Although the stress of pause orders and the threat of the virus may tempt folks toward eating comfort foods, the best way to fight infection is to eat nutritionally balanced meals. Vegetables, lean proteins, and fresh foods will optimize health during the pandemic, says Steve Buchanan Omaha.
“Good nutrition is important at any time, ” says Steve Buchanan Omaha. “But it is particularly important now as part of an overall effort to maintain healthy habits and boost our immune system.”
The healthiest meals are comprised primarily of fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grains, with some lean protein, says Steve Buchanan Omaha. Fruits, such as apples and oranges, and root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, onions, and carrots, will keep well. They are an excellent choice during the pandemic when shopping is still risky because the buyer can stock up and shop less frequently, Steve Buchanan Omaha says. They also supply many nutrients and improve immune system health. For example, oranges are rich in vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and A and manganese; they also are high in antioxidants, which prevent damage to cells from free radical compounds, says Steve Buchanan Omaha.
Whole grains also have a variety of nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. They also promote bowel and colon health, he says.
Lean proteins such as skinless grilled chicken or turkey, trimmed lean beef, non-fried seafood, beans, low-fat dairy, and quinoa help the body repair itself and build muscle mass without adding saturated fat to the diet, says Steve Buchanan Omaha.
While frozen foods are convenient, they lack all the nutrients that are in fresh foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables lose some water-soluble nutrients such as vitamins B and C during the blanching process that occurs before freezing. Frozen meats may lose nutrients in dethawing. Prepared frozen foods also sometimes contain added salt or sugar, which is less healthy. Fresh food also generally tastes better than frozen food, says Steve Buchanan Omaha.
Finally, proper hydration is also essential to good health. Most people require between eight and 12 glasses of water to maintain optimal health, says Steve Buchanan Omaha.
Steve Buchanan Omaha is a farmer. He was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He hopes his daughters will want to continue the family tradition of working on the farm. Steve Buchanan Omaha also is an adamant advocate for the growing farm-to-table movement and provides local restaurants fresh food from his farm.