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Why Eating Healthy Is Important During Quarantine

Posted by Taylor Girardi on May 31 2020, 06:34 PM

Why Eating Healthy Is Important During Quarantine

With millions of Americans home on quarantine, a lot of jokes have been made about eating more meals at home - and eating a lot more in general. That’s because shelter-in-place orders and working from home - combined with a lack of open restaurants in some communities - make eating at home a necessity. But some foods are obviously healthier than others. Unfortunately, comfort foods are not always as healthy, and that could be taking a toll on your oral and overall health. Here are some foods to eat and tips to try to help curb unhealthy quarantine eating, according to dentist Dr. Martin Abelar of San Diego, California.

Reach for Healthy Foods

"Choosing to eat healthier begins at the market, not at home," says Abelar. "Try to find healthier snack options before you ever check out so the temptation to indulge isn’t as prevalent at home."

Abelar recommends foods high in calcium like broccoli, kale, spinach, cheese, yogurt, nuts and seeds, which are all great snacking options that will help keep you feeling full and provide calcium and other nutrients.

Brush Frequently

Brushing our teeth between meals not only keeps the teeth healthy and clean, but it also signals the brain to stop eating.

"Have you ever eaten after brushing, only to get a weird aftertaste in your mouth from the combination of toothpaste and the food you’re eating?" Abelar says. "Use that as motivation to stop snacking and keep your teeth clean."

An added bonus? Your teeth will be better for it!

Tell Yourself to Stop

It may not be easy, but try to remind yourself that you’re just bored or stressed, and try to only eat when you’re actually hungry. Once you get in the habit of stopping yourself, it will be easier. Another tip? Try on your work clothes at least once a week and make sure they’re not getting too snug. If they are, that may be a signal that you’re snacking a little too much. Gaining weight puts increased strain on your heart and increases your risk of health conditions like cancer and diabetes.

Exercise More

Having more free time makes an excellent excuse to start a new fitness program - plus it can even get you out of the house. Bored? Take a walk or bike ride out in the fresh air. Do you already own fitness equipment that’s sitting neglected? Dust it off and do something good for your body instead of reaching for another cookie. The endorphins you’ll get from your workout can compensate for the good feeling your brain gets from snacking on sugary and salty snacks that may not be good for you.

"We are all going through a time of high stress and anxiety, and it’s natural to slide into bad habits to cope," says Abelar, "but you’ll feel much better physically and mentally if you remember that you deserve self-care right now and start taking better care of your health."

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