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What are some good foods to eat during the COVID-19 pandemic?

For the COVID-19 pandemic you should be eating a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods on a daily basis to ensure your body gets the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants it needs to run at optimum levels.

You should also be drinking plenty of water. Other good foods you could eat include fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans as well as nuts and whole grains. Oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers would also be good for the pandemic as well as foods from animal sources like fish, eggs, and milk. Raw vegetables and fresh fruit would also be a good source of fiber and vitamins.

In this article, we’ll be looking closer at what good foods you could eat during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as what you can do to stay healthy.

What to eat and drink if you have covid-19 symptoms?

If you are feeling you are coming down with the symptoms of coronavirus, there is a high chance that they are going to get worse before they get better. In this case you should be looking to improve your diet with numerous foods and beverages to give your body more of the support it needs to keep the symptoms as minimal as they can be.

Below we’ll look at some of the better options that you should drink when it comes to coronavirus.

What to drink:

  • Water
  • Broth
  • Juice
  • Seltzer
  • Sports / Electrolyte Drinks
  • Tea and Honey

These are good for helping you get more electrolytes, vitamins and minerals in your system on top of what you get in your food. The tea and honey can also help with areas such as sore throat which is common with coronavirus.

Staying as hydrated as possible is a good idea in the fight against covid, giving your body as much support as possible against the virus.

What to eat:

  • Foods high in Protein: Chicken, Almonds, Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt
  • Foods high in Vitamin A: Fish, Fortified Cereals, Squash, Carrots, Broccoli
  • Foods high in Vitamin C: Citrus Fruits, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Kiwis
  • Foods high in Vitamin D: Salmon, Mushrooms, Tuna, Herring
  • Foods high in Vitamin E: Pumpkin, Almonds, Sunflower Oil
  • Foods that contain Zinc: Red Meats, Seeds, Beans, Seafoods, Nuts

There’s also smoothies which are good for getting in extra calories if you are feeling the appetite suppression from the condition. Ginger is good to handle nausea, and chicken soup can help with respiratory infections.

If you want to get ahead of this, you can freeze a variety of soups that are good to have as easier to put together meals when you’re not feeling well.

What to eat during Covid-19 lockdown? | 11 Simple Tips

Here is a quick plan of how you should control your eating habits during the Covid-19 lockdown:

1. Don’t Panic Buy

Whenever a new wave of lockdown comes into force, some people find the best reaction is to panic buy as much food as possible to avoid any shortages. However, this isn’t always the smartest idea.

Not only does mass-purchases of these foods reduce the amount of food available to other families, there’s also an issue with the shelf life. In some cases, fresh food has been panic bought only to expire without being eaten. This ensures that no one gets to eat the food, as too much has been purchased to be used within the time frame.

You should look to what is already in your pantry and factor that it in when you’re buying food during the pandemic, this can help to fight food waste, as well as make sure that other families get the food they need to survive.

2. Eat Your Fresh Food First

By the same token, you should be looking to consume the food in your pantry which has the shortest shelf life. This helps to lower overall food wastage and ensure that you’re not buying more than you need.

Fruits and vegetables should be the first things on your list of items to consume. If you really can’t get to them in time, you should look to see if you can freeze them and use them again another time.

3. Focus on Home Cooking

Instead of going to the simplest option of relying on fast food to be delivered to your door – try to spend more time practicing home cooking. This can allow you to know exactly what you are getting in your meal, and balance it in the most healthy way.

There are numerous recipes on this site as well as other resources out there that can help get you started.

4. Portion Sizes

When cooking at home, there is a chance that you could lose sight of how big your portions should be. Especially with the reduction in activity due to the lockdowns, there is a chance that you could be overeating.

Make sure to measure your food and see how you feel to see if you are eating too much and if that may lead to weight gain during the pandemic. Check online for the best food dietary intake guidelines to make sure you are not getting in too much.

5. Cook Cleanliness

Make sure when you’re cooking at home to follow good food hygiene to avoid food contamination and foodborne illnesses.

Some common practices of good food hygiene are:

  1. cooking food thoroughly to recommended temperatures
  2. storing food at safe temperatures
  3. making sure there is no cross-contamination between raw and cooked food, specifically raw meat and fresh produce
  4. keeping hands, kitchen surfaces, and utensils clean when cooking

Using these safe food hygiene practices can help you stay healthy during the pandemic.

6. Less Salt

While fresh food may become a limited supply, you may find it necessary to turn to canned, frozen, or processed foods during these times. However, these foods come loaded with high levels of sodium to aid in preservation.

It’s recommended by the WHO to consume less than 5 g of salt per day. One trick to help reduce salt intake could be to rinse canned food with water to remove excess sodium.

Also, assuming that there is plenty of salt in the foods you are currently eating, try to avoid adding extra salt for seasoning and use spices and herbs as a substitute for flavor.

7. Less Sugar

During a pandemic, it may become more tempting to snack on sugary treats. However, the WHO recommends that adults should have less than about 6 teaspoons of free sugars for energy intake.

If you’re craving something sweet, try to switch out the processed sugary treat for fruit in any form – frozen, canned in juice, or dried. You can also reduce your dessert portion size or choose something much lower in sugar.

8. Less Fat

Cooking at home may require you to use more fat for food preparation. The WHO recommends total fat intake to be less than 30% of total energy intake.

One way to help reduce fat intake would be to use alternative cooking methods that require little to no fat. Instead of frying foods, try steaming, grilling, or sauteing foods instead.

You can also trim excess fat from meats and go for skinless meat cuts when shopping at the grocery store. It’s also best to avoid trans fats as much as possible, which are commonly found in processed and fried food.

9. More Fiber

Getting enough fiber is important to support a healthy digestive system and make you feel fuller longer so you don’t overeat. Without enough fiber in your diet, you may overeat until you reach fullness which may lead to unwanted weight gain.

Try to include more vegetables, fruit, pulses, and wholegrain foods in your meals for adequate fiber intake. You can switch out white bread, rice, and pasta for wholegrain options found in your local grocery store.

10. Stay Hydrated

To stay at optimal health, it’s important to make sure you have good hydration levels daily. If it’s safe and available, tap water is the healthiest and cheapest drink compared to bottled water.

Switching to water instead of sweetened beverages will easily help you reduce your sugar and calorie intake. It’s easy to flavor your water by adding cut fruits or herbs like mint or lavender.

Try to reduce the consumption of caffeinated drinks as these can lead to dehydration.

11. Cut Alcohol

Most people don’t realize that alcohol consumption can actually weaken the immune system. Alcohol use could severely reduce your body’s defense system against an infectious disease such as COVID-19.

Try to avoid alcohol completely, or at least greatly reduce consumption. When in isolation and self-quarantine, alcohol may increase symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fear as it affects your mental state.

Food for Covid Patients Recovery

According to some experts, you should aim to eat 75-100 grams of protein per day to keep your body strong and supported. There are numerous good sources of protein of protein out there such as: peanut or nut butters, milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, meat/fish/poultry, protein shakes. With Covid, your likely to have a decreased level of appetite, you need to eat foods that are very calorie dense to help make up the difference.

Good options that have a lot of calories include avocados, chickpeas, dates, quinoa, brown rice, peanut butter, macadamia nuts and more.

Keep those calories high, when the overall intake of food you can manage is low.

Staying healthy during covid-19

It’s not just your diet that you need to be paying attention to when trying to keep a healthy body during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here’s a quick list of what you can do to help keep your health high while under the conditions of the pandemic:

  • Meditate: Taking deep breaths, stretching, meditation and taking time out of your day to relax is good for your mental health, and helps to keep your levels of the stress hormone cortisol down.
  • Eat Right: Of course, you need to ensure that you are following a healthy, well-balanced diet to give your body all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it needs to improve your overall health.
  • Get Regular Exercise: Make sure you’re going out for walks, getting plenty of sleep and generally being active. Staying in lockdown can take a toll on you physically if you don’t get out there and exercise. You can either do small workouts at home or go for short walks to keep your body doing some form of physical activity.
  • Cut down on Alcohol and Recreational Drugs: Although this may seem obvious – it’s still worth repeating. Alcohol and drug use can lower your overall health and immune system, which could make you more vulnerable to Covid-19. By having a cleaner lifestyle, your immune system has more support to stay strong.

Following these steps and more can help contribute to healthier body, and a more supported immune system to help improve your body against the overall effects of Covid-19.