coronavirus in illinois

Expert: Shoppers Should Stock Up on Fruits, Veggies Amid Coronavirus Concerns

While most shoppers go for items like soup and ramen, experts say that fruits and veggies can still be safely stored for several weeks

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Grocery stores have been cleaned out of boxed meals and canned goods in recent days as people stock up because of coronavirus concerns, but one area dietician says that you should try to keep eating fresh foods during the crisis as well.

While items such as ramen and soup have a long shelf life, making them ideal to set aside in case of emergency, Dr. Laura Yudys says that residents should try to keep eating fresh food in an effort to keep their overall health up.

“Think of your root vegetables, especially things like carrots, potatoes and even turnips and parsnips,” she said. “You also want hardier produce vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, and I recommend to load up on oranges and apples.”

If your local grocery store is out of frozen vegetables, Yudys says that you can still store your extra produce.

“You can take that fresh produce, and at home you can flash cook it and then freeze it yourself,” she says. “Berries are a great item that you can freeze at home. You can wash them and clean them and then put them in your freezer.”

Yudys also says that there are perishable items that have a longer shelf life than shoppers expect, including cottage cheese, string cheese and yogurt.

“Those will last in your refrigerator for two, three, and sometimes even four weeks, depending on what the item is,” she says. “Those are great go-to items that can have a lot of really good nutritional benefits that will last you longer than if you’re thinking of just what to put in your pantry.”  

Finally, Yudys says that one other thing to try to avoid during social distancing is stress eating.

“When you feel that urge, really stop and think ‘you know what? What is driving this need right now?” she suggests. “If it’s time for me to eat, I’m going to make sure I fill up on a nourishing meal. If I’m not truly hungry, is there somewhere else I can channel that stress.”

Exercise is also critical for those staying home. Online exercise classes have become popular, and taking walks around neighborhoods could also be good exercise.

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