Diet in coronavirus confinement

Decalogue for a good diet at home by the COVID-19
To begin with, we have written down ten recommendations for a diet in coronavirus confinement:

1- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. The protagonists of each meal should be the vegetables and fruits, whether cooked or raw. The variety in color also provides a variety of antioxidant properties: in citrus fruits such as orange and strawberries; in berries and red fruits, with high levels of vitamin C and flavonoids; or yellow, orange and green leafy vegetables, which provide beta-carotene, an antioxidant relevant in the immunity of skin and mucous membranes.

2 – Prioritize some foods: whole grains and lean meats, great contributors of vitamin B and amino acids to build the components of the immune system as well as iron and zinc, deficiencies of which can depress the immune system. Yogurt and fermented milk drinks, which through their living microorganisms act beyond intestinal immunity to increase resistance to these infections and have a healthy microbiota. Nuts, which in addition to zinc contain antioxidants such as selenium and vitamin E. And finally, some mushrooms and garlic have also been attributed with antiviral and antibacterial effects.

3- Restrict ingredients with high caloric and low nutritional levels. In the confinement it is clear that the necessary caloric contribution is very minor, reason why all the foods that contribute much simple sugars and fat (snacks, candies and pastries, refreshing drinks, etc) as well as the alcohol would not be good allies in the confinement. It is necessary to have clear that not only it is necessary to consider the contribution of calories, but also the origin of these. For example, 100 kilocalories from fruit, vegetables or nuts provide many more nutrients than 100 kilocalories from industrial baked goods, although they provide the same energy.

4- To elaborate menus with the ideal combination. The proportions of the dishes must be kept healthy: including a portion of raw vegetables a day, adding vegetables and fruits, and adding vegetables and nuts to maintain a sufficient protein intake and alternating with meat and other animal products. A good way to do this is with the “dish method”. All of this in combination with healthy oils, giving priority to olive oil, and drinking lots of water, teas or hot infusions.

5- Adaptation in case of illness. If we get sick at home, we must maintain a soft and nutritious diet, prioritizing fruits and vegetables while maintaining proper hydration. The chicken soup and the omega-3 fats of the fish can help to alleviate some symptoms like the sore throat and in the recovery in flu or catarrhal states.

6- Frozen food, an ally In the situation of confinement necessary to avoid going out unnecessarily and therefore frozen foods are a very good option in the pantry. Always keep in mind the instructions for correct freezing and defrosting, as well as the recommendations according to the food. It must be taken into account, however, that a balanced diet must include at least one portion of raw vegetables, 1-2 cooked vegetables and 2 fresh fruits each day. The best thing is to combine fresh products with those foods that help us to extend the need to go out and buy (preserves, pantry foods such as legumes and cereals, nuts, frozen foods…).

7- Foods that counteract the deficit of sun. Confinement can have a special impact on many people who do not have spaces and outlets that allow them to sunbathe a little each day. This deficiency affects the deficit of vitamin D, a vitamin obtained from UVB rays of sunlight and which is essential for bone quality and to avoid problems such as type I diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, asthma and, which is especially dangerous during a pandemic, immune dysfunctions.

It has even been seen that low levels of vitamin D significantly increase the likelihood of suffering from influenza and other acute infections or worsen autoimmune diseases. We can counteract this deficiency at home with some foods: blue fish (canned or preserved) such as sardines, anchovies, anchovies, tuna…, dairy products (some are also enriched with vitamin D) or eggs.

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