Healthier diet, healthier mind
The country wide lockdown has brought about a lot of changes in different areas of life. We are more stressed, less active, more unmotivated and less excited. Besides all these obvious things what has been also greatly affected is our eating patterns.
Many people having the kitchen in the near proximity have developed a habit of constant snacking. Others have significantly increased their intake of sugar-filled, processed foods. Some are not eating enough when they are alone or not moving much, According to UNICEF people in Southeast Asia started opting for cheaper (thus less nutritious) foods to make up for the loss of income. Others started preferring fast-food and instant food for the convenience of it.
We all have heard this many times: good nutrition has a positive effect on our physical and mental health. Here are some tips to encourage healthier diets that can bring about positive change in your mental health.
1. Plan & strategise
Panic buying is a phenomenon widely observed at the beginning of the lockdown. Make sure to be careful with it and buy only the things you truly need. This will allow you to not overspend and to not feel overwhelmed while also giving others a chance to get the necessities. Once you have already done your groceries make sure to use the ones with a shorter shelf-live first, so there is no product waste
2. Home-cooked as a priority
You can use this time in a lockdown to explore home cooking. That would be a great activity to do with your friends or family. You can make it into a fun competition or divide the responsibilities.
If you are staying alone then this could be a new hobby that you might enjoy in the long run.
3. Whole foods
It might be a good idea to try and limit intake of salt, sugar and processed foods to improve mental health At the moment many people feel demotivated and anxious. A good way to take those feelings under control is a balanced diet with a lot of fruit and veggies. And it does wonders for your physical health too.
4. Stay hydrated
Many people are not conscious of how much water they drink. More often than not we do not drink enough water on a daily basis. Just by increasing your water intake you will feel more energised, less bloated, your skin will be full of moisture and you will feel less hungry. Try to increase your water by at least a couple glasses per day to start. Also, start your day with a glass of water, this might just be that one thing you are missing to feel more awake.
5. Sharing is caring
If you are staying with your family, friends or even housemates try and share some of the meals with them. Set a table and sit all together around it. At the moment we all need social support and what is better than combining good company with amazing food! After all, the basis of Mediterranean diet (one of the healthiest eating styles on the planet) is social interactions.
We hope these little tips can help you feel a little better physically and mentally by just making little tweaks in your diet.
Meanwhile, eat fresh, stay home and stay healthy!