2020 was a year that caused hardships to many people. It was the year that we were forced to adopt change rapidly and value the things that we took for granted for a long time. I was forced to change my priorities with health and wellbeing moving to the fore. As a result, I adopted new nutrition habits, and I foresee continuing with the same practices in 2021. I also researched various nutrition trends that would come in handy during these pandemic times, and here are some I found beneficial.
In 2021, food is not just a means to stave off my hunger. The coronavirus forced me to take a closer look at my health and increase my consumption of immune-boosting foods. I also increased my intake of supplements. In fact, according to Market Research, more than 50% of the respondents in that study increased their intake of immune-boosting supplements.
Mental health became a priority for me, especially in the first months after the pandemic hit. There was a lot of negative news, and the statistics on death and infections due to COVID-19 did not help the situation either. I began eating foods rich in antioxidants, minerals (like Magnesium, Zinc), vitamins, healthy fats like Omega 3, fiber, and other bioactive substances. I also tried beverages with stress-alleviating compounds like adaptogens (they relieve the body from stress) for the first time. They had the calming effect I wanted. I also continued eating healthy since these products will not meet all my nutritional needs.
In 2020, I did not just buy food from a random grocery store. I wanted to play my part in helping humanity fight the coronavirus. I was lucky that I kept my job, and I felt it was my responsibility to rally behind companies that were doing their best for their employees and helping the community. So, I bought products from companies that pledged donations towards assisting hospitals and healthcare workers fight the pandemic. I also bought more local products to support local people and help businesses stay afloat in this challenging time.
The pandemic shutdown ignited my appreciation of the food purveyors in my local community. These included local grocery stores, restaurants, and farmer markets. These are the businesses that made sure that I had food. Going forward, I plan to continue being a customer to them. By doing so I will support the local community, get fresher groceries and reduce my environmental impact.
I love my meat, and the idea of not eating meat was not conceivable before the pandemic hit. However, after the pandemic hit and getting meat became hard, I was forced to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for a while. I must admit that it was hard at first, but two months down the line, I became accustomed to it. In 2021, I plan to adopt a flexitarian lifestyle that incorporates being a vegetarian as well as a meat-eater. I look forward to being able to swap out meat products for plant-based options and not feel shortchanged.
Many kids now study from home after introducing virtual schooling. This has forced me to make meals at home and not rely on the school cafeteria. As a result, I have to cook enjoyable meals that are still nutritious. I am also avoiding products that have sugar and many artificial ingredients. Instead, I am going for foods that have more natural ingredients.
Besides, I also give my kids supplements to boost their immunity and avoid any nutritional deficiencies. Since I adopted a flexitarian lifestyle, I am teaching my kids about plant-based food options that will make them develop sustainable food habits they will use well into their adulthood.
The year 2020 challenged many things in my life, and as you have read above, I was forced to change many things and chief among them were my nutrition habits. The changes were good, and I picked up some lessons that I will take into 2021 and beyond. I hope these lessons will be beneficial to you too.