Despite an enhanced community quarantine (and thus limited trips to the grocery), you can still make health and nutrition a priority. A general tip when purchasing supplies: Choose items with a long shelf life and make sure to utilize your freezer. You want to prolong them as much as you can because although there aren’t any reports of food shortages, it’s best to stay indoors to help flatten the curve.

Load up on fiber-rich oats and cereals and high-protein beans and legumes for daily nutritious breakfasts and versatile dishes. Canned goods such as tuna and salmon are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids that improve heart health. Vegetables that come in cans must be rinsed to remove the extra sodium used to preserve them. The healthier option when it comes to canned fruits is to stick to those that are sugar-free. But of course, there are fresh fruits that don’t spoil easily such as apples and citrus. 

Freezing your food will increase its shelf life, avoid spoilage and preserve its freshness—at least for some types of food. Research reveals that frozen fruits and vegetables contain the same amount of vitamins as fresh ones. This is because frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness before being processed and preserved, while fresh ones are harvested at a less mature state as they are meant to be sold commercially. Another tip: Store them at the back of your freezer so they don’t get thawed when you open the freezer door.

Liquids are just as important as your food. Staying hydrated matters in keeping the body healthy. The rule of thumb for emergencies is to have at least one gallon of water per person (or pet) each day—plus a three-day supply in advance. Calcium and immune-boosting Vitamin D found in milk, coffee and other plant-based drinks are also good beverage options. 

Aside from food items, always have sufficient supplies of soap, alcohol and tissue paper, especially now that hygiene matters more than ever. Make sure your vitamins, supplements and maintenance medicine (if any) are complete. Set aside a first aid kit in case of emergency.

Before you begin to replenish your supplies, recognize the importance of purchasing only what you need. Hoarding is unnecessary (and frankly, wrong), especially at a time when everybody is affected by the smallest actions. Consider what other people need as well. You can protect yourself while being mindful of others’ welfare

Below is a list of essential items you need during the quarantine period:

DRY GOODS

Beans and legumes
Whole wheat pasta
Cereals
Eggs
Rice
Oats

CANNED GOODS

Fish
Soup
Fruits
Vegetables

FRESH/FROZEN FOOD

Seafood
Poultry
Beef
Pork
Fruits
Vegetables

LIQUIDS

Water
Milk
Coffee
Plant-based beverages

HYGIENE 

Soap
Alcohol
Sanitizer
Laundry detergent
Dish soap
Tissue paper

OTHERS

Medication
Pet supplies
First aid kit

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