(Natural News) To prevent the further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), several states have issued stay-at-home orders. In preparation, citizens have stocked up on supplies while they’re on lockdown.
Still, it’s important to maintain your overall well-being by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly – even as you’re hunkered down and stuck indoors. Follow these tips to stay healthy and strong while practicing social distancing.
Eat nutritious homemade meals
It’s good to have extra food in your pantry during the lockdown, but eating canned food every day can be bad for your health. If you can’t leave your house daily to buy fresh produce, you’ll need to be creative when cooking your meals. For instance, use frozen fruit and vegetables when you don’t have fresh variants on hand.
Try these tips to whip up nutritious meals using healthy pantry staples:
- Choose whole-grain pasta or brown rice as the base for your main dish.
- Use canned tomatoes and tomato paste to add flavor to soups and stews.
- Add fiber- and protein-rich legumes like beans and lentils to sauces, soups and stews. Legumes will also add texture and flavor to your dishes.
- Eat fatty fish like canned mackerel or tuna that are full of omega fatty acids, which keep your brain and body healthy.
- Enjoy healthy snacks like a handful of dried fruit and nuts. Nutritious snacks will also help sustain your energy longer than a bag of potato chips or other junk food.
- Start each day with a balanced breakfast of fruit or fruit juice, fiber-rich breakfast cereal, whole-wheat toast and a hardboiled egg.
Prepare healthy snacks
While on lockdown, you can’t easily buy food from your favorite restaurants. Take this time to learn how to cook your favorite food at home, or look up healthier versions of different snacks to cut down on the sugar and preservatives in unhealthy foods.
You can also keep your children busy by letting them help you prepare tasty and nutritious snacks, such as:
- Baked sweet potato or potato wedges with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and rosemary.
- Homemade pizza using frozen pizza bases. Top them with tomato sauce, your favorite vegetables and lean meat like shredded chicken.
Eat more berries
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries naturally contain very powerful antioxidants.
Compared to grapes, blueberries contain more resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found in red wine. Resveratrol is believed to have medicinal properties that help fight against cancer and heart disease. (Related: 7 Ways to encourage healthy eating amid stay-at-home lockdown.)
Eat foods that help manage your stress levels
Following a low blood sugar diet is essential for stress management. Eat regular, small, healthy meals with a lot of fruits and vegetables.
If you’re feeling anxious, drink calming herbal teas like chamomile or green tea. Adding unrefined carbohydrates like bananas and nuts to your diet helps boost the formation of serotonin, a feel-good chemical.
Incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet
Bone density often declines after 30 years of age. Enhance your regular calcium intake by drinking milk or eating yogurt.
You need calcium to keep your bones strong. The daily calcium requirement is at least 200 milligrams, which must be combined with magnesium for proper calcium absorption.
If you’re working from home, chances are you sit in front of your computer from morning until night. This isn’t just bad for your eyes and posture; it’s also bad for your overall health.
Do some stretching exercises after you wake up in the morning. These exercises will help boost your circulation and digestion.
Exercise every day for at least 45 minutes to one hour by using a treadmill. If you prefer low-impact activities, try yoga.
Maintain oral hygiene
Now that you can’t easily visit your dentist for regular cleaning, it’s even more important you maintain proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth thoroughly using a fluoride-free toothpaste.
Floss regularly and gargle using organic mouthwash to keep your teeth strong and your breath fresh even while on lockdown.
Teach your kids to brush their teeth properly:
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes every time.
- Brush the teeth, the junction of your teeth and gums, your tongue and the palate (roof area of the mouth).
- Use a sturdy, soft-bristled toothbrush. Replace your toothbrush every month.
Try neurobic exercises for your mind
Just as exercise and a balanced diet keeps your body healthy, neurobics (brain training) exercises keep your brain sharp while you’re on lockdown.
Researchers have coined the term “neurobics” for tasks that help activate the brain’s biochemical pathways and develop new functional pathways that will help to strengthen or preserve the brain circuits. Multiple studies suggest that people with increased mental agility have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and age-related disorders associated with mental decline.
Not sure where to start? Try brain-stimulating games such as:
- Board games
- Crossword puzzles
- Online memory games
- Word games
Quit unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking
Even without the coronavirus pandemic and enforced lockdowns, it’s a good idea to limit your alcohol consumption, a habit often associated with health problems.
Quitting smoking also ensures that you stay healthy and helps prevent damage to your lungs and overall well-being.
While you’re practicing social distancing, also practice healthy lifestyle habits. Follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly, so your immune system can protect you against infectious diseases.