We spoke to one of our resident nutritionists, Alex Glover, to talk us through how we can best support a loved one:
While appetite may be low – what sort of foods should we be including in our diet?
When you’re ill with a fever – appetite can suffer. During this time it is important to eat whatever you feel like you can tolerate to ensure your body has adequate calories.
Vitamins A, C and D as well as zinc, copper, manganese, folate and iron should all be included within your diet to support normal immune function.
Nuts and seed are a great calorie dense source of nutrition and contain iron, B vitamins and zinc.
Oily fish is high in selenium which contributes to your body’s antioxidant defence system which is especially important when fighting a virus.
Fruit juices and smoothies, in moderation, are a good source of micronutrients and calories when appetite is low.
In terms of hydration – how much water should we be providing someone with symptoms?
The easiest way to measure your hydration is by simply looking at the colour of your urine.
It should be a pale straw colour, if it’s darker you need more water, any lighter and you’re hydrated!
What are the best things we can be doing to aid sleep and rest?
Sleep is tough when you’re coughing and have a fever – so it’s essential to establish a consistent sleep routine and continue good sleep hygiene.
Make sure you keep your bed as a place for sleep so your brain only associates it with sleep, avoid bright light exposure in the run up to when you go to bed and completely minimise caffeine intake.
Avoid eating one to two hours before you go to bed as this can raise your core body temperature and possible affect sleep onset.
What can we do to ease the symptoms of a virus?
The NHS website currently states there is currently no specific treatment for Coronavirus.
The best thing to do is let your body fight the virus with time, there is not much you can do except for rest, stay hydrated and appropriately fueled.
If you are experiencing symptoms, the NHS advises paracetamol can ease some of the pain associated with certain symptoms.
It’s also best to closely monitor updates from Public Health England and the WHO.
Remember to self isolate and stay home.
Alex Glover is an MNU certified nutritionist and currently completing his MSc in Clinical Nutrition.
He is extremely passionate about evidence-based nutrition, with an emphasis on eating whole foods and regular physical activity. Alex has experience working with clients with a variety of health concerns, from obesity, sports performance, & ageing, he has also worked in store and at our head office, meaning he has experience dealing with a wide range of customer questions and health concerns. His particulate areas of interest are cardiovascular disease, exercise physiology and chronobiology.
Last updated: 10 April 2020