One of the most visible changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is the disruption of the earlier daily routine most people were accustomed to. With the entire family spending more time at home, it can be a real challenge to plan balanced meals, especially if some of them have different preferences, and there is limited availability of fresh produce and groceries. In times of shortage, it can be tempting to buy whatever is available even though it is not a part of your usual diet. When you are quarantined, it can be all too easy to keep gorging on sugary or salty snacks that can end doing more harm than good because invariably they have adverse effects on blood pressure and blood sugar that can in the level of anxiety and cause depression.

Making Good Food Choices Mindfully, Advises Sarahbeth Hartlage  

Making a daily meal plan is important not only because you can organize yourself better but also everyone in your family knows what to expect. Plan your grocery shopping trips and focus on getting as much fresh produce as you can consume reasonably or refrigerate. Load your shopping cart with vegetables, especially leafy greens, citrus fruits, lean proteins, oily fish rich in omega-3, healthy cooking oils, and whole grains. Avoid buying sugary fruit juices or sodas, and instead, press fresh juice at home or add a slice of lemon to your drinking water to give it a fresh zing. Skip snacks that are high in sugar, salt, or chemicals that are typically found in processed foods. However, it does not mean that you cannot have comfort food occasionally but be sure not to overdo it. You should appreciate that stress and anxiety can cause you to feel angry, tired, irritated, or even depressed, besides affecting the immune system. Consuming immune-boosting foods can only reduce your stress but also enhance your immunity, observes Sarahbeth Hartlage.

Choose Wisely to Reduce Stress and Boost Immunity

Doctors recommend red bell peppers and citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C for giving your immune system a leg up and improving your mood. Adding garlic, ginger, chili peppers, and turmeric can not only improve the taste of your meals but also act to reduce your anxiety and make you stronger to resist infections. Foodstuffs rich in magnesium like nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and leafy greens and zinc-rich foods like seafood, cashews, eggs, liver, beef, etc. can strengthen your immune system. Choose oily fish like salmon, cod, sardines, etc. because their omega-3 fatty acid content helps reduce depression, according to BBC. Adding sauerkraut, pickles, miso, etc. can only add some varied tastes to your plate but also improve your gut health being rich in probiotics.


No doubt, spending extended time at home during the pandemic can be tough physically and emotionally. The increase in stress and anxiety can lead people to abandon healthy diets and snack carelessly. However, with some planning, you can keep making great food choices that taste good, are healthy, reduce stress, and boost immunity.



Author's Bio: 

I am Sarahbeth Hartlage