With widespread transmission of the coronavirus now “highly likely” it’s important to take diet and lifestyle measures to protect yourself. My top 10 evidence-based tips:
1) Hygiene: Wash hands frequently, use hand sanitiser, limit touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
2) Fermented foods: Yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir contain friendly bacteria which may help boost our production of antibodies. One study found that a daily cup of yoghurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25%.
3) Anti-viral foods: Raw garlic: contains allicin, an anti-viral agent. Try hummus or bruschetta. Shitake mushrooms: contain beta-glucans, which have been shown to protect against viruses. Delicious in risotto and pasta dishes.
Ginger: shown to protect against respiratory tract infections. Add to curries, stir fry dishes or smoothies or try a ginger shot. Coconut oil: contains antiviral compounds. Use in stir-fries and curries.
4) Fruit and veg: Rich in Vitamin C which helps to reduce the severity and length of viruses. Try soups, smoothies and salads to boost intake.
5) Omega 3: A fatty acid which may inhibit virus replication. Sources include; oily fish, walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds & flaxseeds.
6) Black elderberry: Supplements such as Sambucol Immuno Forte have been found to reduce upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections.
7) Vitamin D: Shown to significantly reduce your risk of viral infection. Get tested before you supplement.
8) Keep warm: Viruses live longer and can replicate faster in colder temperatures.
9) Sleep: Research has found that sleeping less than 7 hours can make you more likely to develop viral infections.
10) Stay active: Research has shown that regular physical activity enhances immune function by increasing white blood cell count.