Proper nutrition has always been essential for good health. During the pandemic, however, what we eat is more important than ever. A healthy, nutrient-packed diet is a great way to increase your resistance against diseases of all kinds. Here, Friends Village at Woodstown, which serves residents from South Jersey and Newcastle County, Delaware, offers some pandemic nutrition advice to you stay healthy during times of lockdown.
Pay Attention to Your Cravings
Everyone has cravings, but when experiencing strong emotions, you may find yourself returning to the same foods frequently. While it’s alright to indulge occasionally, doing so too often can lead to sluggishness and even increased anxiety.
The next time you experience a food craving, take a moment to analyze it. For instance, some people feel an urge to eat when stressed. If this sounds like you, look for another outlet. Reducing your stress levels, especially before meals, will help you eat more wisely. Along similar lines, high anxiety levels can lead to cravings for foods we associate with comfort. Try eating a small serving of your favorite comfort foods alongside a nutritious meal, or add vegetables to the dish while you’re cooking it.
Cravings may also be the result of sheer boredom – something that far too many are experiencing during the pandemic. Instead of eating, have a glass of water to fill you up in a nutritious way and find something else to do. Reading a book, doing a puzzle, or getting outside for some exercise are just a few examples of ways to distract yourself from your cravings and stay on track.
Keep a Schedule
It’s easy to lose track of your normal schedule while sheltering at home. Unfortunately, the lack of a routine can have a negative effect on your mental health. It’s bad for your nutrition, too.
Eating whenever you’re having cravings makes it easy to reach for something easy and unhealthy instead of being intentional about healthy meals.
To keep yourself grounded, stick to a regular eating routine. Try to eat only at regular mealtimes and in rooms set aside for food, like the kitchen or dining room. If you have time, cooking your own meals can help you make more deliberate decisions about what you’re eating. Meanwhile, avoid snacking between mealtimes to help your body adjust to a normal meal schedule.
Stocking up the pantry often leaves people with too much of some food types and not enough of others. If you catch yourself eating one food type too often, be intentional about choosing something else for your next meal. Prioritize balancing your diet with the following immune-system-boosting foods:
· Fruits, especially citrus and dark-colored berries
· Vegetables such as celery, broccoli, green peppers, and carrots
· Dairy products, specifically low-fat milk
· Beans, seeds, and nuts
· Green tea
While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat, try to limit your consumption of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Many of these are seen as stress-relievers, but in reality, the opposite is true. Overindulgence in these food and beverage types can ramp up your anxiety and leave you feeling worse than before.
Eating Healthy in Our Community during COVID-19
Balanced pandemic nutrition is essential, not only for your body but for your emotional health as well. At Friends Village at Woodstown, we have an in-depth understanding of this concept and prioritize nutrition for all residents at all times, regardless of the outside events affecting the world. The cooks in our fine dining department offer a diverse menu daily with fresh, local ingredients, ensuring that each resident receives the healthy meals they need to thrive. To learn more, contact us today.