
So how do you build a healthy diet in such changing and stressful situations?
#Say No to taste buds excesses and yes to nutrition
First things first, make your food choices based on nutrition. Be mindful of your cravings too. For instance, eating fried potato chips, too much sugar, soft drinks, and processed foods are not only low on nutrition but also leads to binge eating sessions.
Yes, Processed foods and refined sugar can be addictive. Replacing them with wholesome, high nutritional foods is the way to go.
#Make a place for green veggies and colourful food options on your plate.
Truth be told, our bodies respond the best to variety in food options. Keep in mind eating is a visual experience too. Make the rainbow diet fundamental in your diet plan. What does it mean? Well, it is the phytonutrients that give colour to your fruits and veggies. So each colour brings an abundance of specific nutrients. Your diet should be rich in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
While red fruits are good for the heart and the skin, orange and yellow food choices build better immunity. Green fruits and vegetables are the healthiest of the lot. They not only detoxify the body but improve your blood quality and strength of your bones. Other colours bring awesome goodness of health too.
So, prepare your food with a good mix of leafy greens and colourful veggies. Ensure that you get a daily dose of zinc and vitamins. These are essential for enhancing immunity.
Try to have at least 1 fruit a day. Make a healthy eating plate to ensure optimum nutrition.
#Go for Slow carbs and high fibre foods
Many of us don’t know the concept of slow carbs and fast carbs. Well, carbohydrates are the main source of energy. The manner in which carbohydrates are released in the body is crucial to understand.
For example, potatoes offer fast carbohydrates. It means that not only do they give a quick spike in energy and sugar levels but get used up quickly.
What we need rather is a sustained flow of energy throughout the day. That’s where foods with slow carbs like sweet potato help.
Top it up with whole grains and green salads for sufficient intake of fibre. They not only rejuvenate the body but help in digestion too.
So if your increasing waistline is giving you a headache in the lockdown, make sure you don’t skip your salad and have a diet filled with whole grains, nuts and slow carbs.
#Have a balanced protein Intake
You might find people trying new diet routines and fads in this lockdown. Some go as far as eating raw vegetables, overdoing salads and worst skipping their meals. Wanting to cook less in lockdown is understandable too.
However, don’t skew your eating preferences heavily towards limited dietary sources. Lean muscle mass is essential for our daily functioning.
Ensure you have adequate protein intake in your diet. Didn’t we all learn in school that proteins are the building blocks of the body?
#Eating at regular intervals
Our routines have gone for a toss since our lockdown life. Eating at irregular intervals, abrupt eating sessions have been quite common. The end result can be a negative effect on our metabolism. When it comes to the timing and frequency of the meals, it is best to keep it simple.
Follow the natural circadian rhythm of your body. For example, 12 PM to 8 PM can be the best time to consume food. 8 PM to 4 AM is most suitable for the absorption of the nutrients. The body ultimately eliminates what it doesn’t require in the morning.
#Hydrate and exercise
Last but not least, keep yourself hydrated and get some exercise to supplement your diet.
Water is essential to carry the nutrients in your body. It not only aids your immune system but helps in better digestion too. Also, avoid sweetened drinks.
Always remember, food is your fuel to a healthier you.
A wise man once said, ‘we are what we eat’. A healthy and balanced diet not only feels light on your stomach but also optimizes your nutritional intake.
Moreover, correct nutrition is intrinsically linked with your ability to fight infections and diseases. Food is your fuel. Making conscious eating habits is essential. It builds a resistant immune system and improves the quality of your overall well being.