Particular kinds of fruit, vitamin supplements – social media is full of advice on what we should eat to fight coronavirus. But is there any truth in it?
There’s no particular food or vitamin that will protect you from getting infected. But your immune system needs a good supply of vitamins, minerals and secondary phytochemicals. If your immune system is strong, you will probably only suffer mild symptoms, particularly if you are young. It doesn’t really matter what kind of fruit and veg you eat. The main thing is to follow the Five A Day rule and eat a wide variety. It’s also important to buy locally grown produce that is in season.
Many supermarket shelves are empty because people are stocking up. What products should they be buying?
If you fall ill or have to go into quarantine, you won’t be able to leave the house for several days, so it makes sense to ensure you have some basics in stock. The government has published a brochure (Notvorrat) giving advice on this. But please don’t start panic buying, as this just produces unnecessary food waste. Frozen fruit and vegetables are excellent long-lasting foods, but pickled or fermented vegetables like sauerkraut are also a good choice. Nuts, unsweetened dried fruit and dairy products such as cheese also have a long shelf life, plus of course canned foods like beans and pulses. Eggs and dried meat provide protein, while rice, pulses and potatoes are good sources of carbohydrates.