With other people’s stockpiling making your weekly shop an endurance event, focus your attention on these ingredients recommended by Third Space nutritionist Rachel Butcher. You’ll bank maximum nutrition for your buck.
The world has gone mad, it seems. Specifically, it’s gone mad for toilet roll and dried pasta. But with the country now on lockdown, supermarket shelves are empty and delivery apps are crashing. All this means that when your slot does eventually become available, you need to be primed with the right information to make your drop of groceries really count.
While your immune system can’t be ‘boosted’ by food as some sites will have you believe, eating healthily is important for supporting your mood, mental wellbeing and overall immune function. All of which are pretty important when you’re inside fending off coronavirus, in between Third Space’s schedule of live stream workouts.
To get your kitchen prepared for self-isolation, our registered nutritionist and personal trainer Rachel Butcher has compiled a round-up of kitchen staples to have on repeat order to stay healthy.
Canned or dried beans & pulses – Long-lasting, a source of plant-based protein and a great way to incorporate more prebiotics into your diet. Puy or green lentils, haricot or borlotti beans and chickpeas are all great additions to warm salads, curries, soups and stews.
Tinned tuna, mackerel, sardines & salmon – All rich in omega-3, which not only supports brain function but normal immune function too.
Tinned tomatoes – Great addition to sauces, soups, curries and chilli. They are also a source of vitamins C (which supports immune function) as well as containing vitamins A, E, some B vitamins and vitamin K.
Tinned fruit – Tinned fruit is another way of ensuring you get a wide variety of micronutrients into your diet providing a source of vitamins, mineral and dietary fibre. Opt for those in fruit juice rather than syrup to avoid added sugars.
Chicken / turkey / tofu – Have a really versatile protein source that you can get creative with on standby. Proteins are the building blocks of all cells, so are important for preventing muscle loss if you’re no longer hitting your move goal, as well as fueling growth and repair if you’re focusing on a new home workout plan.
Carrots, beetroot & parsnips – Try to get as much colour on your plate as possible – the natural compounds that give fruit and veg their colour (phytochemicals) may be beneficial as many of these are antioxidants. Carrots will last 3-4 weeks in the fridge, while beetroot and parsnips will last at least 2 weeks.
Greek yogurt / plain yogurt / quark – Another source of protein, these handy ingredients will last 2-3 weeks and can make a great addition to sauces to make them go that little bit further.
Eggs – Eggs will usually last 3-5 weeks when purchased fresh. Not only are eggs super versatile, they are also loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and good fats.
Dark green leafy veg – Vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli and cavolo nero provide a powerhouse of many vitamins (A, C, K and folate) and minerals (iron and calcium) and are also great sources of fibre. Bear in mind your body will need some dietary fat to absorb some of these vitamins (A & K) so combine with a healthy fat source. Tearing them into an omelette is a good place to start.
Frozen fruit & vegetables –Frozen fruit and veg keeps for much longer, obviously. Frozen vegetables often contain as many if not more nutrients than fresh vegetables as the nutrients are locked in when they’re frozen. They require no preparation and they can be added to a whole host of recipes.
Frozen fish – Whether you purchase fish fresh to freeze or buy ready frozen, these are great options for a long-lasting source of protein.
In addition to purchasing items for your freezer, make use of the ingredients you already have and batch cook meals to freeze, such as soups, stews, chilli and curries. This will not only save you time but also eliminate food waste and prevent you from joining the masses in shopping queues.