Never before have healthy diets been so challenging, whether it’s through lack of choice in your fridge and cupboards or dwindling motivation with being stuck inside.
But your health goals (not to mention food enjoyment) need not fall by the wayside while the UK is on lockdown – not if you get a little creative with your cooking. And the experts at Viva!, the UK’s leading vegan campaigning charity, and its Vegan Recipe Club, have some pretty delectable ideas to help.
In fact, it’s actually more important than ever for us to try and eat well at this time as the food we eat has a huge impact on how we feel and how our bodies respond under pressure. So, what could you choose:
- For energy: Wholegrain carbohydrates and foods rich in fibre play an essential role in keeping your body energised. Foods to help you achieve this includes most fruit and veg, particularly bananas, pulses (peas, beans and lentils), nuts and seeds and wholegrain products, including brown rice, oats and quinoa.
- Concentration: Low serotonin levels can lead to trouble concentrating, remembering things and even feelings of anxiety and lack of motivation. Serotonin is made from the amino acid, tryptophan, which we cannot make so must obtain it from our diet. Consumption of certain foods allows us to manufacture more serotonin, which can boost concentration. Why not try the concentration smoothie (pictured); bursting with zingy fruits, healthy fats, unrefined chocolate and turmeric to enhance concentration and productivity. All you need is one ripe banana, two handfuls frozen blueberries, a small handful spinach, ½ tbsp nut butter, one tbsp ground flaxseed, ½ tsp turmeric powder or two inches turmeric root, peeled, ¼ avocado (fresh or frozen), one tbsp raw cacao powder (unprocessed), pinch black pepper and 250ml/one cup plant milk, Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Immunity: Here are some of the most potent foods for supporting your immune system, which are inexpensive, widely available and can be enjoyed by everyone. They won’t make you virus-proof but the more robust your immunity is, the better your chance of either avoiding the infection or fighting it with only mild symptoms; garlic (research shows it stimulates and activates your white blood cells), green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and berries, ginger and turmeric, both strong antioxidants, and vitamin D.