We’ve all seen images of idiotic shoppers stockpiling toilet roll and pasta like they’re preparing for an almighty attack of diarrhea. While buying more than we need is nothing short of selfish, it is a good idea to think about what kinds of things are worth making sure you have in your pantry at all times.
After all, if you do go down with coronavirus, you won’t be able to leave the house for seven days (at least) so it’s a good idea to have some go-to non-perishables at the ready.
Our immune system requires plenty of essential micronutrients like vitamins C, D and A, and minerals like zinc and iron. Upping our intake of fruits, vegetables, herbs, pulses, grains like rice, oats, and quinoa, and seeds is really helpful and totally possible at a time like this.
You don’t have to eat fresh fruit and veg – canned and frozen and be just as good. But other root veg like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and butternut squash have a longer shelf life than most other fresh foods so they’re great for buying in. Stick them in a cool, dark cloth bag in your kitchen and use them to make nourishing veggie soups or quick lunches (you could combine tins of tuna and sweetcorn with some cheese to make a really nutritious jacket potato, for example).
The main issue at the moment is that many of us have ‘junk food stockpiling‘ and as we get bored, we run the risk of non-consciously eating more than we need to. If our diet is poor before catching the virus, we may suffer from more severe symptoms or for a longer period of time.
So it’s important that we have a good range of food in our kitchens – alongside those treats.
Here are some of our kitchen heroes:
In your fridge/freezer
- Frozen peas, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach
- Frozen mixed berries
- UHT or plant based milks
- Fresh veg like spinach, tomatoes, avocados
- Proteins (frozen fish or/and meat, tofu, tempeh)
- Bread (remember that bread can freeze well!)
- Eggs, dips
In your cupboard
- Canned fish
- Tinned tomatoes
- Canned sweetcorn, chickpeas, kidney beans
- Grains like rice, quinoa, lentils
- Herbs and spices like turmeric and ground ginger (great for anti-inflammatory properties)
- Nut butters
- potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, swedes
In your snack drawer
- Dried fruits like dates, prunes, apricots
- Mixed nuts and seeds
- Fresh fruit like bananas, pears, apples
- Chocolate (dark chocolate with 80% cocoa is lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants)
- Homemade granola (toasted nuts, oats, seeds, maple syrup)
- Popped corn
Now isn’t the time to diet or get caught up on the nutritional minutiae but it is worth just thinking about what vitamins you need to hit and what kinds of food may last longer if you find yourself unable to shop for a few days.