As more regions enter tier 3 lockdowns here are 10 tips for a healthy diet
By Liz Connor. Published 2020-10-27BOLD-Food
TheBoldage asked nutritionists and dietitians to share their golden rules.
1. Look for nutritious alternativesIf your supermarket is regularly running low on your usual cupboard staples, nutritionist James Collier, co-founder of Huel, Huel says that you should try exploring other foods that could offer similar health benefits.“Do some research and change up your grocery list with alternative food options to ensure you’re not missing out on your essential vitamins and minerals,” he suggests.For instance, he says lentils, beans or couscous are good options if you don’t have pasta and rice – “The key advice here is nutrition should still come first, but you may have to switch up some of your routinely used ingredients.”
2. Don’t ditch the fresh vegFresh fruits and vegetables may have taken a back seat for you in favour of frozen chips and pizzas, and while you shouldn’t punish yourself for this (food can be an important source of comfort right now), it’s vital that you’re also nourishing your body with the vitamins it needs.“Fruit and vegetables provide loads of essential nutrients and there are ways to extend their shelf life and make them more convenient,” says Collier.He suggests prioritising soups and sauces which can be made straight away and then frozen;”You can also make a concentrated stock which you can then freeze in ice cube trays use later.”While Liza Strydom, senior specialist dietitian at The Princess Grace Hospital (part of HCA Healthcare UK), adds: “Carrots, are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants, and spinach is good for iron, vitamins C, A, B and magnesium levels. Make sure to eat tomatoes for their lycopene and vitamin A and C content.”
3. Add in a vitamin D supplementAccording to the British Dietetic Association, you cannot ‘boost’ your immune system through diet, and there’s no specific food or supplement that will prevent you catching COVID-19.However, as we’re spending more time inside than ever before, and many of us don’t have access to an outdoor space, a daily supplement of vitamin D can keep our levels topped up.“Current guidelines for vitamin D supplementation state that all adults and children over the age of one should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms, while babies under one year should be given a daily supplement of 8.5-10 micrograms, unless they have more than 500mls of fortified formula milk,” says Strydom.
4. Choose foods with mood-boosting propertiesFeeling low and anxious? Making a few simple changes to your lockdown diet could make a big difference to your mental health.“Certain foods have ingredients with mood-boosting properties,” says Strydom. “For instance, the antioxidants in dark chocolate also help to fight off stress and anxiety,” she notes, although she warns that this should be consumed in moderation.“In addition, unrefined carbohydrates can help to increase serotonin levels, a chemical messenger that’s believed to act as a mood stabiliser, while oily fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines are full of omega-3 acids, which may play a role in easing depression.”
- Eat your essential fats
- Always an assortment
- Stay hydrated
- Keep an eye on your sugar intake
- Avoid processed foods where possible
- Try to limit alcohol
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