While staying at home and waiting the COVID-19 pandemic to die down in self-isolation, several eatables may be at your disposal due to the hoarding of food. With all the free time on your hands and anxiety peaking, snacking could become an unhealthy coping mechanism.
Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome worsen the body’s immune response. Immunity is crucial right now in case you get infected with the novel coronavirus, and there are certain unhealthy eating habits to avoid.
Here are some pointers:
Avoid Sugary Foods
Don’t eat food high in sugar content because they stimulate hunger pangs as the blood sugar peaks and crashes. Snack mindfully and try to choose food packed with resistant starch that fills you up: nuts, seeds, legumes, roasted chickpeas, boiled peas or even fruits make for good snacks.
Importantly, ensure you consume the right quantity and quality of food, Kavita Devgan, a popular health consultant and nutritionist, advised. Don’t binge eat the wrong food filled with no nutrition and empty calories. If possible, have five servings of fruits and vegetables to get all the essential vitamins and minerals, Devgan noted.
Avoid Drinking Unhealthy Beverages
Since being isolated and cut-off from people could trigger depression and anxiety, try to not drink too much alcohol. It may be a social necessity but drinking alcoholic beverages may not be a good idea since it leads to an addiction.
There are also people who drink several cups of tea and coffee every day. Too much caffeine results in caffeine jitters, sleeplessness and even diarrhea. Consuming such beverages in moderation is key to keeping your health intact in these difficult times, as per Dr. Hansaji Yogendra, yoga guru and TV personality.
Avoid Junk Food
Today, junk food has become the go-to staple of people hoarding items at home since most of the world is on lockdown. It becomes easy to munch packaged food with additives since people have more time. Avoid processed and frozen food during this time because they could lead to some serious illnesses that might compromise your immunity, according to Dr. Yogendra.
Don’t Give Into Cravings
Giving into craving during social distancing has become easier and also more difficult to overcome, according to Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Nutrition Sciences.
Make a plan to counter your cravings by setting up an alternative. For example, do not just eat raw vegetables, dip them in a nice dressing made up of hummus or a cheese dip. Research has shown that eating vegetables with added fat helps in the absorption of the vegetables’ nutrients.
Avoid Being Sedentary
It’s okay if you cannot go to the gym or run outside. You can do squats, frog jumps, burpees, push-ups, lunges and other body-weight training exercises at home by watching tutorials. Also, clean your house regularly and engage in gardening if possible. Do not give up and maintain your health as best as you can.