Even in the face of current uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still one thing we know for sure; proper nutrition plays a big role in your overall health!

There’s still much to learn about COVID-19. At this time, we don’t have any proven evidence regarding specify dietary factors that might help reduce the risk of COVID-19, but we do know that maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing your stress are all essential in keeping your immune system strong.     

Chrisanna Harrington, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at PASWFL, offers some grocery shopping tips to keep in mind as you head out the the grocery store over the coming weeks.  dietician

Opt For Frozen Fruits

Frozen fruits are picked at the peak of ripeness and then individually flash frozen and packaged,” Harriginton said. This process can help boost the nutrient content by preserving Vitamin C which starts to dissipate when exposed to oxygen.

Also, blueberries are packed with antioxidants and have many proven anti-inflammatory benefits. They’re high in potassium and vitamin C making them a top recommendation by doctors and nutritionist alike. Keep some on hand to boost the flavor and nutritional value in your morning yogurt, nutritional shakes, or grab a handful for a delicious snack.

Shop For Nutrient-Rich Canned Goods

            Canned tomatoes are low in calories and packed with vitamin C and fiber. “Canned tomatoes are a great choice because you can add them to soups and pasta sauce”, Harrington suggested. She also recommended canned beans as a great source of protein straight from your pantry.

Check Expiration Dates

The dairy selection seems to be an area of the supermarket that’s getting hit hard  amidst the anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if the selection is scarce, make sure you are checking the expiration dates. Purchasing yogurts, milk, cheese, and other dietary staples with extended expiration dates can help eliminate your trips to the store. Keep in mind the following as you’re checking dates:

            Best by: This date indicates when something is at its peak quality or flavor.

            Sell by: This date refers to how long a store should display or sell an item.

            Use by: This is the last recommended day a product can be eaten at peak quality.

Look for Packaged Items

“I’ve been recommended people to buy in package products liked bagged lettuce to reduce the risk of contamination,” said Harrington. According to the FDA, there have been no reports of the virus being transmitted via food or food packaging at this time.

However, like the common cold and flu, the virus can remain viable on surfaces for an unknown amount of time. So, if an infected shopper or employee coughs on, sneezes on or touches food or preparation tools or surfaces, the virus can spread that way.

Don’t Panic!

Above all, Harrington noted that it’s not worth panicking over the barren shelves you see at the grocery store these days. “We don’t have a food shortage problem, we have a hoarding issue”, she said. When you’re shopping, build a reasonable list that will last you and your family a week or two.

As Harrington pointed out, “everyone is in it together!” including our team at PASWFL. We’re here for you during this challenging time to provide the highest caliber of care for our patients. Our Chapter 3 program includes services like Psychopharmacology, TMS Therapy, TBS Treatment, IV Ketamine, Intranasal Ketamine, Genomic Testing, and Nutritional Counseling.

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or any other mental health condition, don’t hesitate to give our compassionate team at PASWFL a call.

Our office is open and we’re committed to assisting our patients while adhering to the current safety protocols.