Here's how to protect your body from 'you know what'.
Unless you're lucky enough to live in Taiwan or New Zealand, the picture isn't particularly rosy. So, to be sensible and minimise the risks, there are steps we can all take now to boost our immunity:
Sleep - Adequate sleep (between 6 to 9 hours each night, according to the NHS) is the “bedrock of your immune system”, according to Dr Jenna Macciochi, an immunologist at Sussex University. During sleep, our bodies produce melatonin, which helps to build new immune cells. “If you’re not sleeping, no other lifestyle measure will make much difference,” she says. However, in reality, keeping to a healthy sleep schedule can be difficult in lockdown. To help, Dr Guy Meadows, founder of The Sleep School, recommends sticking to a rigorous routine, avoiding caffeine after lunch, and only drinking alcohol in moderation. If you're working from home, he recommends a “fake commute” in which you take a 10 to 15 minute walk each morning and evening to “transition your mind from work to home time”. And then steer clear of your smartphone, tablet or PC. Their blue-light is not helpful!
Diet - A colourful, low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet rich in fruit and vegetables will nourish your body with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, helping you to fight infection, say doctors. Broccoli, red peppers, and blueberries are particularly recommended.
“Have the fruits and vegetables whole and ideally with the skin on as this contains essential fibre that feeds the healthy bugs in your digestive tract, crucial to fighting infection,” advises Dr Claire Bailey, GP and author of The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book.