5 daily doses for your nutritional needs amid coronavirus lockdown

Anugraha Rao
Monday, 30 March 2020

During the coronavirus lockdown, it is essential to eat healthily, exercise daily and sleep well. Preety Tyagi tells you more about your nutritional needs.

During quarantine, keeping yourself fit, both mentally and physically, is important. Keeping a check on your diet and doing some activity will help you stay on track. Don’t overindulge or cut down on food drastically. Just try to maintain a balance.

Most people are working from home, but it doesn’t mean that you stay glued to that chair, staring at the laptop screen endlessly. Make a schedule, complete work and get some free time for yourself. Preety Tyagi, nutritionist and founder of MY22BMI, says, “Having a sedentary lifestyle will lead to weight gain and heart ailments and lifestyle diseases. An everyday workout is a must. That said, one must set limits according to the individual’s needs and capabilities.”

The best part of staying home is that you get a lot of time with your family. Second, you get to eat whatever you want, but many people are opting for frugal meals as they think that staying home will make them bulky.

Instead of cutting down on food, Tyagi suggests indulging in fibrous fruits and vegetables. Also, these foods are excellent for a healthy gut. High fibre foods are generally high in vitamins and minerals. Hence, provide you with a great balance of essential vitamins, keep you healthy and keep your food cravings in control.

For years, we have been told to banish fat from our diets whenever possible. People switched to low-fat foods without understanding the need.

“The shift didn’t make us healthier, probably because we cut back on healthy fats as well. All these years we knew that fat causes heart attacks, high cholesterol, weight gain, and even afternoon slump. However, research shows that certain types of healthy fats protect us from high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure,” says Tyagi.

‘Good fats’ or ‘natural fats’ include saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are healthy unlike heavily processed, potentially deadly manufactured trans fats. Some examples of naturally occurring good fats are coconuts, avocados, pistachios, sunflower seeds etc.

During the lockdown, it may be tough to have a variety of food items. But once we emerge from the crisis, we can consume the necessary fats and foods.

Tyagi emphasises on maintaining a food journal by mentioning the time of intake and what food was eaten. Also, specify the number of glasses of water taken.

“This may sound very methodical, and a bit tedious but is doable during the lockdown. This serves as a powerful tool to connect your brain with your physical and emotional hunger. Since, boredom can turn people towards food, a bit too often; a food journal can help them understand whether it’s a boredom call or real hunger. Hence, planning your daily diet as well as monitoring how your day went, in terms of eating, is essential, especially now,” she says.

Keeping the current situation in mind, Tyagi shares a few ingredients rich in good fat and its benefit. During the lockdown, it is best to keep high-quality nuts and seeds handy like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts.

“Include coconut products in your diets such as dried coconut, coconut flakes or fresh coconut, if available. All these make great healthy snack items and keep your food cravings under control because of their nutritional components. They are very filling as well. These are excellent sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 and help keep the mind and heart, healthy. These are also potent in keeping hormones under control. Other than these, Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplements can be taken daily to ensure healthy fats intake to keep the heart and brain healthy,” Tyagi concludes.

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