Everyone in this pandemic situation is facing health problems due to unhealthy food habits and routines.
When children are home all day and their schedules are disrupted by work and school, a loss of routine can interfere with eating healthily. There’s no doubt that uncertainty is a significant factor in this anxiety increase. This can lead to plans for healthy eating falling by the wayside.
Families are secluded at home a lot these days, and there are more people to feed with different tastes. As well, there are fewer food stores with longer supermarket hours making meal planning more difficult. Therefore, there is an urge to buy anything that is available, even if it’s not what you normally eat.
Plan Your Meals = Plan to Be Healthy
While quarantined, it can be hard not to reach for your favorite salty, crunchy snack because you’re bored or on edge. It’s okay to eat a few pretzels or chips, but many people won’t be able to stop themselves from eating the entire bag once it’s opened. Adding cookies or cake to an already-blue mood will only make things worse. Baking products like cookies and cakes contain simple carbohydrates that cause our blood sugar to spike and fall, thus causing anxiety and worsening our mood.
Making a wise choice while preparing your meals is, therefore, an important factor for maintaining your health.
It might surprise you to find out that certain nutrients in foods could reduce anxiety or increase dopamine and serotonin levels—and we all want to feel good at all times, especially during a period of uncertainty.
The current state of affairs has led to many people feeling very stressed out, which worsens feelings of low mood or anxiety, as well as suppressing our immune systems. By consuming immune-boosting foods, you’ll likely feel less anxious while also improving your immunity.
Importance of Eating Healthy Foods
Today, many opt for tasty foods and they forget about their health. Eating too much junk food not only affects you, but also the coming generations. For example, some new diseases are affecting newborn babies due to the lack of better nutrition from their parents.
Here are some of the benefits of eating healthy foods:
- Reduce anxiety and boost immunity
- Improves memory power
- Reduce spreading of diseases
- Helps to overcome obesity
- Improves mood
- Fewer intense cravings
Today’s busy families are challenged with finding enough time in their day to prepare healthy nutritious meals. This often causes the problem of opting for a quick meal by going to the drive-thru or ordering pizza. One solution to maintaining healthy eating habits is to plan your meals with the HelloFresh app. Once you log in, you will be delighted with the large selection of delicious, healthy recipes. You can plan your family’s favourite meals several weeks ahead, and then order them for delivery. It couldn’t be easier.
Reduce Anxiety and Boost Immunity
Here are some foods that will help your family stay healthy by reducing anxiety and improving immune systems:
- Citrus fruit and red bell peppers.
- Spices such as ginger, garlic, and turmeric.
- Zinc-rich foods like egg yolks, liver and beef, clams and oysters, and cashew nuts.
- Foods that are rich in magnesium such as legumes, nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains.
- Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon.
- Foods that are rich in probiotics such as pickles, sauerkraut, and miso.
- Adding antioxidants can support your immune system and reduce anxiety.
Improves Memory Power
It is well-known that nutrition and productivity are closely related; thus, a poor diet full of sugar and junk food can lead to:
- Tiredness and irritability.
- Low energy levels.
- A higher level of stress.
- Lack of mental focus.
You can maintain peak performance by eating healthily and overcoming this state.
Several nutrients can help you be more productive, including:
- Food rich in folate (leafy greens, whole grains, beans).
- Healthy fats (fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds).
- Fruits and vegetables (berry and citrus fruits, greens, nuts) are rich in antioxidants.
Reduce Spreading of Diseases
When you eat a healthy diet, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing serious chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, as well as certain types of cancer.
Helps to Overcome Obesity
Overconsumption of junk food and sedentary living are two leading causes of obesity in developed countries. By following a healthy diet and staying active, you’ll be able to lose weight, become fit, and feel confident.
Foods high in carbohydrates are associated with increased serotonin production, which is a brain chemical that improves mood. Whole grains have the advantage of stabilizing blood sugar levels since they are complex carbohydrates. The body converts tryptophan into serotonin, which is associated with improved mood after eating foods that contain tryptophan (such as turkey, yogurt, and fish).
Fewer Intense Cravings
An unhealthy craving for food can result from spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. These rapid fluctuations can be prevented with complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. As you increase the intake of healthy foods, you will experience fewer cravings for unhealthy foods.
Things to Consider Before Choosing Meals for Dinner
Your meals play an important role in maintaining health. Having a healthy dinner will help to avoid various health issues and make your sleep better. Here are some foods to be avoided in your dinner plan:
- Spaghetti with jarred sauce. These sauces are packed full of fat, salt, and sugar. Couple that with the fact that there’s not much fiber in store-bought sauces. You’re also not going to get the nutrition you would from a homemade meal.
- Frozen food items can contain high levels of sodium, so try to limit them to less than 600 milligrams per serving. Aim to avoid frozen vegetables or fruits with added sugar or sauces high in fat.
- More spicy and cheesy foods can cause insomnia, heartburn, and other digestive problems, including laxative effects on some people.
- It’s well-known that most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar and refined grains. Consuming large amounts of sugar can increase your risk of numerous diseases.
- Peanut butter and jelly. Although peanut butter is a good source of protein, you need to be careful not to eat too much. There are about 100 calories in a single teaspoon of peanut butter. As well, jelly is very high in sugar content.
A healthy balanced meal at dinner time will not only help you avoid serious health problems as mentioned, but it will also reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and just make you feel good overall. Whole fruits, seeds, and nuts will naturally boost your energy and keep you up throughout the day.
Factors to Consider Before and After Having Dinner
Along with having healthy meals, here are some important things to consider for better sleep and good morning:
- Don’t get too hungry. When you allow yourself to become ravenous, you’re less likely to make healthy food choices. The urge to grab a high-calorie, quick-fix is too tempting.
- Eat only light foods that provide easy digestion. Fat-free yogurt, white meat, cottage cheese, whole wheat crackers, vegetables, and bananas are all excellent choices for snacks that won’t prevent you from sleeping.
- Drink warm water and try to avoid alcohol. Warm water aids digestion stimulates circulation and helps your body to get rid of toxins faster. It is recommended that you stop drinking any alcohol 4 hours before bedtime in order to reduce the risk of sleep disruption.
- Have your dinner as early as possible to allow you to get the required sleep, but also because you can wake up more energetic and refreshed the next morning.
- Wait before going to bed. Waiting at least 3 hours after you’ve eaten to go to bed is recommended. By doing this, your body has time to digest your food so you don’t wake up with an upset stomach, heartburn, or indigestion.
- Take a light walk and avoid intense exercises. A National Sleep Foundation study found that moderately intense aerobic activity, such as walking, helped people with insomnia sleep faster than vigorous exercise, such as running or jogging.
- Avoid taking a shower. If you need to shower to help you sleep, then use a lukewarm shower 60 to 90 minutes before bed. While cold and hot showers have their own benefits, they’re not ideal for sleep.
- Avoid tea and coffee. Caffeine is stimulating, so it is advisable to stop drinking it 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Brush your teeth after dinner. By brushing your teeth after dinner, you can help to avoid plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease at night. In order to prevent cavities or gum disease, dentists recommend that you brush your teeth after dinner, and then again just before bed.
A Healthy Routine and Healthy Foods Help to Create a Healthy Generation
You can easily achieve your goals by planning meals whether you’re trying to lose weight or improve your diet. Planning out your meals ahead of time has numerous advantages, including reducing your waistline and improving your health.
Our body’s immune system protects us from infection. Several different organs and white blood cells work together to recognize and eliminate harmful bacteria and foreign invaders. Also, since your immune system remembers infections and learns from them if you get sick again in the future, it makes it easier to fight that particular invader.
While our immune system can’t technically be “boosted”, you can cultivate healthy habits that will help it to function at peak performance. No expensive “superfoods” or crazy supplements are needed to support your immune system naturally. Merely eating a balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep, and reducing your stress can help make your immune system as strong as it can be.
When you make the effort to plan meals and snacks ahead of time, you drastically improve your chances for success. Meal planning will set you up for success by helping you to make healthier food choices and develop an overall healthier lifestyle.