Eating Our Way Through a Pandemic



Due to the worldwide pandemic, grocery shopping has tremendously changed. While seeing empty shelves everywhere is jaw-dropping, an empty refrigerator is the last sight we want to witness. We may have limits on grocery shopping now, but we must make the best food choices we can for our well-being.

GOOD MOOD FOOD! 

Times of uncertainty makes us anxious and irritable.

Avocado. The avocado is rich in B vitamins, which have wonderful effects on our nervous systems. B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin are associated with serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences positive moods. A deficiency in any of these B vitamins causes us to become more vulnerable to stress and anxiety, so filling up on those B vitamins are vital.

Blueberries. These little powerhouses filled with antioxidants are loaded with vitamin C. During critical times such as this, when we’re under great stress and anxiety, our bodies crave vitamin C. This powerful nutrient helps to repair and protect our cells from the harmful effects that stress and anxiety have on our bodies and provide anxiety relief. Consuming vitamin C on a daily basis could help prevent and reduce anxiety.

Kale. Both kale and arugula have an abundance of antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin C. People who are highly vulnerable to feelings of stress and anxiety have low levels of antioxidants. So kale and other dark, leafy greens help promote these antioxidants and support optimal brain functioning. And in this day and time, we need to stay in our right minds!

FOR HEALTHY DIGESTION

Being under tremendous stress throws off digestion.

There are many healthy foods that help our bodies digest optimally such as ginger, whole grains, fruits, and some vegetables. Ginger can help get rid of bloating and other digestive problems. You can buy whole ginger root and incorporate it in recipes, buy some ginger tea, or use it as a spice. Vegetables that optimize digestion are potatoesbeans, and legumes. Fiber is key here. The skin of these vegetables is rich with fiber, which is strongly needed for healthy digestion. Fruits that can help are apples, bananas, and oranges. They are filled with vitamin C and potassium, which keeps digestion in check. Lastly, whole grain foods are fiber-rich! Try some delicious brown rice and quinoa.

FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION

For working at home and online classes.

Eggs are known for being the ultimate “brain food.” They still are today! Recent research suggests that egg whites contain choline, which is essential for our brain’s neurotransmitters. Egg yolks are also necessary as they help our brains send messages throughout our bodies and promote feelings of well-being.

Not only does broccoli improve cognitive function, but it also stimulates repair and renewal of brain tissue. Broccoli has a compound called sulforaphane, which helps our neural stem cells grow. If broccoli is not your speed, this same neuro-producing compound is found in Brussels sprouts.

Spinach has shown to promote mental clarity, increase physical strength, and sharpen our focus. It even improves our learning capacity (if you have kids who are learning from home, keep this in mind!)! Spinach also improves gut health which makes the brain work more efficiently.

FOR WEIGHT LOSS

As many of us may be driven to gobble down on snack cakes and potato chips, it’s easy to gain weight.

Oatmeal is great for weight loss because eating one serving of oatmeal in the morning will curb appetites and keep us feeling fuller longer. When we feel full, we are not prone to keep eating. Also, oatmeal is fiber-rich, which helps clean our bodies out regularly.

Lentils such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and chia seeds are pulses that influence weight loss because—like oatmeal—they keep us feeling full. They are rich in protein and fiber, which are also good for digestion and absorption.

Berries contain fibers that help manage our weight and are also high in fiber. Along with berries are cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage which have fibers that aid in weight loss.

ENERGY REFILL

We could all use an energy refill right about now, right? Well, all the foods listed above are instrumental in giving us a natural energy boost. Some additional foods include sweet potatoes, apples, salmon, oranges, almonds, beans, and yogurt. We need energy to sail through our Zoom workdays, online classes, household chores, workouts, and deep philosophical discussions with that one friend or sibling!

Together, we can “eat,” pray, and love our way through this difficult season.

 


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