The demands for food during the war are significantly different from the estimates that guide us in peacetime. Clearly, this does not apply to people seeking to install food in a battle zone or when food exports become unsafe. But if there is access to food, it is worth reconsidering the principles of your diet so as not to undermine the body’s defenses.
The important thing now is to eat healthy meals on a regular schedule, avoid excessive use of alcohol and other substances and take the time to connect to the internet or in person with people you enjoy spending time with.
In emergencies, with intense stress, the nervous system is literally at a point of deterioration. The problem is that when your stress levels rise, your body can not tell the difference between your reaction to bad news and your actual physical danger. The natural response is the same: your sympathetic nervous system activates the fight or flight response. In a very real and tangible way, we all felt when it happened. This is a fast heartbeat, fast breathing, sweat on the forehead and the flow of millions of thoughts in the head. Whether you are in real danger or not, your body will protect you in the same way. As your need for nutrients increases, you may find yourself craving certain foods, even those you have not eaten before. Do not refuse such products, as the body self-regulates its balance and forces you to consume exactly those products that contain the substance that is necessary for its full work.
The good news is that you can really help reduce your stress levels by eating foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals. The bad news is that many of us under pressure either completely forget about food or consume excessively wrong foods.
And an unhealthy diet can increase stress levels and potentially increase the risk of future health problems. Under stress, it can generally discourage appetite. However, you still need to eat to avoid health problems. Focus on nutritional value. For example, replace the usual meal with a handful of dried fruits or nuts, they can be chewed for any activity. Appetite also appears after sports or with good company. Do not neglect these life hacks, decorate food, whet the appetite.
War and the stresses associated with it have a negative impact mainly on the cardiovascular system. Nutrients from healthy foods can help improve blood flow to the body. Examples of nutrients that improve blood flow include omega-3 vitamin E and polyphenols found in dark chocolate, red wine, omega-3 in seafood and fish, vitamin E in sunflower seeds, almonds and avocados. Common carrots help maintain blood pressure levels at normal levels. Do not forget that for good digestion, you should use carrots with vegetable oil.
Stress and extreme conditions often have a detrimental effect on the stability of blood sugar levels, the need for insulin increases and the reaction to food becomes stronger. Therefore, to facilitate the control of the condition, it is worth reducing the consumption of foods high in carbohydrates and foods high in glycemic index.
Another important factor in the “military diet” is food safety. Now, when you buy food, you have to look very carefully at the expiration date, the storage conditions of the food, as well as their appearance (for example, the swelling of the packaging indicates a violation of the food storage). Prefer foods that do not require special storage conditions, so that even when the power is off, and this is not uncommon these days, your food will not spoil.
Try not to miss meals. Small, regular meals can help maintain energy levels and mood, while reducing fatigue and irritability.
Another eating disorder is not related to lack of appetite, but to overeating. We focus on the rule required to keep the body functioning at rest, this is about 2000-2100 kcal. That is, if you do physical work, calorie intake should increase significantly. In chronic stress, the body requires an increased need for protein (0.7-1.8 g per kilogram of body weight per day). Choose lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds at every meal. Protein helps to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Avoid highly processed foods such as white bread, pasta, chocolate, cookies, pastries or sugary foods. Hidden sugars are also found in many cereals, breads, canned foods and processed or packaged foods. Replace processed foods with unprocessed foods such as brown bread, rice, oats and rye. Note that too much alcohol can also cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels.
Try to eat as varied as possible. If you eat only one group of foods (for example, only protein or only carbohydrates), then the feeling of rapid satiety is replaced by the one that quickly replaces the feeling of hunger. If your dish contains proteins, fats and carbohydrates, the feeling of fullness will accompany you for a long time.
In times of war, opt for fortified foods, but do not fall into the trap of marketing. For example, vegetable oil can not be fortified with vitamin E, as it is already contained in the oil, but iodized salt, fermented probiotic dairy products, foods with added fiber are excellent for these purposes.