From meals to prepare, new wellness habits to adapt, and exercise you can do at home: Here are the top 3 quarantine checklists according to a dietitian-nutritionist
While we’re on our way to graduating from social distancing (fingers crossed), there’s still so much we can do to come out better, stronger, and healthier like never before. Younger crowds have a lower risk of acquiring COVID-19, but feeling anxious, binge-watching, and loading up on sugar are proven to wreak havoc with the immune system.
According to dietitian-nutritionist Cheshire Que, “immune system is our first line of defense against infection. It is composed of a network of cells and proteins, much like the different units of a military system that works synergistically to kill pathogens in the form of viruses and bacteria”. Left with a weak immune system, our body is open to diseases.
Jeunesse Anion, a brand that’s committed to women’s wellness, asked Que how you can make use of this social distancing to help reset your over-all health. Here are her tips:
- Take immunity boosters. Plan your meals to include functional foods in your diet. These are food items that offer health benefits beyond nutrition. The Philippines boasts an array of choices, including brown rice and several other rice varieties that are rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber components. Mungbean, on the other hand, is not only affordable and easy to find. It’s also a great source of zinc which is an immunity enhancer. Have your daily dose of phytonutrients from veggies and fruits in season, beginning with malunggay that reigns supreme in vitamins A, B, C. Bitter gourd is another affordable, antioxidant-rich staple with anti-diabetes potential that will work well in a variety of recipes from sauté, stews, to soups. Tubers or starchy vegetables are natural sources of complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, they tend to have a lower glycemic index load, and cause less digestive or inflammatory reactions than wheat. Potato, taro, yam, and cassava are abundant year-round and available wherever vegetables are sold. When shopping for fruits, choosing what’s in season and available locally will increase your spending power. Since they’re usually cheaper and easier to find, make mangoes, pineapples, bananas, and papayas a regular part of your staple. They’re filled with highly-nutritious vitamins and fiber, which are all beneficial for our immune health. Coconut water is also a great soda replacement that’s low-calorie, low-sugar, and a rich source of potassium! If budget and availability permit, take it up a notch with fiber and omega-3 rich chia seeds, which you can liberally sprinkle on salads and smoothies. Add as well the probiotics-packed kimchi and superfood wheatgrass that is both helpful in maintaining a good balance of microbiome in your gut. Honey, onions, and garlic are also the three superfoods that will greatly benefit the immune system. Quarantine has drastically changed grocery shopping, but realize it’s important to choose fresh over minimally processed, frozen fruits and veggies over fast food, and anything canned or boxed should be avoided. But since this situation calls for stocking up some canned goods, choose healthier options like sardines, tuna, and pork and beans.
- Stay active while practicing social distancing. Being stuck at home is not an excuse to resist movement! This is the most ideal time of the year to be more physically active sans fancy equipment, gym membership, or even a big space. “Schedule your exercise daily. Choose an activity that you enjoy so it won’t feel like a chore. There are so many exercise videos available on the internet but caution must be taken if you have a health condition. It’s best to get your doctor’s approval if you plan to get serious in starting a program. Otherwise, house cleaning, dancing, brisk walking, and walking will be a good start. Don’t forget to pace while talking on the phone. Just keep moving! Remember to dress the part including wearing the proper footwear. This alone will keep you motivated to quit being a couch potato in a lockdown.” Que reminded.
- Adapt new wellness habits. If you’ve been a restless sleeper, now is the time to take back that much-needed quality slumber. According to Que, “lack of sleep depresses the immune system and impacts your rate of recovery from infection.” That said, sleep hygiene is just as vital as exercise and nutrition! Meditation and prayer have been essential aspects of wellness, but today science backs its effects in improving our overall health. Dealing with worry and anxiety lately? “Do not discount the power of a 15-min. pause to reduce stress, anxiety, and lack of mental alertness. “Take advantage of this time as well to find spiritual healing as it’s one of the areas that will help us realign with our purpose and meaning that’s greater than ourselves. Read the bible, find a group that can help you reinforce your connection with God and others,” added Que. Stay away from anything that disturbs your inner peace, gossips, toxic social media posts, or opinions of people that do not matter.
The tension of pandemic can contribute to women’s hormonal imbalance, especially now that we understand that anxiety, stress, and not following the basics of healthy living can only make us susceptible to diseases and PMS. Jeunesse Anion is made of virgin pulp breathable cotton material, non-toxic glue, and highly-absorbent cellulose core that locks away menstrual fluid. But its most-prized benefits are antibacterial, antifungal, and odor control properties, which was proven in a test conducted by the Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials Institute of Chemistry, UP Diliman. While it sounds too good to be true, Jeunesse Anion also helps to alleviate cramps and dysmenorrhea by stopping the nerves in sending pain signals to the body! These pain-busting benefits were found in the same study which strengthens claims of its avid users.
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