Nutrition Advice For Jiu-Jitsu Athletes During Quarantine

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Americans should avoid all public and crowded spaces, including supermarkets. However, there are no recommendations from health authorities on what food items people should be stocking up on at home. In order to avoid many trips to the supermarket, Jiu-Jitsu Magazine talked to nutritionist Natalia Casagrande de Mira, who offers advice on which foods have a longer shelf. 

In this interview, Casagrande de Mira suggests what to buy and how jiu-jitsu athletes can care for themselves during periods of quarantine due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In addition to purchasing tips, she also recommends shopping at times when stores are less busy.

“During the pandemic, the less exposure to places with a big concentration of people, the better,” said Casagrande de Mira. “So, it is necessary, if possible, to reduce the coming and going to the supermarket and to stock up food for up to two weeks. Preferably, nutritious foods to help keep the athlete, and the people in the same home, healthy during this period.”

The nutritionist’s advice suggests that jiu-jitsu athletes need to consume less foods that could make them put on weight.

 “As they will not be doing physical activities as they normally would during their routine, athletes need to be aware about minimizing the consumption of foods with a lot of calories and few nutrients,” said Casagrande de Mira. “The idea is to find foods that contain low or no added salt. And also, to avoid sugary foods and drinks.” 

The nutrition specialist explained that too much time at home can cause stress on athletes leading them to seek foods with more sugars, such as candies, sweets, cookies and ice cream to relieve the stress.

 

“Eating too much sugary food is never good,” said Casagrande de Mira. “Nowadays, we have a lot of researches proving that a diet with large amounts of sugar can increase the chances of developing several mood disorders, such as depression, which is something that we need to be very careful about at this moment as we will be at home for several days and without much contact with other people.”

In addition to planning ahead, the nutritionist Natalia Casagrade de Mira, points out that when returning home with food there are other precautions to take.

“It’s always good to be careful about what we take home,” said Casagrande de Mira. “For now, we have no information on any type of food that was contaminated by COVID-19, but it is always good to be careful about choosing fresh foods that will take longer to spoil. In addition, we should wash them well before eating. When buying canned foods, choose cans that are not stuffed or crushed. Always check the expiration date and choose ones that will last the longest.”

Foods that the nutritionist suggest includes:

  • Fresh fruits that last longer like apples, oranges, tangerines and lemons. Frozen fruits with no added sugar are great options too and can be used to make smoothies. Pineapple, raspberry, strawberry and mango are easier to find frozen. Dried fruits without added sugar are another option.

  • Frozen vegetables where there is nothing more than the vegetables listed in the ingredients will be a very easy way to eat this group during this quarantine time. Some examples are carrot, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, cauliflower, green beans. Canned vegetables can be used but choose options with little or no salt added. If it is not possible, wash these vegetables and throw away the liquid preserves that come in the can.
  • Sardines, salmon and tuna canned in water are great options to use in sandwich and salad recipes. Frozen fish fillets are also great options to have at home. They are easy to defrost and cook and rich in omega 3. Frozen shrimp are also very easy to prepare.

 

  • Canned beans are a great source of protein and contain a lot of fiber as well. Look for options with little or no salt added.

 

  • Tofu in a sealed package can last for weeks in the refrigerator. Once opened, they last three to five days in the refrigerator.
  • Powdered milk
  • Water to stay hydrated

 

 

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