How To Fight Coronavirus With Healthy Food Prep

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As we hunker down at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, it’s important to stock your pantry and fridge with healthy foods.To learn the best way to shop and prepare meals during this time, Premier Health Now talked with Joseph Allen, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine of Vandalia.

“The best way to fight this virus is to stay healthy and eat healthy,” says Dr. Allen.

That includes following universal precautions and limiting your exposure to crowds by shopping less frequently. When you do shop, remember to wash your hands when you return home from the store. Dr. Allen says to wash all fresh fruit and produce before you eat it and thoroughly cook foods to get rid of any contamination and fear of being exposed to the virus.

“We don’t want to overreact, but we also don’t want to underreact,” says Dr. Allen. “Be prepared but stay reasonable.”

Making meals can be a fun family activity and a way to talk with children about the coronavirus crisis in a calm, positive way. Dr. Allen recommends meal prep, too – stocking the freezer with healthy meals to use at a later time.

“This could be a very long run,” says Dr. Allen. “It’s a great time to start eating healthier. It will help your immune system fight this off if you are exposed to it.”

Here’s a stock-up list of healthy pantry and fresh food items for battling the coronavirus:

  • Canned goods, like:
    • Beans (low sodium)
    • Chicken (in water)
    • Salmon (in water)
    • Tuna (in water)
  • Dry goods, such as:
    • Dried beans
    • Grains (barley, farro, etc.)
    • Oatmeal
    • Pasta
    • Popcorn kernels to pop
    • Rice
    • Whole grain cereals and crackers
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, including long-life items that don’t need refrigeration:
    • Apples
    • Oranges
    • Unripe bananas
    • Unripe avocados
    • Onions
    • Potatoes
    • Squash
    • Tomatoes
  • Fresh meats (that you can also put in the freezer), such as:
    • Chicken
    • Pork
    • Beef
    • Seafood (fish, scallops, shrimp)
    • Ground beef, chicken, pork and/or turkey
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and nut butters (almond, cashew, peanut)
  • Shelf-stable milk

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It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.