With people spending more time indoors and having plenty of time to spare, they have been open to experimenting new food recipes. As the “circuit breaker” period is beginning to relax and people are progressively returning to offices, here are several healthy food options to try to boost your body and adapt to “the new normal”.
A new study was carried out by Nielsen on the food consumption habits of individuals and families living in Asia after the COVID-19 pandemic. After studying 11 different Asian markets, Nielsen concluded that the eating habits of this group have changed following the pandemic. People were found to prefer buying fresh goods for dining in instead of eating out, online delivery and on-the-go food consumption. This goes hand-in-hand with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation of eating a minimum of 400g or 5 portions of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
Some of the best foods to consume in times like this include citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and is extremely beneficial to enhance your immune system. It is also rich in fibre, which helps in reducing your risk of getting kidney stones. A few researches concluded that consuming citrus fruits can also minimise the risk of a few types of cancer such as lung, oesophageal, stomach, breast and pancreatic.
Adding leaf vegetables to your diet gives it a much-needed flavour. It can also supply your body with an array of nutrients that can boost your body with energy. This is mainly due to its iron content as it helps generate new red blood cells. This is beneficial as it helps to transport oxygen to your cells in a much more efficient manner and prevent fatigue.
Leaf vegetables are best consumed when it is prepared as a steamed, stir-fry or slightly wilted dish. Cooking it using any one of these methods can help leaf vegetables keep its natural flavours. These greens are also a good and healthy source of magnesium, calcium, potassium as well as vitamins A, C, E and K. Adding to the goodness, leaf vegetables are also great for pregnant women and those who are trying to conceive, as they are rich in folic acid which is essential for early foetal development.
The “circuit breaker” imposed by the government has taught us that some responsibilities can be done remotely. As such, this gives us a chance to find balance between work and personal matters. Once the “circuit breaker” is lifted for good, many people may not be given the privilege to work from home, and this could be detrimental to their physical and mental health. This is because the body must adjust from living a more relaxed life to a more active role once businesses resume operations completely. Therefore, it is important to munch on snacks like nuts to supply your body with sufficient energy.
By just eating a handful of walnuts, your body is loaded with a healthy source of protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats. It is also packed with antioxidants and polyphenol which is a type of antioxidant that exists in walnuts. It helps to lower oxidative stress by balancing free radicals, which cause cell damage and increase your risk of being diagnosed with diseases. Nuts can eaten whole or as a nut butter. Consuming nuts can help to regulate your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. For instance, adding a handful of almonds or a spoonful of peanut butter to your diet can increase your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and lower your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. Another benefit of nuts is that it is rich in fibre, and this can help with your gut health and reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity.
Fish Containing Healthy Fats
Your body needs long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and this can be found in fatty fish. A good and healthy diet should include at least two 140g-portion of fish per week, which includes a single portion of fatty fish. For instance, fishes like salmon, sardines or mackerel, as well as a range of shellfish such as prawns, squid and scallops. These seafoods are best served grilled or cooked in curry or sambal.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids can lower your risk of heart disease. In addition, it is also great for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding because it helps to develop the baby’s nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids can also decrease inflammation in your body which is a common cause of fatigue. Fatty fish is also loaded with vitamin B12. Folic acid which combines with vitamin B12 can help to generate red blood cells in your body. This helps to improve the efficiency of iron and increase energy levels.
Unrefined Whole Grains
If you are serious about getting acclimated to “the new normal”, unrefined whole grains can certainly help you. Examples of whole grains are quinoa, oatmeal, whole grain rice and pasta. These food items can also last really long in your kitchen cabinet and are easy to cook as well. Whole grain rice can be eaten with any cooked dish, whereas whole grain pasta can be served with a sauce of your choice. As for quinoa, it can be part of a salad or serve as a side to any protein that you prefer. However, the easiest of them all is definitely oatmeal. This is because you only need to cook it with either water or milk, before topping it up with fruits, nuts, raisins, honey or a combination of all four ingredients together.
Whole grains are packed with a variety of nutrients. These include B vitamins, zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese. They also can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. If that’s not all, it also prevents obesity as it stops you from overeating. Whole grains can also help you with digestion by adding bulk to your stools and lowering your risk of constipation.
The sky is the limit when it comes to foods that can help you boost your energy levels. They may include foods that have carbohydrates, which can provide your body with a source of readily available energy. There are also foods with fibre and protein, which help to slowly release energy to your body and increase your power and stamina. As such, try your hand at these foods to revitalise and rejuvenate your body for “the new normal”.