Wisdom in simplicity
The stress of the lockdown and irregular schedules can pull our diets awry, impacting our immune systems at a time we need them most. Following some simple lifestyle and dietary rules can keep us on top of our health game
I have noticed that I have begun to feel constipated recently. What is the natural solution to this problem?
Constipation is emerging as a common concern during the lockdown. It is important for you to be aware that our bowel movement gets affected by 4 factors- diet, stress, exercise and daily routine. And the lockdown has impacted on all these four! However, the good news is that there are many strategies that can help.
Stay with traditional meals. Traditional meals have whole grains, lentils, good fat as their foundation. These provide the body with necessary natural fibre, fat, and all macro and micronutrients for a strong and healthy body. In contrast to this, ultra-processed foods lack fibre, are loaded with chemicals, preservatives and trans-fat.
In addition to healthy food choices, eating on time is also key. Going to bed on a heavy stomach is bound to cause acidity and constipation. Make sure you eat your last meal 2 hours before bedtime.
The number of people reporting significant levels of depression and anxiety has only risen in this lockdown. Science has proven the 'Gut-Brain Axis' is real. Our brain affects our digestive system and visa-versa. Thus, the stress is bound to impact our morning routine.
Reframe to Refocus and Reconnect: Instead of reinforcing that you are 'stuck at home', reframe it to 'this is the time I always desired to focus on myself and things I want to do' This will help you look at the lockdown as an opportunity to reconnect with your passions.
Refrain from obsessively watching or reading Coronavirus related news coverage. This can exacerbate feelings of anxiety.
Reconnect with yourself through the practice of pranayama and meditation. These ancient practices are a great antidote to stress.
We are all bound within four walls and this has restricted our movement. Sedentary lifestyle doubles our gut problems. It is important, therefore, to incorporate some exercise routine into your day. These exercises could include simple stretches, yoga asanas, within home walks for the elderly. For others, a combination of freehand exercise, HIIT, bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, pull-ups and yoga or pilate are advisable.
Daily Routine- Our gut is a slave to a routine. If the lockdown has impacted something gravely, it is our routine. Try to follow a regular sleep and wakeup routine. This will help align your body to the circadian rhythm and improve its efficiency. Develop a daily schedule to include fixed meal timings, exercise time, chart a 'to-do list' and quality family time.
What sort of diet should I follow during the lockdown?
If this lockdown has reiterated something, it is that simple things are most sustainable and this holds true for food as well. In this lockdown, if anything has remained staple, it is our traditional all-rounders like rice, wheat, ragi, 'dalia', 'poha', suji. Many who were following fancy diets too have returned to basics. The key to eating right during the lockdown is no different from eating right during normal circumstances. Focus on eating a balanced diet. Include all five food groups in your meal, namely, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. This will ensure that you remain energetic and have a strong immune function. Any fancy or fad diet that places extra focus on one food group while eliminating or limiting another is likely to cause deficiencies.
Traditional, homecooked meals are any day more nutritious than processed foods. Cook traditional meals like 'dal chawal', 'roti sabzi', 'pulao', 'khicahdi', 'poha', 'upma' at home. Additionally, eat small and frequent meals. Don't skip meals. Focus on three main meals with two snacks in between. The snacks can be in the form of fruits, salad, 'chaas', lassi, 'sattu', nuts or seeds. These will ensure hydration, fibre, vitamin and minerals.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org