Loyola University Chicago

Wellness Center

Nutrition and COVID-19

Check out the below FAQ's for nutrition during COVID-19 information. Don't see something here that you need? Email aseitz@luc.edu!

There are no specific foods that can prevent the infection from COVID-19. Nutrition plays a large role in immunity and severity of disease. Therefore, having a diet lacking in essential nutrients may lead to a greater risk of all infections. General healthy eating guidelines should be followed at this time, and since some may be food insecure, supplementation may be neccessary now as well. A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, moderate consumption of fish, dairy foods, and poultry, and limited intake of red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates, and sugar.

Read this article by Harvard School of Public Health for more details.

You are not alone. If you are still in the Chicago area there are many resources on and near campus. If you are a Loyola student, please fill out a CARE application to get assistance. 

 

For a larger list of resources check out this fact sheet: Students with Housing/Food Insecurities.

This is a difficult time for many, please seek professional help if you are experiencing disordered eating. The Wellness Center is still providing services virtually. To schedule an appointment,  or leave a message with Dial-A-Nurse at 773-508-8883.

For even more support, check out the NEDA website.

No. Putting covid-19 in a high pH (or alkaline) solution may have effectively killed the virus in a petri dish. However, the same reaction does not occur inside the body. Our body's pH is around 7.3-7.4 and does a really good job of maintaining this, regardless of what we eat (think of when you eat a lemon and you are not effected by the acid). Also, the pH of our stomach is around 1.5-3.5 and therefore eats up and negates the pH of any food that we eat. Continue to consume a balanced diet in order to maintain immune response.

Read this fact check article for more details.

If you are not used to cooking for yourself and need to master some healthy meals QUICKLY, don't worry. Some easy tips and tricks can be learned by following along to youtube videos or there are many minimal cooking, dorm room recipes available online. Start by learning to efficiently cut 1 type of vegetable at a time. Then move to more difficult skills like browning tofu or making pasta from scratch.

All recipe and video links can be found on the nutrition resource page.

The CDC recommends buying only what is needed and lessening the number of trips to the grocery store. This may be difficult for those that typically shop every couple of days. The solution? Meal planning! Meal planning is the simple act of deciding what foods to cook each week, finding recipes, and shopping for those ingredients. It also helps save time and money!

Check out this easy how-to guide.

Yes, frozen food is often flash frozen as soon as it is harvested. This means that all the nutrient content is maintained, and in some cases may contain even more nutrients than fresh produce that travels long distances and sits on the shelf. Canned fruits and veggies are a good solution too, just try to choose ones that are canned in water (instead of syrup) and are low sodium. Try to drain and rinse canned food before consuming in order to get rid of excess sodium.

Here's a list of more healthy pantry staples.

It is completely normal and understandable for eating behaviors to change during quarantine. When our body is stressed, our cravings for sugary foods increase. When we eat these foods it provides us with a short-term burst of dopamine, or pleasure/reward. If we are also experiencing a sort of food restriction- whether it's being unable to access food or perceiving foods as "bad"- it can lead to emotional eating as well. Try to find some healthy non-food coping behaviors, such as a meditating, calling a friend, or taking a walk.

Read this article for more info.

 

Basic mindful eating flowchart:

As of now, there is no evidence that food or food packaging has been linked to getting sick from COVID-19. The CDC is recommending that after leaving the store, use hand sanitizer and when at home, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Follow food safety guidelines for proper cleaning of food. These guidelines include: clean (wash hands, utensils, and surfaces often), seperate (don't cross contaminate), cook (to the right temperature), and chill (refrigerate and freeze food properly).

Read the full food safety guidelines here.

Information on how to properly clean and disenfect frequently touched objects/surfaces.