How to eat during the COVID-19 pandemic
The major supermarkets even the small independent organic grocers felt the effects of COVID-19 when we as a society started the trend of ‘panic buying’ which saw shelves stripped bare and measures put in place to calm the public of their over excessive food, household & personal product purchases.
Some of our population were needing to ‘self-isolate’ for up to 14 days due to having COVID-19, having been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or arriving in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020. Whatever the case this meant you:
- could not leave your home//hotel
- could not go to public places such as work, shopping centres or supermarkets
- had to limit contact with visitors
It was these reasons that sent not only those required to self-isolate into a buying frenzy (warranted) but the rest of our country who feared the worst to think selfishly of themselves that saw the clearing of shelves of foods that had a long life and household products such as sanitisers that were going to limit and/or kill the spread of this virus that left those who were most vulnerable and disadvantaged to beg for what rightly should have been made available to them.
In this pandemic we were experiencing complete pandemonium.
There were stories of people clearing out their spare rooms to create a ‘mini mart’ in their homes, they were buying more than excess of what they needed or what they will ever get through which got us thinking, just because you can, doesn’t make it right.
In Australia, we have an abundance of food and an abundance of food channels to purchase from but with a panic rippling through our states & territories it was these foods channels that were caught unprepared; stores were experiencing sales double that of Christmas however the difference was, with Christmas stores have 4 months to prepare the supply chain, with COVID-19 they had days.
Once the panic hit; stores were sold out in a matter of hours:
- Canned tomatoes
- Pasta (all varieties)
- Pasta sauce
- Tinned goods: beans, fruit, soup
- 2-minute noodles
- Long life milk
- Paper towels
- Toilet Paper
- Antibacterial hand washes and sanitisers
Weeks after the initial panic set in the stores are now starting to find their groove and flow; the shelves are slowly coming back to normal and eBay sales of toilet paper for $1000+ a roll are being laughed at and rightly so (what is wrong with those people who wish to profit off such devastation?)
Nature doesn’t stop growing
The panic for long life foods showed how much we rely on these pantry staples to feed our families and ourselves but what we didn’t need to panic about was the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables for nature knows not how to stop growing. Our only concern was once again; the supply chain.
No matter where you live, you will either have an independent fruit & veg store, a market or a local farmers market who throughout this whole pandemic have keep their doors open & stalls operating as an ‘essential’ business to provide us with the foods that are going to help keep us healthy. Now is the time to invest in fresh.
Boost your immune system
If you didn’t listen beforehand you might just listen now; the importance of keeping your immune system healthy is paramount to living a long and plentiful life. There is no time like now to implement precautions that are going to limit your vulnerability to illness so don’t wait until you are sick to boost your immune system.
Top 6 immune boosting foods
Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, detoxifying, nutrient powerhouse rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron.
Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial properties plus helps to boost immune function.
Excellent source of vitamin C which helps maintain the body’s defence against bacterial infections.
Contains vitamin A precursors called carotenoids (Beta carotene) that help support a healthy immune system.
Garlic protects the body from infections and illness.
Rich in vitamin C and polyphenols that help promote healthy tissues and organs.
Preventive measures you can adopt to optimise your bodies defence against infection and illness are:
- Eat more plants; antioxidant rich fruits & vegetables in particular dark leafy greens to help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals; beans, beetroots, blueberries, strawberries, red cabbage, spinach, sunflower seeds and walnuts to name a few
- Super charge your diet with superfoods; raw garlic, oregano oil & olive leaf extract,
- Eat little to no sugar as this can have a negative effect on your immune system as it may weaken the ability of the white blood cells to fight against bacteria and viruses
- Keep on top of your gut microbiome; consume both prebiotics
(plant-based foods & wholegrains) and probiotics (fermented foods; coconut yoghurt, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi) to promote gut health by creating a healthier balance of bacteria
- Investigate fungi; some of the most powerful immune supporting antiviral substances are found in medicinal mushrooms; reishi, shiitake, lion’s mane, turkey tail and maitake
- Drink alcohol in moderation as overconsumption reducing the body’s ability to fight infection
- Keep active and partake in a moderate-intensity activity a minimum of 1-2 hours each week
- Understand the importance of sleep; sleep restores our bodies and helps our immune system
- Keep stress levels under control; stress can increase inflammation of the body with this comes impaired immunity by releasing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol interferes with the ability of specific white blood cells opening you up to illness.
- Adopt good hygiene practices which include washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
- Harness the power of the sun; Vitamin D is important for strong bones, muscles and overall health
- Sweat it out in an infra-red sauna; improves the health of our protective white blood cells and well as increasing body temperature making it hard for bacteria and viruses to survive
- Live well; healthy immune systems live in healthy bodies
In short, we need to:
- Eat well
- Drink more fluids
- Sleep more
- Move our body
- Get creative
- Invest in self-care
Where to now?
The spread of COVID-19 is not a drill, its real and it is affecting every single person in the world whether than be emotional, financial or physical.
Now more than ever, we need to invest in the things that we can control; our diet & food choice, our minds, our bodies, our emotional and physical state taping into our spirituality to see us grow & develop through these very unprecedented times.
We are in this together xx