May 25, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated May 25, 2021
Diet and nutrition during pandemic as the crisis persists.
As hopes shine brighter in the dark skies hovered over by Covid 19, we cannot ignore the ongoing sufferings and definitely cannot ignore the potentially lasting effects of this pandemic.
A few research panels, experts, and ordinary individuals have tried to address the problem of mental health during the pandemic as the virus persists. Constant lockdowns and isolation had dire impacts on countless people around the world.
As an introvert, I have always preferred spending most of my time alone, enjoying my own company. However, as I have recently discovered, even introverts need some time out. The first lockdown went peacefully; unfortunately, as the second was issued and the crisis seemed to head for worse, I started feeling uncomfortable.
Thousands around the world felt the same way. To overcome loneliness, dark feelings, negative thoughts, and frustration, most of us turned to food. I remember stockpiling baking ingredients and other products each time the government would announce a lockdown.
Thankfully, I woke up early to the dangers of excessive food consumption and started to follow guidelines on diet and nutrition during the pandemic.
Pandemic and the surge of eating disorders:
Jennifer Wildes, an associate psychiatry professor and director of an outpatient eating disorders program at the University of Chicago Medicine, declared that “anxiety and isolation are typically very significant components of eating disorders.”
Dietitian Jillian Lampert said that people resorted to binge eating as a coping mechanism to deal with the stress and social distancing. Others have adhered blindly to the ‘’don’t gain the pandemic 15’’ message, walking all the way to anorexia.
Both experts were interviewed concerning the surge in eating disorders. Their remarks make it clear that even though the crisis began to wear off, the surge is still a reality. Programs supporting those people have never stopped; they rather shifted to teletherapy. The number of people seeking help doubled. More than seven thousand from every state have been attending the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness online support groups.
Epic Health Research Network journal published an analysis of recent data concerning the rising numbers of eating disorders and patients seeking professional help. They highlighted the fact that the pandemic had major psychological effects on people across the age spectrum. Adults, youngsters, and kids all have been dealing with much stress and anxiety that turned into food disorders. The frightening conclusion, yet, is that the impact of the pandemic might take years to be revealed.
The imminent threat of the current situation might even go worse. That’s why it is vital that we become aware of these dangers because early diagnosis might save lives.
Dire mental conditions such as anxiety, and feelings of loneliness plus mishandled pressure, and feelings of entrapments and helplessness result in two practices: over-consumption of food or very low to no food consumption. Some of the most spread diseases, because of this situation, are anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia involves restrictive eating habits. It might result in low blood pressure and organ damage at some point. Bulimia, on the other hand, involves excessive eating habits and self-induced vomiting.
Diet and nutrition during pandemic
Eating healthy food is a must for all times, whether during an epidemic or not. This obligation becomes more a matter of life or death, especially during such hard times. It is vital to maintain an appropriate diet and nutrition during pandemics.
First of all, a good diet and nutrition helps maintain a good immune system. In order to fight any illness, such as the covid 19 virus God forbid, we should have enough strength to function.
While the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has published tips on dietary behaviors and helped different countries establish their own dietary guidelines in accordance with their specific traditions and culinary habits, there are simple steps to follow.
You need to control your sugar and salt intake because once combined with frustration and stress, these ingredients can have significantly bad effects.
Most food shops and restaurants shifted to home delivery to cope with the epidemic, but you need to limit your consumption of prepared and fast foods. Prepare your own healthy meal and use the time to change your mood and move around the house.
Avoid processed and canned food and have lots of fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables provide you with the necessary minerals, vitamins, and fiber, you need.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you don’t only need to consume healthy food; you also need to cover other vital grounds. You need to stay physically active; try practicing any sports even at home if going outside is not an option.
Try to stay connected to the outside world. Have visual conversations with friends and family. If you feel anxious or frustrated open up to those close to you. In such situations, it is really helpful to have someone to support you.
A good diet and nutrition during a pandemic are essential, but it is also important to speak up and address your fears and problems.