A group of leading food policy experts, including professor of food policy at City University of London, Tim Lang, have written an open letter to the environment secretary and Public Health England’s chief executive, calling for a healthy eating campaign to be introduced.
The group have cited evidence that a healthy diet could fight off infections, and that ‘vital’ information is being withheld from the British public. The lockdown has affected how we eat, shop, and exercise, and we all need to be able to take care of our health much better.
“In addition to current government measures, clear and well-informed public guidance is required from the government on what is nutritionally necessary and sufficient to maintain UK food security and nutritional appropriateness,” the letter reads.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is also urging people to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on lockdown, saying it could boost their chances of a fast recovery should they contract COVID-19.
What exactly does a healthy diet comprise of, and how can one ensure they are eating as well as they are stuck inside their homes all the time?
Ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients
Variety is key to a healthy diet, and we suggest avoiding omitting any food groups while on lockdown unless you have an allergy.
Three nutrients that you should include to help to support your immune system are vitamin A (found in sweet potato and spinach), vitamin C (found in berries, tomatoes & peppers) and zinc (found in meat, shellfish, dairy and bread).
Consume oily fish
Canned oily fish, in particular, is a really handy item to have in your cupboard while on lockdown. Not only is it cheap and has a long shelf life, but it is rich in omega-3, which studies say can improve mental wellbeing.
Oily fish is also one of the few rich sources of vitamin D in the diet, something we all need to consider if we’re staying at home and may not be getting much sun exposure, which is our main source of vitamin D, which is important for bone health and to support the immune system.
Make the most of nut butters
Another cupboard essential that will stand the test of time, nut butters are a useful item to have around because they are full of good fats and nutrients.
Almond butters, peanut butters and others can provide nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin E and B vitamin.
Be sure to hydrate
Drinking an adequate amount of fluid is essential for you to feel and function at your best. But it doesn’t have to be just water, you can get your hydration via squash, tea, coffee and milk, although be wary of caffeinated drinks later in the day so they don’t disrupt your sleep.
It all counts towards the 8 glasses of fluid that we need, though you may need more if it’s hot or you have just exercised.
Allow yourself to indulge every so often
As Oscar Wilde said, everything in moderation including moderation, so remember to indulge in a treat every now and then.
Not only will this boost your mood and keep your spirits high, but it will prevent you from binging on sweet treats you might’ve forbidden yourself from eating.
A little bit of what you fancy does you good!
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