The survival diet is about self reliance, being able to feed yourself in case of an emergency. If you do not have access to convenience stores, you need to have a backup plan. Foods need to be non-perishable and able to be eaten as-is or easily reheated. Electricity is often a luxury most people do not have in an emergency situation. Ideally survival foods should have high levels of calories, protein, and carbohydrates, so you can eat less and still get the nutrients you need. No matter the emergency, these are the five foods you should keep on hand for survival:
1. Canned or Dried Protein
Protein is essential for survival in an emergency situation. Canned protein like beans, tuna, and meat provided vital calories and amino acids. Protein will keep you full longer. Higher calorie foods are important for physical activity. Beans and nut-butters also offer carbohydrates, which are an important source of energy. Canned foods can be heavy if you are going camping, hiking, or plan to be on the move. Dried protein sources like beans, nuts, and meats are a lighter option.
Until an emergency, everyone tries to avoid carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are great for survival diets because pasta, rice, couscous, and oatmeal are quick to prepare and are complex carbohydrates that will give you energy and keep you full. Chips and other simple carbs are not ideal because they can leave you feeling hungrier. Try to avoid overly processed carbohydrates like cookies or cakes that are high in sugar. Whole grains are higher in nutrients and help with digestion.
3. Canned or Dried Fruits and Veggies
A protein and carb-only survival diet does not provide the body with everything it needs for long-term survival. Fruits are great for a quick energy boost, a treat, and contain important vitamins like Vitamin C which is essential to prevent scurvy and to keep your immune system working. Vegetables contain vitamins like Vitamin D which is very important for bone health, especially if you will not have access to the sunlight. If cans are to heavy, dried fruits and freeze dried vegetables can be used.
Honey is a magical food for survival prep. It has an incredible long shelf life. It is great as a sweetener for food, but also has medicinal properties. It can be used to heal burns and bug bites. It is antibacterial and can be used on cuts, wounds, and infections. Honey will keep the skin moist and protected. Manuka Honey has the highest antibacterial properties. Honey can be used internally for sore throats and coughs.
Salt is sometimes overlooked as an important food for the survival diet. Salt can do more than just help bland foods taste better. Salt can be added to drinking water as a source of electrolytes to prevent dehydration. It can also be used to cure meats and other foods.
Survival foods are crucial in any life-threatening situation from from camping or hiking to nuclear fallout. You will need to eat more calories if you are traveling by foot or doing physical activity, than if you are staying relatively stationary in a bunker or safe house. The right survival diet will keep you healthy and energized. Choosing the right foods and preparing for the situation keeps you be self-reliant and ready for anything.