COVID-19 took the United States by storm. We’ve lost many lives because of the virus and, even if some states are reopening their non-essential businesses we are still losing people to COVID.
The pandemic and quarantine have taken a toll on our mental, physical, and emotional healthy Many of us turned to different ways of coping with these trying times of others which included eating more unhealthy foods. During stressful times it’s okay to indulge, however, as a reminder of the temporary nature of a pandemic we must try to abstain from unhealthy habits that were brought on from quarantining and work towards staying healthy. A good way to maintain your physical health, with or without a worldwide pandemic, is to have a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. If your regular diet had a COVID-19 influenced shift, fear not! I’d like to share some tips that can help you change your diet for the better.
Increase Your Protein Intake
When we’re feeling low, we tend to gravitate towards foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates. Foods such as cookies, cakes, and fast food are great in moderation but if losing weight and increasing your nutrient intake is your goal, consider decreasing the number of sugary snacks you buy at the supermarket and instead replace them with protein-rich snacks. According to an article by Healthline.com, high protein diets increase your metabolic rate (which is the number of calories you burn at rest) and keep you satiated for longer, which in turn decreases the amount of calories you eat. The brand NOW Foods carries high protein snacks such as various types of nuts.
Quit Drinking Sugary Juices and Sodas
There is a misconception in the United States that juices are better than sodas since many of them contain less added sugars and lack high fructose corn syrup. We’ve evolved past the era where adverts for different soda brands were constantly shoved in our faces, however, fruit juices are still marketed as a healthier alternative. An NPR article references a study published by the journal Nutrition that lays out just how much sugar can be found in common juices and sodas. The study found that although sodas tend to have higher amounts of sugar in them, juices too contain a concerningly high amount of sugar in them. Diets that contain high amounts of sugar are linked to heart disease, obesity, and many other maladies. Consider swapping out that cup of fruit juice with a can of sparkingly water or unsweetened tea. These beverages are typically sugar-free and low in calories.
Implementing just one of these changes into your diet will not only help you feel better physically, your mental health and mood will also improve. Even though this pandemic has caused our lives to change dramatically, we can also use it as a means to evaluate how exactly we want to live our lives post-quarantine.