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By now, you have already been through a couple months of quarantine. Tissue is appearing on the shelves again. Your mad dash to purchase the last bottle of glycerin to make your own sanitizer has come to end. Seemingly, the worst is over. Maybe not. Still, you know the procedure, right? Social distance; carry sanitizer; wash, rinse, repeat. Oh, and do not forget your mask! So now, let us focus on food. What can you eat to stay healthy and sane during quarantine?

Here are 5 foods that can help you cope with and adjust to the ongoing quarantine:

1. Berries

2. Dark Chocolate

3. Salmon

4. Chicken

5. Avocados

  1. Berries

Berries are viewed as one the best foods on Earth simply because of the many health benefits they provide! Not only are they very tasty, but they are also fueled with antioxidants which are important for protecting the body’s cells. In other words, antioxidants work hard at delaying or preventing damage to the cells. Raspberries, blueberries, and black berries have the highest concentrations of antioxidants.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with diabetes, then berries are a very good meal choice. Berries are thought to help individuals stabilize their insulin levels.

Additionally, when quarantine starts to give you the blues, berries are said to aid in coping with stress. Do not let being stuck inside tear your mood down. Make the most of it! Kick back, relax, and eat some fresh berries as a stand alone or make them a part of an enticing recipe.

  1. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is something to grab if you are in a hurry and need a quick pick me up. Dark chocolate contains many important minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and iron. Dark chocolate has more of a bitter taste than milk chocolate, but is much healthier because it contains more cacao. The more cacao that a dark chocolate has, the healthier it is. Flavonoids are an active ingredient in the cacao beans used in dark chocolate which are a type of antioxidant. Though chocolate should be eaten in moderation thanks to it’s sugar content, it is a good thing to eat if you want to increase your memory. Dark chocolate is thought to decrease stress and mental deterioration.

There are a few more benefits of dark chocolate as well:

  • Protects skin from the sun.
  • Improves blood flow.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Reduces risk of heart disease.
  • Improves function of the brain.

Not all chocolate is good for you, but dark chocolate has been given the green light. Next time you search through Netflix , make sure you have a bag of dark chocolate beside you to snack on!

  1. Salmon

Conclusively, most fish will be good for health. However, salmon should be the first choice. There are many ways that you can buy salmon such as canned, frozen, fresh, or smoked.

When choosing which salmon to buy, look for wild salmon. Wild salmon is a better choice over farmed salmon because the farms used to house these fish are often infested with parasites and/or disease because they are so overcrowded. There are many different types of salmon to choose from such as Coho, Chinook, Sockeye, or Pink and chum.

  • Coho salmon have the title of being the best tasting salmon. However, this type is described to be a very oily type of fish.
  • Chinook salmon are best known for being the most pricey and largest (3 feet long) salmon. Chinooks have buttery flesh and a high fat content.
  • Sockeye salmon are known as the red salmon because of their red tint.
  • Pink and chum salmon are pale in color and have a mild taste.

Salmon contains a significant amount of Omega-3 fatty acids which are well known for helping with memory and learning. Salmon is referred to as ‘brain food’ and rightly so. Studies show that Omega-3 is correlated with decreased effects of psychological ailments, such as depression. Salmon also contains vitamin D which is connected to lower rates of depression as well. Salmon can additionally be used as a source of vitamin B12.

Not only is it an excellent source of essential vitamins, scientists have been doing studies that show that salmon may ward off various heart diseases and cancers. Asthma, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration, and multiple sclerosis are some chronic diseases that may be staved off as a result of eating salmon, too. Other healthy oily fish choices are tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring, and trout Please note: if you are pregnant be careful with tuna, as certain species may contain harmful levels of mercury.

So now that you know more about salmon hop out of your quarantine funk and start cooking!

  1. Chicken

Chicken may be the most obvious one, right? This type of poultry is the most popular food choice of most people for many reasons! One reason chicken is popular because it is easily accessible. You can get chicken almost anywhere.

Chicken is also incredibly good for you! Nutrients that are found in chicken are selenium, phosphorus, niacin, and protein. Chicken also contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid that increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical that relates to good mood.

Here are some more benefits of having chicken in your diet:

  • Strengthens mood.
  • Assists in weight loss.
  • Keeps the heart healthy.
  • Helps build muscles.
  • Helps fight off common cold.

Though chicken is a great source for proteins and nutrients you will want to be mindful about how you prepare it.

Here are the healthiest ways to prepare chicken:

  • Grilled.
  • Poached.
  • Stir fried.

Avoid eating these types of chicken:

  • Fried chicken
  • Rotisserie chicken that has not been prepared at home (avoid buying it from places, such as Walmart or Costco).
  • Chicken piled with the unhealthy toppings, such as Chipotle sauce.
  1. Avocados

Unbeknownst to many, the avocado is a fruit. Avocados are placed in the berry category because it has a one large seed and a corpulent pulp. Avocados are a good meal choice because they contain fats, dietary fiber, and potassium. Avocados also have many nutrients such as vitamin A, C, E, B, and K.

The best ways to eat Avocados:

  • In milk
  • In ice cream
  • In soup
  • In salads
  • In burritos
  • In sandwiches
  • In dip
  • In desserts
  • In smoothies
  • Or even straight from the rind with a spoon!

Additional tips for eating while coping with quarantine:

  1. Not a big fan of cooking? Freeze your leftovers. Take the pressure of cooking each night off you!
  2. Stay hydrated!
  3. Utilize food delivery options such as Door Dash or Waitr. It is good to remember that ordering out is okay. However, be mindful of the food that you are ordering and how it is prepared.
  4. Manage your portions. Understandably, quarantine can be draining. You may be tired of spending extra amounts of time at home especially if you live alone. Avoid consuming extra portions. Instead, try to get active. Pop in some earbuds and go on a nature walk.
  5. Reduce salt consumption.
  6. Reduce sugar consumption.
  7. Manage alcohol consumption. Alcohol lowers the body’s ability to fight off COVID-19. It is possible for alcohol to increase feelings of depression, panic, anxiety, or fear. Though many people believe alcohol should be used as a method to cope with stress this is proven to be untrue.
  8. If possible, enjoy meals with family!

Quarantine recipe ideas:

Sources: thespruceeats, ncbi, medicalnewstoday, worldhealthorganization

Final Comments: Awesome post! I liked your effective use of lists and the way you ended the post with a collection of recipes and additional tips for food mindfulness during the quarantine! If there are a few short sentences in a row discussing the same subject, I like to combine them just so you don’t have multiple sentences in a row starting with the same word/phrase. Also just a note: while it tends to be used interchangeably, for the most part cocoa refers to the powder/drink, cacao is the bean itself.