"We are what we eat," said the philosopher Feuerbach. So what to eat iIn these days of Coronavirus emergency, when it is more important than ever to eat healthy, with what is at home. The idea is to help the body defend itself from the virus with food and prevent other pathologies and at the same time to reconcile the needs of a different pantry than usual.
An important indication comes from the Ieo, the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, which launched the Smartfood project, with a series of smart tips, which we illustrate here together with our suggestions.
Get organized well
By organization we mean the management of the food storage, which must be careful, but also that of the times. It is important to avoid waste, do not make too large portions and maintain a lifestyle as regular as possible. The ideal is wake up early in the morning, have a good breakfast, always have lunch at the same time and dine early with a light meal. In this way, digestion will be at a good point before bedtime, also facilitating sleep which, now more than ever, should be peaceful and refreshing.
Do some physical activity
At this moment it is important to stay active: those who go to school following lessons from their own bedroom and those who work from home, perhaps on the kitchen table, must remember to do some movement.
Meanwhile, we must try to keep one good posture and, every half hour, take a small one walk and stretch some legs. Open the windows to get some fresh air; if you like, turn on the music, move and dance a little and, if possible, once a day do some stretching exercises. Physical activity is good for the body and also for the mood.
To eat well, the starting point is always one smart shopping and have them at home right stocks. More than keeping in the pantry biscuits, sweets and sweet and savory baked goods, it would be better to always have 2-3 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables available. Alternatively, not being able to do a daily shopping at this time, even the frozen vegetables can be fine.
They shouldn't be missing at home wholemeal flours, with which to prepare genuine breads and snacks that the whole family likes. For this job you can get help from your children who are always enthusiastic collaborators, when it comes to getting your hands in the dough.
Where do I find protein
The Ieo does not recommend making stocks of meat, which should be consumed from zero to three times a week, therefore very little. While the suggestion is to prefer fish. Even more than vegetables, frozen or even canned fish manages to maintain its nutritional characteristics which are the presence of proteins, mineral salts and omega3. Canned mackerel, explains the Ieo, is preferable to tuna because it better preserves omega3.
For proteins, cheeses, eggs and legumes are also excellent.
THE legumes they are often underestimated or overlooked, because they require long preparation times. Chickpeas and dried beans must be left to soak and have long cooking times (even 1-2 hours). On the other hand, lentils often do not even require soaking in water and have relatively quick cooking times.
Taking advantage of the more time available, you can therefore prepare legumes, which are excellent as a main dish, but are also perfect as an ingredient for minestrone, condiments for pasta and delicious vegetarian burgers.
It's time to play with the imagination and flavor the dishes with spices and fragrant herbs. Ideal would be to have small jars on the balcony or in the kitchen with some basic herbs such as thyme, basil, marjoram, sage and rosemary. They are unbeatable to make sauces, side dishes and main courses more tasty.
Very important at the moment it is do not waste food and at the same time do not overdo the portions. It's time to take advantage and change habits, finally learning to use all the parts of a food as much as possible. Of all the vegetables, also the leaves and stems, generally considered less noble, can be used. We keep the most tender and tasty parts for the main dish and we use everything that we would normally have discarded to make broths or even past is velvety. The stalk of asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower are a classic: many eliminate them, but if well cleaned, boiled or steamed, you can switch to a vegetable mill and get excellent velvety. Even cut into very small cubes they can enrich dishes and salads.
How much to eat?
The portions must be adequate, but never exaggerated. In this period we are all more sedentary, which is why it is better to put less food on the plate. We will avoid having to deal with extra pounds, not so much for aesthetic reasons, but for health reasons.
Alcohol must be absolutely limited. The Ieo indicates 1 alcoholic unit per day for women and 2 for men. The alcoholic unit corresponds to a 125 ml glass of wine or a 330 ml beer. It is important not to overdo alcohol also for the well-being and proper functioning of the immune system.
However, it is also true that red wine is a source of polyphenols which are natural antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. So here is that a glass of good red wine once in a while doesn't hurt.
by Barbara Roncarolo
March 13, 2020
opening photo by RitaE