For food security: Don’t feel guilty if you can’t find and prepare the healthiest food options during this time. Focus on what’s open and available. Stock up on dry goods like oatmeal and rice crackers. Frozen vegetables and fruits are a good option that is still available in grocery stores.
Make sure you are getting the recommended amounts of vitamin C (90 mg) and vitamin D (800 IU) per day. You can get Vit. C from dietary supplementation or from whole food sources like citrus fruits, red and yellow bell peppers, strawberries, guava, broccoli, cantaloupe, kale, kiwi, papaya, and tomatoes. Salmon is a great source of vitamin D. Getting some sun everyday will help you meet your vitamin D needs as well, if that option is available.
Focus on protein rich foods and snacks since protein plays an important role in the immune system: Incorporate more lean protein to your diet with animal products like chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy. You can also get protein from plant-based products such as peanut butter, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds.
Some simple tips to limit your exposure when bringing food and goods into your home from grocery stores and deliveries.
- When shopping, use a sanitizing wipe on your hands and the shopping cart before and after you shop.
- At the register, use a credit card, so you don’t have to interact with the cashier’s hands directly.
- At home, dispose of plastic shopping bags, delivery boxes, and other packaging materials. Then wash your hands.
- Wash all nonporous containers like glass, cans, and unopened plastic bags with soapy water or wipe thoroughly with disinfectant wipes before you put them away in the refrigerator and cabinets.
- Wash all fresh produce under running water, including items with a peel like bananas, oranges, and avocados. As a natural cleanser, you can spray produce with a mixture of half water, half white vinegar before rinsing.
- Sanitize countertops, handles (on doors, cabinets, sinks, and kitchen appliances), and any other surfaces you touched while unpacking, washing, and putting the groceries away.
- If prepared meals are being picked up or delivered to your home, avoid direct hand-offs if possible. Have groceries and other deliveries left at your door.
- Tip electronically when possible.
- Wash your hands before you eat or prepare food.
Getting enough sleep (6 to 8 hours each night) can lower the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses immune function. Also, follow a meditation video to help you manage the additional stress and anxiety you’re dealing with these days.
Learn about our Nutrition research ongoing at The Miami Project.