Tips for a healthy mind and immune system during the lockdown

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    For the past few weeks, most of us have been working remotely due to most companies being closed until social-distancing is something over.

    This change in your routine can be hard and confusing for some. Suddenly your fridge is on standby all day long and you can snack your little heart out. Although we’ve all been reminded about living a healthy lifestyle long before we were self-isolating, in the past few weeks you might have realised how important this actually is.

    The food we eat has a huge impact on how we feel, that’s why it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients during these challenging times. Viva!, a UK vegan campaigning charity, has compiled a list of key foods that’ll help you stay focused, maintain energy levels and support your immune system whilst in self-isolation.

    Maintain energy levels

    To keep your energy levels up while working from home, it’s important to eat foods rich in fibre like whole grain carbohydrates (including brown rice, oats, and quinoa), most fruits (particularly bananas), pulses, nuts, and seeds. These are foods that release energy slowly and keep us fuller for longer.

    Maintaining a healthy mind

    While working from home, it’s easy to be distracted by everything (oh, hello there comfy coach!). That’s why it’s important to maintain your serotonin levels as low levels can lead to trouble concentrating and remembering things, feelings of anxiety, a lack of motivation and even depression in some cases.

    Serotonin is made from amino acid tryptophan, which we cannot make, so we must take it in through our diet. Many non plant-based foods such as dairy, meat, poultry and fish can contain high levels of this nutrient. But other plant-bases sources like nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds and pistachios), seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and chia) soya beans, oats and bananas can help us produce more serotonin.

    Boost your immunity

    During this time, it’s extremely important to keep your immunity healthy and strong. That’s why it’s important to fuel your body with the following foods:

    • Garlic: Love it or hate it, garlic has superpowers when it comes to your immune system. Research shows it stimulates and activates your white blood cells – immune system soldiers.
    • Fruit and vegetables: Bursting with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy carbs, fruit and veggies are truly irreplaceable. Frozen fruit and veg are also very nutritious and often cheaper.
    • Ginger and turmeric: These spices contain several potent biochemical which are very strong antioxidants. They also have antimicrobial properties, helping to fight infection.
    • Vitamin D: Now that it’s slowly but surely starting to get warmer, we can all get a bit more vitamin D from the sun. This vitamin plays an important role in our immune system and can help protect us from infections.
    • Zinc: This mineral is all we need but don’t get enough. It’s crucial for a healthy immune system so make sure you eat a lot of pumpkin seeds, lentils, tofu, tempeh, whole wheat pasta or wheat germ.

    Overwhelmed with all of the information? Don’t worry! We got your back. Here are some lovely Easy Food recipes to keep you in tip-top shape during the lockdown:

    Breakfast

    Snacks

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Dessert