At NutriSense, we are usually nose-deep in current research on health optimization, and ways to increase our longevity and healthspan. However, in rare situations, such as the current global COVID-19 epidemic, it is important to shift our attention away from optimization and instead focus on helping everyone make sense of the current situation. As COVID-19 continues to affect us, we wanted to share some practical advice with regards to your diet and meal prep. This very real epidemic is affecting everything in our daily lives, including how we work, how we interact with others, and of course, how we eat.
Today, we are talking about how to choose and prepare the healthiest meals during the COVID-19 crisis.
There is a lot of misinformation floating around regarding diets that might be protective against COVID-19. We urge you to remember that all of these are anecdotal. There is no scientific evidence that any “diet” will protect against a virus. Instead, the most evidence-based and sensible approach is to focus on the basics. The best plan is to stock up on whole foods with minimal processing and focus on consuming foods that keep us generally healthy, reduce inflammation, and do not suppress our immune system. We know for certain that the “Standard American Diet” (aka, SAD) will not be of benefit to anyone, particularly under these circumstances. Now is not the time to be stocking up on processed or low nutrient foods such as frozen pizza, chips, cookies, and soda.
Research brief: Elevated glucose levels (hyperglycemia) have been shown to dampen the immune system. Even short-term high glucose levels (from poor dietary choices or constant stress) can inhibit neutrophil migration, phagocytosis, superoxide production, and microbial killing, causing our immune system to not work as well - yikes!
Calculated meal prepping pays off in two ways. First, it ensures you’ll have enough of the right foods if supplies dwindle. Second, it keeps you from having to make repeated visits to the supermarket, thereby reducing your risk of catching the virus. The primary goal is to purchase as many high-quality calories as possible, as cheaply as possible. Aim to stock for at least 1 month’s worth of food, balancing between foods that don’t require refrigeration and foods that can be frozen.
Okay, first things first - protein. When going through your grocery, focus on getting enough protein. This is the most important macronutrient. Knock out two birds with one stone by choosing full-fat protein options to ensure you are getting your essential fats as well. Pairing protein with carbohydrate-rich foods helps keep your glucose stable and the immune system strong.
Next, shelf-stable food:
Also, don’t forget coffee ;)
It is important to keep in mind that there is no one size fits all diet. COVID-19 or not, there are general guidelines that apply to everyone, but your personal results will vary. It is important to self-experiment and learn about your body’s responses to a variety of foods. Have an open mind and try different things!
Vitamin B1 / Thiamin
Feel free to email us with thoughts, questions, ideas, or information you'd love to learn more about. Check us out at nutrisense.io for more information.
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