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- An experimental vaccine for COVID-19 has been showing positive results according to scientists from AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
- According to a recent study, half of the 1,000 Americans surveyed are now cooking and baking more frequently and are consuming more homemade food items.
- Consumption of takeout and delivered food has decreased among 38% of the people surveyed.
- A study in Italy found that 3.3% of the sample have decided to quit smoking during the lockdown.
- Statistics on alcohol consumption showed a reduced intake among some groups but an increase in consumption amongst others.
- An alternative to alcohol is Kombucha (made from green or black tea with a little bacteria to carry out the fermentation process). It basically tastes like alcohol but it’s not actually alcoholic.
Recently, the experimental vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University against COVID-19 have shown good signs and positive feedback according to the scientists who are working on the vaccine.
Countries in Europe are slowly reopening their borders after some were on lockdown.
The fifty states of U.S. are starting to reopen as well under a few restrictions like maintaining social distance and enforcing citizens to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
We may all be slipping back to our old ways but let us be reminded that this is the new normal. It is important to practice proper hygiene and contact precautions so that this pandemic would soon cease to exist.
As we are returning to normal slowly, let’s not forget about the good habits we gained during the lockdown.
In this article we will let you know of 6 healthy eating habits you should keep as your life returns back to normal.
But first, what were our eating habits before the pandemic took place? Those will serve as good reminders as to what to avoid.
Eating Habits before the Pandemic
Before the pandemic, everyone was so busy with their lives and work that many people were always rushing and never had the time to savor their meal.
Eating has been a basic need for us to keep going throughout the day.
However, unhealthy dietary patterns were becoming a methodology of coping for those who were getting increasingly stressed from school, work, university or from life in general.
Fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and pizza to name a few, have been our go-to meals.
These type of food items are seriously unhealthy if taken regularly.
Owing to their quick availability, many prefer them over other healthier options that require more time to prepare.
This kind of diet is seriously unhealthy if followed regularly.
Life in the time of COVID-19 has totally changed. We are continuously adapting to it. Still, we are curious as to how the future will be like after COVID-19. Read this article where we reflected on how our societies functioned prior to the corona breakout and how we envision them to be like once the virus is gone: Opinion: A Futuristic Outlook on Our Systems Post COVID-19
Changes in Eating Patterns During The COVID-19 Pandemic:
COVID-19, an illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has taken the world by surprise due to its extremely high rate of transmissibility.
Nearly every country has been affected by the lockdown with the global economy and stock market going to a downward slope.
There has been various changes in people’s lifestyles across the globe. People are bound to stay in their houses and spend more time either alone or with their loved ones.
With the changes we go through, we also adapt to it in order to stabilize our physical and mental health.
This involves changes in our eating pattern as well as our diets.
Top 4 Positive Changes in Eating Habits during the Quarantine
1- Home-cooked Meals > Fast food Consumption
As compared to the old eating habits that consisted of a higher portion of junk food and instant meals, dietary patterns during the quarantine involved more home cooking and baking.
America Gets Cooking, a recent survey conducted by HUNTER (an American food and beverage communication firm) found that half of the 1,000 Americans surveyed are now cooking and baking more frequently and are consuming more homemade food.
Furthermore, 38% of them have decreased their consumption of takeout and delivered food.
2- Smoking Cessation & Organic Food Consumption
3.3% of people surveyed decided to quit smoking.
Similarly, a study conducted in Italy involving 3,533 people have also shown that during the lockdown, 3.3% of the people surveyed decided to quit smoking.
Around 38% of them, mainly the younger ones, have decided to adhere to the Mediterranean diet meanwhile 15% of the sample decided to start eating organic food items such as vegetables and fruits straight from the farmers.
3- An Increase in the Intake of Immunity-Boosting Food Items and Supplements
Since people are more concerned about their immunity in current times of distress, many have begun to consume more fruits and plants as they are rich in various immunity-boosting vitamins and antioxidants.
Research conducted in 18 European countries, published in New Food Magazine, revealed that nearly 60% of people are now more concerned about their immunity due to the ongoing pandemic.
73% of people have committed to include more fruits in their diets.
45% of them decided to include vegetables in their diets.
This is a large-scale research that involved 23,000 people from 18 different countries of the European continent.
4- Reduced Alcohol Consumption
Changes in the rate of Alcohol consumption has also been observed during the lockdown.
It might be a misconception that alcohol consumption has increased largely but research conducted on a small group in Poland in April revealed some interesting but conflicting figures.
30% of the 443 people surveyed have made some changes on their consumption levels. It was stated that 16% of them have reduced their consumption of alcohol whereas 14% of the people have increased it
6 Healthy Lockdown Eating Habits You Should Keep as Life Gets Back to Normal
We all know that the lockdown will be totally eased or terminated in one way or another.
Life will get back on its feet but with social accountability and with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and face shields along with social distancing.
With life coming back to normal, many of us might find it challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle specially after we got used to eating homemade food, looking after our diets and having full control over our lives.
Here are a few tips for you to follow if you would like to maintain a healthy lifestyle as your life gets back to normal.
1- Eat Homemade Food Items
Take some time out of your daily routines to cook food by yourself at home.
Homemade food choices are more nutritious, versatile, and cooked under better hygienic conditions.
Certain food items from restaurants are high in carbohydrates, unhealthy oils, and salt. All these things are unhealthy for the body and should be avoided where possible.
2- Include Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
There is no substitute for fruits and vegetables.
These plant-based rich sources of nutrients and calories should always be part of your diet, no matter what.
Owing to their vitamin and antioxidant content, they boost your immunity system and help your body fight common infections more effectively.
Fruits and vegetables also have many benefits to the heart, skin, liver, kidneys, etc.
3- Choose Healthier Snacks
Snacks are a common part of our daily life and they can have a huge impact on our health.
Instead of fries, chips, and all other sugar-rich snacks, start using healthier snacks options such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, peanut butter, cashews and good-quality cheese.
Those healthy snacks not only fulfill the craving but will also provide the body with good quality essential oils and nutrients.
These help to boost the immune system and to reduce inflammation.
4- Drink Water Regularly
Water should be drunk more often as it is the most helpful and easily accessible detoxing agent.
Drinking water in ample amounts is effective in revitalizing the body as well as in the boosting of immunity.
One can consume natural juices in place of water sometimes but make sure they are not containing any preservatives or additives.
Specific carbonated beverages that contain high levels of sugar and caffeine should be avoided as they not only fill the body with unnecessary calories but they also mess up with the brain because of all the high caffeine and sugar content in them.
5- Limit Alcohol Consumption by Using Alternatives
Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed whether as a form of coping, a way to celebrate or merely just out of habit.
They can be good for recreational uses but also damaging once they are consumed in excessive amounts.
Alternatives exist and they include:
- Kombucha (made from green or black tea with a little bacteria in it to carry out the fermentation process)
However, attention should be paid to the drink you choose to buy.
Some of them have very high sugar content and very little active bacteria.
- Sparkling juices
- Vinegars such as apple cider vinegar.
These are just to name a few.
They have similar tastes to that of alcoholic beverages but do not actually contain significant amounts of alcohol.
They also have great health benefits due to their probiotic and antioxidant content.
6- Add Fish to Your Diet
Oil from fish, either canned or fresh, can be supremely helpful and healthy for the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish are good for immunity, skin, heart, etc.
Apart from the omega-3 fatty acids, fish is an excellent source of vitamin D which not only strengthens the bones but will also energize the body’s immune system.
How can we keep ourselves on track?
Ultimately, we can say that healthy eating habits are important amidst this pandemic to keep our immune systems strong.
Food is a basic need therefore it affects us greatly.
It can be very difficult to follow healthy diet plans but with discipline and strategies to increase compliance, it is entirely possible for one to be physically fit and mentally sound.
The major component of a healthy lifestyle requires substantial food sources that can boost immunity so the human body can fight off any virus at its optimum.