Boosting your immune system may help your body to fight the virus should you be unfortunate enough to become infected.

The following suggestions are meant to be taken only as general good health advice, and if you have any specific concerns you should consult a healthcare professional.

1) Stop smoking:

Stopping smoking is possibly the quickest way to give your immune system a boost. Smokers are amongst those most at risk of developing serious complications if they contract Covid 19. The link to the NHS stop smoking support service is here:

2) Reduce alcohol consumption:

Drinking alcohol, especially to excess, can also damage the immune system and can depress mood and trigger anxiety. The link to the NHS drink awareness service is here:

3) Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables:

Many of us have diets which are too high in processed foods, salt, fats, and meat. At the moment, make an extra effort to get portions of fruit and veg into the family. Try and mix veg of different colours, if possible, but all fresh fruit and veg is good. If you are struggling financially to get wholesome food, see our local support section for details of local food banks.

4) Vitamin D:

There has been some suggestion that vitamin D deficiency may be the cause of some of the impact of Covid 19 on the BAME community. Some foods, such as eggs and cereals have added vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be taken as a supplement.

5) Exercise regularly:

There has never been a better time to get fit, particularly as fitness boosts the immune system and helps to combat stress. Gyms and sports centres remain closed, so we recommend walking, cycling or jogging in the local area to get the heart beating and the lungs pumping. There are also a lot of free online keep fit classes you can do in your own home. Joe Wicks is very popular, so we have copied his link, but there are channels to suit every need.

6) Maintain a healthy weight:

Obesity is strongly linked to poor outcomes for Covid sufferers. If you are able to lose a few pounds it can have lasting benefit. Occasional fasting for those aiming to shed a few extra pounds has been shown to boost immune response as well as helping with weight loss. The following link is to the fast800 site of Dr Michael Mosley, which has been used effectively by many people to help them lose weight - in some cases even reversing type 2 diabetes. Follow the guidance and if you have serious concerns, make sure to consult a health professional.

7) Get adequate sleep:

The importance of a good night's sleep is often overlooked in our busy lives, but studies have shown that people who sleep poorly get ill more often and take longer to recover. If poor sleep is an issue for you, the following link has useful advice:

8) Avoid infection by cooking meats thoroughly.

Even a mild case of food poisoning will stress the immune system. Take particular care over food hygiene at this time, and if in doubt don't take any risks.