EVOO & Exercise: A Guide to Healthy Eating in Times of COVID-19

EVOO & Exercise: A Guide to Healthy Eating in Times of COVID-19

2020/19/03 - The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has dramatically changed our lifestyle. Given the imposition of confinement in our homes, the Professor of Immunology at the University of Jaén, José J. Gaforio, offers us a practical guide to manage this situation as well as possible and in which the consumption of EVOO and practicing exercise are essential.

The Royal Decree in Spain -and in many other countries- that declares the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation imposes, among other measures, the limitation of the freedom of movement of people, for which the confinement of the population in their homes is imposed. This will change our routines, we will have a lot of time to occupy it differently, and we will share much more time with our closest family.

From Mercacei they propose to me, in a concise way, to provide some practical advice to eat and take care of yourself in a healthy way during the period of confinement.

The virus that concerns us produces from a very serious symptomatology, which can even cause death, to course asymptomatically. Our immune system is in charge of fighting the virus until it is eliminated. Consequently, strengthening our immune defenses is important in dealing with the virus, as immunosuppression is known to increase the risk of the most severe form of infection. The correct diet can help improve the immune system. What to do then?

These days have some peculiarities that could be summarized as: physical activity will inevitably decrease in this period; Sometimes you may be bored, even feeling a certain anxiety about not being able to leave the house; All this makes us peck more than we should and visits to the fridge are frequent. On the contrary, we will have more time than we usually have to make food, precisely the lack of time is one of the excuses used to not eat healthy.

The indications could be summarized in the following:

  • Control the amount of food you eat
  • Prioritize foods of plant origin to those of animal origin. Chard, celery, artichoke, eggplant, borage, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, asparagus, leek, mushrooms, carrots, and peppers, among others, must be components of your diet. "Eating in colors" is a graphic way of describing the above
  • Eat seasonal, local and fresh food
  • Eat salads that include lettuce, tomato, endive and onion, among others. It is important to season the salad with virgin olive oils and vinegar, not with sauces that normally have an excess of calories.
  • Be cautious with salt. Pepper can be a good alternative
  • Fruits are the choice for dessert, do not abuse elaborate desserts that are normally rich in sugar
  • Eat meat in moderation
  • Eat fish, being very advisable cold water fish such as salmon or trout, for example
  • Legumes are highly recommended
  • Use spices to flavor food
  • Now that you have more time, go into the kitchen and dare to make new dishes. If you have children, have them participate in making food, it can be a very interesting time to share with them and teach them good eating habits. All family members should participate
  • Don't go easy on getting used to ordering food at home
  • Do not abuse fried foods
  • Avoid processed and precooked foods, normally hypercaloric and characterized by requiring very little preparation time before consumption
  • Enjoy, now that you can, the family meal, giving it the time it deserves and creating a cozy and pleasant atmosphere. Prioritize the conversation between you and turn off the television
  • Maintain adequate hydration, water and infusions are recommended
  • Always use as the only source of fat the oily juice of olives, virgin olive oils
  • Keep in mind as a diet to follow the Mediterranean, the scientific evidence supports it
  • Finally, do some exercises at home that you can share with the rest of the family. It is important to do activities together, they can be very pleasant playful moments.
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