Updated: Feb 3, 2021
The stress brought on by COVID-19 is putting even more pressure on us and emotional eating is sometimes our way to cope.
Because about 80% of our immune system lies in our gut, healthy eating and maintaining a healthy gut bacteria is even more crucial now than ever to stay healthy. Due to the importance of our digestive system in our overall health, it is often called our second brain.
Our gut bacteria or gut microbiome is greatly influenced by what we eat and our stress level. The high sugar, highly processed, and low in nutrients American diet is known to be causing inflammation in the body and a less diverse gut microbiome. This weakens our immune system and possibly makes us more prone to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes or heart disease and less able to fight viruses.
Findings about severe cases of COVID-19 and death indicate that people with underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or a compromised immune system are hit harder by the virus since those conditions are already creating inflammation in the body.
In addition, the CDC is showing some concerning statistics on diabetes. They are stating that “more than 30 million of people in the US have diabetes and out of those, 25% do not know they have it.“ Similarly, they say that “more than 84 million US adults are pre-diabetic (1 in 3 Americans) and 90% of them do not know it!” Considering this data, many of us could be considered high-risk for a severe case of COVID-19 and not be aware of it.
Do we have a balanced diet with the right amount of lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats? Make sure your plate has 1/3 high quality protein, 1/3 green veggies, 1/3 nutrient dense starchy veggies or grain and 1 to 3 TBSP of healthy fats. Are we eating the right quantity of food at the right time while being in the right emotional state? Do we have an exercise routine? Are we enjoying life?
The good news is lifestyle diseases can be managed or improved with lifestyle changes.
The reduction of inflammation in our bodies is key. Our first line of defense is to keep our lungs healthy by exercising regularly, but also limiting processed foods and increasing veggies and fruits in our diet, especially green veggies.
Because of the complexity of the disease and the fact that we have not been previously exposed to this new virus, it is important to follow social distancing guidelines even after the reopening of the country. We really do not know how our bodies will respond to the disease.
Let’s concentrate on what we can control and do our part in improving our own health by being purposeful in making better health choices! To our health and wellness!
By Sophie Terrillon Webster, MBA
Certified Health and Nutrition Life Coach, CLC, CHC
Laureavida Wellness LLC
“Diabetes and Prediabetes” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 7,, 2020, accessed June 13, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/diabetes-prediabetes.htm