What exactly does a healthy diet comprise of? Read on for tips from nutrition experts on how to maintain a healthy diet while in lock-down.
Plan meals in advance
Try planning out a few meals so you know what you need and don’t have to face the ‘what’s for dinner’ dilemma every night.
Planning meals in advance could also ensure you use up all of the ingredients you have before buying more, thus preventing waste.
Ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients
Three nutrients that you should definitely include (because they help to support your immune system) are vitamin A (found in sweet potato and spinach), vitamin C (found in berries, tomatoes & peppers) and zinc (found in meat, shellfish, dairy and bread.
Keep healthy snacks around
Keeping healthy and nutritious snacks nearby will ensure you don’t head straight to the biscuit tin at the slightest hunger pang. Think cheese and apple, yogurt and berries, nuts and dried fruit or even hummus and carrots.
Take advantage of your freezer
Big one-pot dishes such as chili, curries and stews will freeze particularly well and they are a quick and easy way to consume plenty of vegetables in one sitting. Fruits such as berries and bananas can also be easily frozen and used in smoothies for the mornings.
Consume oily fish
Canned oily fish in particular is a really handy item to have in your cupboard while on lock-down. Not only is it cheap and has a long shelf life, but it is rich in omega-3, which studies say can improve mental well being. We all need to consider if we’re staying at home and may not be getting much sun exposure, which is our main source of vitamin D.
Make the most of nut butters
Another cupboard essential that will stand the test of time, nut butters are a useful item to have around because they are full of good fats and nutrients. Obviously a no-go if you have allergies to these sorts of products. Almond butters, peanut butters and others can provide nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin E and B vitamin.
Be sure to hydrate
Drinking an adequate amount of fluid is essential in order for you to feel and function at your best. It doesn’t have to be just water, you can get your hydration via squash, tea, coffee and milk. It all counts towards the 8 glasses of fluid that we need, though you may need more if it’s hot or you have just exercised. Keep any caffeinated drinks to a minimum and try not to drink them from mid-afternoon so they don’t affect your sleep.
Make set meal times – and stick to them
When we’re spending our days lolling about it home, it can be easy to let structures and schedules fall by the wayside however, this can be crucial to maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding unnecessary snacking in between meals.
Allow yourself to indulge every so often
Remember to indulge every now and then, not only will this boost your mood and keep your spirits high, but it will prevent you from bringing on sweet treats you might’ve forbidden yourself from eating.
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