Health and nutrition Q&A - how to eat well during the lockdown

Families should make sure they keep getting their ‘sunshine vitamin’ and maintain a balanced diet during the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’.

By James Harrison
Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 10:41 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 2:56 pm

According to nutrition experts at the British Dietetic Association (BDA), eating right is vital to maintain the body’s immune system – as well as boost mood during weeks stuck indoors.

And while ‘shielding’ measures or empty shelves may present a challenge to many, there are still plenty of alternatives households can turn to.

Q – What is vitamin D and why do I need it?

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A – Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for a number of reasons, particularly at this time it helps support our immune system and boosts our mood.

Q – Where do I normally get vitamin D?

A – Vitamin D is a ‘sunshine vitamin’. Even though you find vitamin D in food, such as oily fish and eggs, you still need sunshine to convert it to the form the body uses.

Q – What should I do if I can’t go outside?

A – Take a supplement. Supplements come in different forms, either tablets, sprays or drops. Public health guidance is to take 400 international units or 10 micrograms per day.

Q – I’m struggling to get fresh fruit and vegetables right now, how else can I make sure I’m eating a balanced diet?

A – You can just look for fruit and vegetables which have been frozen, tinned or dried and look to get vitamins from those.

Q – Is there anything else I should be thinking about while I’m cooped up inside?

A – Develop a routine with your food, have your breakfast, lunch and dinner and use this opportunity to plan meals. Plan some healthy, balanced meals and cook from scratch. It might take longer, but you have that time now.