What to Eat During COVID-19 Outbreak?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have started to re-evaluate their diet. Researchers and clinical doctors have found that people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, obesity, heart conditions, and diabetes are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. An unhealthy diet is one of the reasons that lead to these medical conditions. Simultaneously, people are feeling anxious due to the fear of getting infected by the virus, job insecurity, and recessive economy in society. How to eat healthily, and what foods can reduce our anxiety?

 

1. Build a balanced meal

 

Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains, and a quarter with meat and others. Fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories. They have a lot of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, fibre, etc. Vitamin C is high in antioxidants. It can reduce your cortisol level to reduce anxiety. Fruits such as citrus fruits, kiwi, and lemon are high in vitamin C. It also can be found in vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, and peppers.

 

2. Eat magnesium-rich food

 

Magnesian is involved in hundreds of biomedical processes in your body. It is a necessary element for producing energy in the body and calming people down. People who are deprived of magnesium tend to develop depression, anxiety, and hyper emotionality. Magnesium lowers blood pressure and fights against type 2 diabetes. You can find magnesium in food such as pumpkin, almonds, peanuts, brown rice, black beans, etc.

 

3. Eat food rich in omega-3 fats

 

Omega-3 fats can help your hearts keep healthy and protect against heart disease. They also help you boost your moods and reduce anxiety. Some psychiatrists have used omega-3 fish oil pills to treat patients with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. High intake of omega-3 fats reduces the high secretion of cortisol caused by long-term stress. That is beneficial for our brain because too much cortisol would kill neurons in the hippocampus and destroy our memory. You can find omega-3 through fish, salmon, sardines, walnuts, etc.

 

4. Eat food rich in vitamin B

 

Vitamin B is essential for our body to produce energy. It also helps in the formation of neurotransmitters. Vitamin B is related to a low risk of getting a stroke. Lacking vitamin B is likely to cause depression and anxiety. You can find vitamin B through beef, pork, chicken, eggs, rice, etc. Leafy green vegetables and seeds also have vitamin B.

 

5. Eat food rich in vitamin E

 

Vitamin E can prevent nerve tissue from being inflamed. Its antioxidant property has a significant impact on improving learning capabilities and memory. Therefore, vitamin E is vital for people’s cognitive and behavioural performance. Studies have shown that it can prevent or delay the cognitive decline for the elderly and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. You can find vitamin E through red pepper, pumpkin seeds, mango, almonds, spinach, etc.

 

6. Avoid caffeine

 

Caffeine can trigger stress. It inhibits serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter regulating your mood. In this way, people are more easily to be irritated. Caffeine is also a diuretic, which may make you dehydrated. It also prevents magnesium from being absorbed from the body, which is an essential element to fight depression and anxiety. Caffeine also keeps you awake, and it might lead to insomnia, which is associated with depression. Caffeine can be found in café, tea, and energy drinks.

 

Having a balanced diet is vital for our health. Consuming more magnesium, omega-3, vitamin B and E, and avoiding caffeine are strategies for a good start.

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