Tips on how to eat healthy and stay active while social distancing

“A good immune system can fight off a lot of illnesses, from common colds to even the COVID-19,” a local doctor said. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/humanmade)

The new reality of daily life during an evolving pandemic can be stressful and wear people down, and doctors say taking care of your body now is more important than ever.

“A good immune system can fight off a lot of illnesses, from common colds to even the COVID-19,” said Dr. Avni Jain of Adventist HealthCare Adventist Medical Group.

Exercising and eating right is common advice you’ll hear most everywhere. Jain has some specific recommendations that include getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night and not turning into a couch potato.

“I would like to emphasize that, during these times, that staying active — like going for a walk and exercising at home — would be great,” Jain said.

A healthy diet includes:

  • Lean meats, such as chicken breast and turkey.
  • Healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts and olives.
  • Fruit and lots of vegetables.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has comprehensive information about healthy eating.

“Also, there’s lots of talk about supplements,” Jain said. “But getting your vitamins from your diet is the best.” Jain recommends zinc and vitamin C from orange juice, “or, even better, an orange.”

Also, limit processed foods. “Anything that you can open and eat out of a bag, I qualify as processed food,” Jain said of items such as chips, snacks, cookies and crackers.

Jain also believes soda is junk food.

“I think moderation here is the key,” Jain said. “I know that we’re all sitting at home and we like to lay our hands on junk food, so as long as we can moderate that intake, that would help our immune system.”

Jain also recommends finding ways to relax to relieve stress, which for some might include prayer, meditation, focused breathing or spending time with family. Find more of those tips here.

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Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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