Coronavirus (COVID-19) is here, and it’s likely only a matter of time before it’s in your community. If that’s not scary, think about this: if you’re quarantined in your home for two weeks, what are you going to eat?
Frozen pizza, TV dinners, canned soups, and sugary snacks do not lend themselves to battling illness or keeping you healthy—especially if you’ve got a chronic health condition.
People with high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease might struggle to manage their conditions under such circumstances. Most non-perishable items, for example, are loaded with sodium, saturated fat, and sodium.
This could increase the risk of a non-coronavirus related medical event during a quarantine.
If you have an existing chronic medical condition, it’s very important that you’re prepared for a quarantine. Aside from having all of your required medication, stockpiling nutrient-dense, low-sodium, and low-sugar food can help you make it through.
Here are a few rules to follow:
- Stock up on frozen or canned fruit and vegetables: Frozen fruit and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones and can add plenty of healthful nutrients if you are quarantined. Frozen or powdered superfoods are rich in fiber and antioxidants and may help manage any chronic conditions you might have. Canned tomatoes are a great source of lycopene to promote heart health and can be used in a variety of meals like pasta, chili, or sauce.
- Prioritize canned goods that are stored in water: Nutritious canned foods stored in water, like beans and tomato, can be useful if water supply runs short. You can save the water they are stored in to cook. Cooking with water can also be a useful form of hydration. Homemade soups, for example, can be made hearty and with far less sodium than prepared canned options and don’t take up much more storage space.
- Focus on satiety: Rice, oats, pasta, and beans are all pantry staples. On their own, beans and oats are very nutritious and filling. Pasta and rice can be easily filled out. Adding lean unprocessed meat, tomato, and leafy greens to your pasta can increase its satiety. So can stockpiling whole wheat options. Virtually anything can be added to rice to make a filling and nutritious meal.
- Snack sensibly: Snacks should also be nutrient-dense and satiating. Nuts, seeds, nut butter, protein bars, protein powder, and jerky are all nutrient-dense, filling, and have a long shelf-life. When it comes to buying jerky, opt for low-sodium options. Getting enough protein during a quarantine is also important to promote strength, energy, and tissue growth.
- Keep some treats on hand: Dark chocolate and instant coffee/tea crystals can last for a long time if stored correctly and can provide a morale boost if needed. Sure, these items are rich in antioxidants, but if you’re quarantined, it’s nice to have these tasty pleasures on hand.
If you’re going to manage blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, and more under a COVID-19 quarantine, stockpiling the right items is essential. Follow these rules to pull nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods from your freezer and pantry.