Let medicine be your food, and food your medicine. The fact that safe and nutritious food supports both physical and mental health has been around for ages. What to eat and what not to eat often grabs headlines. In the current situation, with a good number of people falling prey to the deadly coronavirus, unhealthy diets are adding to pre-existing conditions, which puts them at higher risk.

Eating Healthy is the Need of the Hour 

People’s lives have changed dramatically since the government’s stay-at-home policies to curb the disease’s spread. These emotions have triggered bad food choices and poor eating habits, thus taking a toll on physical and mental health. Adequate nutrition may comprise two food sources- the primary food source and the secondary food source. The former may include relationships, creativity, spirituality, career, physical activity, and others.

The latter will comprise the foods that one chooses to consume. The time that people are spending indoors creates the chance to get in touch with several facets of nutrition, which entails food choices, how much food they consume, and how specific foods impact their bodies. Grocery stores, fortunately, are open so people can improve their grocery list. Besides, with the relaxation of lockdowns, many restaurants are back on business that offers healthy and nutritious food.

Uplift your Mood with food

Staying at home and eating homemade food can be boring and frustrating. So why not try Pambazos, the popular Mexican treat. It is a comfort food that is delicious and filled with flavors. One can order this from a café or a restaurant or even make for themselves at home by downloading the recipe. It will be an ideal dish to enjoy with friends and family on a Sunday afternoon.

There cannot be a better way to cheer the mood during these challenging times, and the specialty of Mexican foods is that they are a good mental boost. It is easy to make yet is exceptionally delicious. Above all, Mexican food is made of healthy and nutritious ingredients that improve mental health, such as lettuce, cream, cheese, bread, canola oil, to name a few.

The Link between Nutritious Food and Mental Health 

Anxiety is a common mental disorder followed by depression, and during these challenging times, the world is experiencing a worsening of such mental issues. Eat more vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Cut back on extra sugar will work wonders towards a healthy balance of one’s gut bacteria to alleviate depression, stress, and anxiety.

The Importance of Making a Well-Crafted Grocery List 

To maintain excellent physical and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to make a grocery list that is well-crafted comprising of vital items such as,

  • Nuts and seeds, condiments and spices, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Healthy snacking food ideas such as
  1. Salty- seaweed chips, kale, pickles, or olives 
  2. Creamy- pureed soups, rice pudding or chia seed pudding, or avocados
  3. Sweet- smoothies, dried fruit, or organic yogurt with fruit 
  4. Crunchy- plain popcorn, veggies with hummus, or apples 

Practical Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Mind and Body during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Below are some practical nutrition tips for maintaining a healthy mind and body during coronavirus pandemic, 

  • Advance Meal Planning – Meal planning is the cornerstone of healthy eating. Plan meals in advance and involving the family in food preparation. Planning will keep away the frustration of deciding what to prepare daily. The best part one can save some money when they have a shopping list ready.
  • Consume the Right Nutrients – Variety in a diet is critical. During this outbreak, focus on foods rich in nutrients and support the immune systems, such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
  • Include lots of Vegetables and Fruits – To purchase, store, and cook fresh vegetables will be challenging during the pandemic. So it is best to store fresh fruits and vegetables, which you can also freeze to prevent frequent trips to grocery stores. One can also consider tinned or dried vegetables and fruits.
  • Select Whole-Grain –Your diet during the outbreak can be healthier by using whole-grain options over refined starches rich in vitamin B, fiber, and various minerals. 
  • Stock Healthy Snacks – Storing nutritious and healthy snacks nearby will ensure that one does not head right away to the biscuit tin. Best matches include hummus and carrots, peanut butter and whole-wheat bread, banana and yogurt, cheese with a whole-wheat cracker, and apple and nuts. 

The other nutrition tips to keep a balance between physical and mental health during the pandemic include consuming oily fish rich in omega-3, consuming nut butter such as peanut butter, drinking an adequate amount of fluid that is essential for the immune system. You can drink water, fruit juices, and flavoured water, stick to set mealtimes, be mindful and disciplined while eating, and indulge now and then to keep spirits high and boost the mood.