People eat for all sorts of reasons, not just because they are hungry; we may be thirsty, bored, stressed or even sad.
Eating a healthy diet is important during the COVID-19 pandemic as what we eat and drink can affect our body’s ability to prevent, fight and recover from infection.
Over-consumption of highly processed foods is not recommended, as these tend to be high in fats, sugars and salt and have a negative effect on overall physical and mental health.
While no foods or dietary supplements have been found to prevent or cure COVID-19 infection, healthy diets are important for:
- providing the energy, you need to get through the day
- supporting a healthy immune system
- reducing the likelihood of developing certain health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer
- maintaining a healthy body weight
- improving the quality of your sleep
- building strong teeth and bones, and slowing bone loss (osteoporosis)
- enhancing our sense of well-being and mood.
What is a healthy diet?
- For babies: exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, with the introduction of nutritious and safe foods to complement breastmilk from age 6 months to 2 years and beyond
- For young children: a balanced diet including all food groups to promote healthy growth and development
- For older people: healthy meals and adequate hydration to ensure improved and more active lives
- For tips on healthy eating, click here.
It is a good idea to store healthy foods in your cupboard, particularly if you are shielding or are in home isolation. For British Dietetic Asssociation tips on what foods to stock-up on, click here.