Phil Holmes BA (Hons), PGCE, Adv Dip.Nut MRSPH

It’s very new ground for all of us. There is no cure and it’s impossible to see who has the virus as we go about our daily routines. So, how can we try to give ourselves the best chance to overcome the symptoms?

I’m not a scientist. I’m not from the advisory panel who have passed expert opinion on to the Government. But in terms of passing on advice as to how to build the best defence possible against unwanted invasion, it’s key to focus on foods that are known to give strong antioxidant content.

Vitamin C is widely regarded as a powerful weapon against infection. Start the day with half a grapefruit. Oranges, Limes and Lemons are easy picks from this group. Use oranges as a snack. Slice lemons into hot water for a lemon tea. Slice & squeeze limes into cold water for a hydration boost. But also look for the Special K’s – kiwis and kale. Use these two ultra-powerful Vitamin C carriers in a smoothie and include broccoli which is another Vitamin C rich source. Add ginger for a real defence unit.

Red peppers also have rich Vitamin C content. Chop these up as part of a stir fry – a fabulous choice given that we can pile in the veg and add extra ginger in order to give ourselves as much protection as naturally possible. Onions are also good for immunity and easily placed in a stir fry.

As it’s Friday, some of you will lean towards a curry. Make one rather than order a takeaway tonight. Turmeric is brilliant due the curcumin content (the part that makes it so yellow). Make sure you include black pepper in any recipe as this is required to spark the curcumin into life. Red chillies have a higher antioxidant content than green. You can use onions, ginger and peppers again.

As part of a Sunday Roast this weekend, choose cauliflower, sprouts, celery, leeks and butternut squash. There are so many great components to a traditional meal and all the family can benefit.

Whilst the media coverage suggests a gloomy few weeks, we can all take responsibility and try our best to help ourselves. Wash hands, use sanitiser, wear a mask, avoid mass gatherings. But also think about how you are going to fuel yourselves. I’m off to the shops to stock pile. I’m ignoring the loo roll. It’s the greengrocers I’m heading to.

Best wishes. pH.