I recently talked with Tina Brooks, a nutrition specialist, coach and exercise physiologist who is the Health Promotion Coordinator for MCCS Lejeune-New River, about health and nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are five major takeaways from our conversation.
1. Eat fruits and vegetables.
Eating fruits and vegetables is key in getting the nutrients you need. Eating green vegetables and other foods that are good fiber sources will help keep your digestive system clean while supporting the immune system.
2. Find a balance.
“I’m a believer in a balance of food and nutrients that go into the system,” Brooks said. “You need that combination of a little bit of everything working together.”
Eating fruits and vegetables, staying physically active, sticking to a schedule and getting enough fiber and protein are essential parts of keeping a good balance.
3. Destress before bed.
Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper before going to bed is a good practice for quieting your mind. Shutting off the television and staying off your cell phone an hour or two before bed can improve sleep as well. In general, you need to find “relaxing things to do before you hit the pillow so you’re able to go into a deep sleep and stay in that deep sleep,” Brooks said.
4. Freeze what you can.
Brooks recommends loading up on frozen fruits and vegetables while freezing a portion of your fresh products for extended storage. Eggs can be frozen, but must be cracked and blended (not whipped) before storing in ice cube trays. Milk and bread are also freezable, but when thawing milk be sure to mix it up.
5. Talk to your doctor.
You may be eager to take a multivitamin or supplement to improve their resistance to COVID-19; however, do not take anything until getting clearance from your doctor.