With the impacts of COVID-19 (better known as coronavirus) worsening, it is understandable that we are being swamped with information through all forms of media. And unfortunately, with that comes a lot of misinformation. We thought we would do our bit as health professionals to try cut through the noise and provide you with some evidence-based information.
Apart from wondering where your next pack of toilet paper is going to come from, or when they’re going to restock your favourite pasta, a lot of you have been wondering what you can do to reduce your risk of getting this virus. The latest advice is to practice good hygiene, don’t touch anything you don’t have to, use hand sanitiser, wash your hands with soap frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching your face, and practice social distancing when you can.
But is there a way you can prevent it from the inside out? Unfortunately, there is no one vitamin, mineral, food, or drink that can protect you from COVID-19, but as with other viruses – having a healthy and strong immune system can help reduce your risk. Here are our 5 top tips to help increase your immunity:
- Eat a variety of nourishing foods* to avoid protein and micronutrient deficiencies (i.e. don’t restrict any food or food group unnecessarily)
- Try to get adequate and good quality sleep – aim for 8 hours a night
- Do your best to avoid stress – let go of what you can’t control, and focus on what you can
- Increase your consumption of Vitamin C through eating a variety of fruits and veggies
- If you’re at a high risk of becoming infected, increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods, or take a probiotic supplement
* See the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating if you need guidance, or speak to one of our dietitian’s for further information.
For those of you who are exercising frequently or for long periods, it is also important to pay extra attention to your practices around training. Make sure you have carbohydrate during training, eat a protein rich and carbohydrate containing meal or snack after training, and ensure you are adequately hydrated. To reduce your risk of falling ill, you may also want to consider reducing your training load. In addition to this, you should make sure you allow enough time between training for your body to recover well.
Last but not least, look out for each other! The most effective way to stop the spread of this virus is by being considerate of others. If you require any more information, we strongly suggest booking in to see one of our dietitian's. If you’re unable to come and see us in clinic, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book in for a Zoom/Skype consult.