I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to change the way I grocery shop. With panic buying leaving shelves empty, the non-perishables have been in demand. I asked my friend and Nutritionist, Samantha Barnett, to share which nourishing non-perishables are best.
To say the Coronavirus has had somewhat of an impact on your usual routine is an understatement.
With gyms closed, kids home schooled and pantries bare, it is becoming ever more difficult to look after our own health in this much needed time.
Many of us are turning to not so nutritious options to fuel our stress driven cravings, fueling pathogens such as viruses and making us more anxious and fatigued. It is only natural instinct for the body to seek out these foods in times of stress.
When it comes to nourishing our body throughout this crisis, although convenience and non-perishable snacks rank high on the list for many, switch those store-bought cookies and potato chips to nutrient dense snacks such as: –
- Nuts or nut butters;
- Homemade trail mix including a combination of nuts and seeds. Try adding spices and a few bits of dark chocolate or toasted coconut for more satisfaction;
- Whizz up a batch of bliss balls or raw slice on the weekend and fill the freezer.
These options are packed full of fibre, protein, quality fats and a range of nutrients. With slow releasing energy, they will keep you satisfied for much longer.
There are many other nourishing non-perishables to focus on, including: –
- Oats – A great source of prebiotic fibre, feeding the good bacteria in our gut where much of our immune system lives. Think overnight oats, porridge, muffins, muesli bars, cookies or even added to meatballs instead of breadcrumbs.
- Freezer produce – Such as bananas, berries, avocado, kiwifruit and spinach to add to smoothies, a great way to get nutrients into the body. Frozen vegetables (if you can get your hands on them) are also are great addition to add to any meal to bulk it up.
- Pulses (canned or dried) – Brown lentils for example, are a great source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and can be added to salads, chilli, pasta sauce, burger patties, pies and soups – very versatile.
- Tinned fish – Salmon and tuna can be made into fish cakes, burgers or stirred through salads and pastas.
- Herbs and spices – Packed full of nutrients! Add them to all your dishes to boost flavour. Grow your own or stick to the dried ones.
We are very lucky in Australia with an abundance of fresh produce still available on the shelves. Those longer lasting produce include fruits such as apples and citrus varieties as well as vegetables such as cabbage, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, potato, chilis and carrots.
All versatile and providing a range of nutrients and flavour to meals. Try to eat a rainbow daily with each colour providing your body with a different range of nutrients and antioxidants.
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Minced meats hard to find? Switch to cuts using bones as this is where all those gut loving nutrients are stored anyway.
Coming into the cooler months, think hearty slow cookers, soups or broths to give you all those immune supporting nutrients in one big warming hug, or for those essential workers, one big warming thermos. And yes, grandma was right, chicken soup is good for immunity!
As a nutritionist, I believe food is medicine, giving us nutrients to protect our bodies from lurking pathogens, however in order to absorb those much-needed nutrients, the health of our gut is of utmost importance.
Unfortunately, stress can negatively impact our gut health, compromising that absorption and ultimately our immunity.It’s important to reduce stress on the body as best we can during these times to reduce inflammation and improve nutrient absorption.
Remember, we are all in this together. Take time out and enjoy the simple things as often as possible. You cannot look after your tribe if you do not feel alive.
Wash your hands, nourish your body and take a deep breath.
Stay Safe, Sammy xx