Coronavirus update: Medical expert reveals 'food is medicine' in the fight against COVID

In addition to public safety measures, an expert states “food is medicine” in the fight against COVID-19. Dr Geeta Maker-Clark shares her thoughts on strengthening our immune systems “for survival”.

“The mandates for mask-wearing, hand-washing, and physical distancing are important focus points for the prevention of viral spread,” she says.

“But what we need now are the strongest immune systems we can build – a resilient immune system is a necessity.”

Fortunately, Dr Maker-Clark adds: “There is a vast sea of research on immunity-building we can mobilise.”

Dr Maker-Clark urges: “It’s imperative for all of us to pay attention to our diet and nutritional status as the pandemic continues to rage.”

She advises eating foods that contain high levels of vitamin C, such as:

  • Broccoli
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Papaya
  • Citrus fruits

“These fruits and vegetables provide a daily dose of vitamin C that can help the immune system,” clarifies Dr Maker-Clark.

“Vitamins work in teams,” she adds. “The complex, integrated immune system needs vitamins A, C, D, E, B6 and B12, folate, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium to name a few.”

Together, these nutrients play “synergistic roles at every stage of the immune response”.

Where can I get vitamin A?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed foods high in vitamin A include the following:

  • Leafy, green vegetables
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Squash
  • Sweet potato

Where can I get vitamin D?

“Very few foods naturally have vitamin D,” explained the NIH. Thus, foods fortified with vitamin D are advised.

Moreover, the NHS recommended everyone needs to take a daily vitamin D supplement between the months of October and March.

This is because most of vitamin D is synthesised when the sun’s rays land on the skin.

However, during late autumn and winter, there is less sunshine everyday and more people are indoors and covered up.

Where can I get vitamin E?

The NIH said you can get vitamin E from: almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach and sunflower oil.

What about the rest?

“These nutrients are received into the body through whole foods, primarily fruits and vegetables,” says Dr Maker-Clark.