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Dispelling myths around Immune boosting foods

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Coronavirus has caused people to seek miracle cures to boost our immune system. People are wanting to protect themselves and are searching for answers especially on how to prevent Covid-19 through diet and fluids. There is lots of misleading information on nutrition at present through media channels; some being drinking celery juice, turmeric shots, mushroom formula, cider vinegar and other remedies claiming to boost immunity. Supermarket shelves are also wiped out on Vitamin C and other vitamin and mineral supplements too.

However, there is no such concept as immune boosting foods and no single miracle foods and drinks that can cure and prevent Covid-19. The immune system does an incredible job of defending you against disease – causing microorganisms. It has many processes which are out of our control. There are though some vitamins and minerals that do play a role in supporting our immune function such as Vitamin A & C.

Nutrition does play a role in optimising our health but perhaps we should look at whether our diet is providing us with all the nutrients we require instead of cutting out or adding foods, food groups and drinks and taking remedies.

Tips to optimise our health:
– Include a balanced varied diet of wholegrain carbohydrates and fibre, lean meats, eggs, fish and plant-based sources e.g. pulses, plenty of fruit and vegetables, small amounts of unsaturated fats e.g. olive oil and some dairy or fortified plant-based versions
– Plenty of fluids to ensure good hydration
– Consider Vitamin D supplements- 10 micrograms/day during autumn and winter months especially during this self-isolation phase as we are not getting out as much
– Exercise & fresh air
– Ensure good sleep and rest
– Seek advice and follow guidelines from governments, the NHS and public health authorities and avoid media channels and newspaper articles for misleading information.

Useful links:

Government coronavirus information

The Association of UK Dietitians

NHS UK Eat Well page

Gopika Chandratheva
Nutritionist

Fruit and Vegetables