Opportunities COVID-19 can give us

March 28, 2020

 

For some of us COVID -19 can give us a lot of positive aspects if we take advantage of this isolation time. One step we could do is to make some changes to support our immune system. The foundation of our immune system is in fact our digestion.

 

One of the initial steps you could do to help improve your digestion, and in turn support your immune system, is to practice food combining, that is, eating protein foods at separate times to carbohydrate based foods. On average it takes 2 hours for complex carbohydrates to leave your stomach, 3 hours for protein based meals to leave your stomach and 6 hours if protein is eaten at the same time as carbohydrates. So if you ensure you eat protein away from carbohydrates this can improve your digestion, reduce the possible build up of pathogens in your digestive track (taking a burden off your immune system) and provides you with more energy (as you are not using as much energy just to digest the food).

 

People often report feeling lighter after a good food combined meal, this in turn may help them be more inclined to go out and do some exercise too. What does this mean in practice? Well, if you have say chicken and rice with vegetables, just have the chicken and vegetables at one meal and then the rice with vegetables at another meal. You can then see how you feel afterwards.  Or if you are a vegan eat your pulses at one meal and grains at another meal. If you are worried about getting all your essential amino acids try quinoa, it is a complete protein and is very easily absorbed. 

 

Protein is more easily absorbed at lunch time and carbohydrates after mid afternoon. Also the carbohydrates are less likely to disrupt your blood sugar levels if you eat them after mid afternoon. If you feel this is too much for you or you have a current health condition such as diabetes or an immune disorder, just try it for the evening meal, once a week and slowly build up to it on a regular basis. Once your evening meal is established in this new routine (and you start to feel the benefits) you can then try it for your lunch time meal.  Let your body adjust to the new intake and timings of carbohydrates so it is not a big leap for your body (and mind).

 

The positive aspect of this is that you may get more energy, spend less money on food and support your immune system too. People often report that they sleep much better if they food combine their evening meal, even if they are eating just protein in the evening, And improved sleep is something we are all in need of during this challenging time. 

 

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