Quarantine, how to find physical and mental balance in food

Fear, anxiety, irritability. And again, mental confusion, frustration, boredom: as certified by a review published in The Lancet magazine that compared 24 studies carried out during previous epidemics, the quarantine that we must respect to fight the Coronavirus can generate negative moods that manifest themselves even for a few months after the end of the period of imprisonment. You can try to prevent these effects by following certain behaviours. Several studies have shown the existence of a brain-intestinal axis according to which we can say that the modulation of the intestinal microbiota influences the functionality of not only our immune system, but also our nervous system.

The first thing we have to pay attention to is not to compensate our deprivations of freedom of movement with food bonuses that lead us to eat constantly and exceed our calories. In particular, we must avoid an excess of refined carbohydrates that are found, for example, in bread, pasta, pizza, sweets and that have a negative effect on the microbiota. Saturated fats are also to be avoided because they have a negative effect not only on the cardio-vascular system, but also on memory and the ability to concentrate.

The foods that can improve our mood are those rich in antioxidant polyphenols such as all vegetables and fruit that also provide a good dose of fiber and those that contain omega 3 such as flaxseed, nuts, fish. Also good are foods that contain magnesium such as almonds that give us sweetness without sugar, but polyunsaturated fats beneficial for the body. Serotonin, the so-called good mood hormone, can be stimulated by dark chocolate, but also by grain cereals such as spelt, rice, barley. Do not rule out carbohydrates altogether, but opt for wholegrain carbohydrates and try to regulate their quantity considering the lack of physical activity at the moment.

Do not eat in front of the pc but establish breaks from work, do not exaggerate with snacks between meals, isolate yourself at lunch and dinner from TV, smartphones and negative news that can increase anxiety and focus instead on what we are eating, make a more substantial lunch and a lighter dinner instead, not too late.

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