5 Tips for Staying Healthy During COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, we are sharing five tips to stay healthy during these stressful and uncertain times. We wish our community and friends from around the globe good health, safety, and happiness!

1. Take only what you need – Stores remain with empty shelves that are depleted of necessary staples. Hoarding of food and health products makes it difficult for stores to meet the demands of the public. This may especially affect food banks or community feeding centers. If the demand is greater than the supply, those who rely on food banks may not be able to get what they need because the bigger companies are unable to continuously restock and resupply. Grocery stores cannot donate to food banks or community centers when their stores are depleted. Take only what you need, buy the essentials and not in excess. Shop with thought and not out of fear!

2. Stay hydrated – In a time of uncertainty with increased levels of anxiety and stress, it is easy to forget to hydrate throughout the day. However, adequate hydration is extremely important for fighting off viruses and providing our bodies with what it needs to remain a well-oiled machine. There is no need to grab dozens of plastic water bottles. Tap water is currently deemed as safe in the United States. Grab a reusable water bottle and refill throughout the day!

3. Eat your fruits and veggies – It is essential that fruits and vegetables make up a significant portion of our plates. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide our bodies with the capabilities to fight off infection. Adding an extra source of vitamin C such as a clementine or a handful of strawberries will help boost your immunity.

4. Practice good food safety – We all are very aware that now more than ever is a critical time to be vigilant about washing hands. However, we should also make sure that we are following basic food safety tips. Washing fruits and vegetables, kitchen tools, etc. can prevent unwanted bacteria that may weaken the immune system. Invest in a good strainer, take a moment to inspect your food products for signs of bacteria or mold, and make sure you are keeping food items at the right temperature!

5. Tap into your inner chef – Social distancing is extremely important as we work to limit exposure to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this means limiting our time in our beloved restaurants, bars, and fast casuals. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of our favorite dishes from home. Find your favorite recipes and see if you can create them in your own kitchen. You never know, maybe you will create recipes that will become family favorites for future holidays!

Emily Solis is a Dietetic Intern with the Virginia Tech – Northern Virginia site. She enjoys running, gardening, and baking pies on Sundays.