We've collected all of our COVID-19 resources and nutritional information in one place; from eating to support your immune system and the importance of vitamin D, to mental health and getting a good night's sleep

Five diet and lifestyle tips for coping with stress

A less than ideal diet and poor sleep can have a hugely negative impact on the brain - especially in these unprecedented times.

Read out five tips for supporting your mood and reducing stress

What should you eat to support your immune system?

Nutrition can be a good place to start if you’re looking to give your immune system some support.

Choose seasonal varieties of fruit and veg; turnip, swede and carrots as well as sweet peppers, spinach and kale in the winter, and aubergines, courgettes, strawberries, radish and tomato in the summer. A benefit to eating this way is that it feeds helpful bacteria in the gut, which play a fundamental part in regulating a healthy immune response, ensuring the body can recognise invaders and distinguish them from healthy body tissue.

Read more tips for using nutrition to support your immune system

Can vitamin C treat coronavirus?

Currently, there is no vaccine or specific antiviral drug for this deadly disease, but research based on the outcome of previous clinical studies indicates that early and high intravenous doses of vitamin C could provide treatment.

A study led by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), found that patients who received intravenous vitamin C spent significantly fewer days in intensive care and in the hospital overall. On average, the vitamin C group spent three fewer days in the ICU (seven days compared to 10) at day 28 and a week less in the hospital overall (15 days versus 22) by day 60 than the placebo group.

Separate research has also found that vitamin C may help to reduce the length of time spent in intensive care.

Read more about vitamin C and coronavirus here

Vitamin D & COVID-19

Separate studies have revealed a correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 mortality rates.

It has also raised the question as to whether vitamin D deficiency might be part of the much larger puzzle as to why the UK’s black and Asian communities have been hard hit by the virus.

Read more about why we need vitamin D, where to find it, and when to supplement 

Obesity and COVID-19

According to an editorial published in the BMJ, increasing evidence indicates that obesity is an independent risk factor for severe illness and death from COVID-19.

In the UK, individuals who were overweight or obese made up 78% of the confirmed COVID-19 infections and 62% of the COVID-19 deaths in hospitals. Linking UK COVID-19 data to that of a population cohort (428,225 participants, 340 confirmed COVID-19 hospital cases) and to electronic health records (17,425,445 participants, 5,683 COVID-19 deaths) have shown a dose-response relationship between excess weight and severity of COVID-19. That is, the more severe the obesity, the more likely the individual is to be hospitalised for COVID-19 and/or die from it.

The authors are now calling on food industries around the world to immediately stop promoting, and governments to force reformulation of, unhealthy foods and drinks.

Read more about the relationship between obesity and COVID-19 here

How to get a good night's sleep

Research suggests that melatonin may be connected to the severity of COVID-19, in regards to the development of pneumonia.

This could suggest that if a patient, regardless of age, has adequate melatonin, the infectiousness of COVID-19 will be greatly reduced, and the chances of developing acute long injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome significantly diminished. 

For most people, peak melatonin production is between the hours of 2am-3am, therefore it’s vital to get a good night’s sleep.

Find our tips for a quality night's sleep here

How does nutrition affect your mental health?

According to NHS digital figures, one in six people in the UK experiences common mental health problems during an average week. 

Whatever the symptoms, it’s important to tackle them or seek help. Looking to nutrition and lifestyle is a great place to start, but it’s important to discuss the risks and benefits with a registered nutritional therapist or your GP. Never stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your GP. 

Nevertheless, here are some smart tips to get you started 

Five tips for adjusting to the 'new normal'

What is the ‘new normal’? No one is quite sure of that. The only sure thing is that life is now different for all of us; our routines are different, our abilities to interact, our workplaces, the way we shop and the way we socialise.

We are adapting to how life is at the moment, but none of us know how life will be in a few months’ time and that can be unsettling for many of us. What do we do to protect ourselves inside and out, to create resilience not only for our immune system, but for our mental health?

Read more