grapefruit for detox

The immune system is your body’s natural defence mechanism and you want this to be as strong as possible to prevent any infection. It is like an army, fighting battle against many different types of foreign invaders.


There are two areas we should focus on during this time:

Following the W.H.O. basic protective measures

( which focus on:

  1. washing hands regularly and efficiently to the point you might consider it obsessive (scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently);
  2. using a hand sanitiser every time, you have come into contact with people or objects (ATM machines, trolley handles, door handles, shaking hands);
  3. cleaning your mobile phones/tablets. According to Rudra Channappanavar, an immunologist who has studied coronaviruses at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, glass in particular, like the kind on screen of smartphones can harbour live coronaviruses for up to 96 hours, or four days at room temperature. Apple recommends cleaning phone surfaces with a microfiber cloth slightly damp with soapy water. You can also use face wipes or baby wipes;
  4. avoiding touching your face as ears, eyes, nose and mouth are all potential points of entry for a virus;
  5. avoiding close contact with anyone who is unwell and displaying flu-like symptoms;
  6. If you have a cough or cold, the most hygienic way of dealing with it is to isolate yourself and be careful to not infect other people.
  7. always covering your nose and mouth when coughing and/or sneezing or coughing and sneezing into a tissue that you discard immediately so germs don’t spread through the air or on your hands.
  8. avoiding large crowds and confined places whenever possible;

Reinforcing our Immunity through nutrition and lifestyle habits

Eating a rainbow

in the form of vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruit contain diverse phytonutrients depending on their colour and the way & where they are grown. Rotating them can help to increase the uptake of phytonutrients which have many benefits for general health and also act as prebiotics which support the microbiome. Research has shown a diet lacking in diversity can contribute to deficiencies in micronutrients as well as general poor health including low immune function. Soups, green smoothies, vegetable juices, adding vegetable in tomato sauces, healthier coleslaw, stocks and broths, vegetables & fresh herb omelettes, stews with legumes and vegetables, crudités with dips, rainbow salads are all ways to make sure you increase these important nutrients. Aim for 10 varieties of vegetables or salad a day, and 2 to 3 portions of lower sugar fruit. Also do not forget fresh herbs and spices. They count too! Certain nutrients such as A, C, D, E and zinc all contribute to the normal function of the immune system. They are important foundation nutrients for the immune system and work synergistically together. For instance, zinc is needed for vitamin A to be metabolised properly while vitamin C helps to “recycle” vitamin E within the body. Examples of food sources below.

Limiting or avoiding processed foods

containing additives, preservatives, flavourings which can all tax our immune system. It is high time we started using a multi-cooker which can do multiple meals with one machine and is great for people with limited time:

Limiting sugar

is important as it may weaken the immune system for a few hours after ingestion and may deplete the body of essential nutrients.

Drinking fluids

such as water & herbal teas is also important. Water helps flush toxins which can build up in the body.

Adding onions, garlic, turmeric and ginger

to main meals (stews, smoothies, vegetable juices, soups) may also help. Ginger is believed to break down the accumulation of toxins in our organs due to its warming effects. Gingerols and zingerone are thought to enhance the body’s ability to fight viruses. Both ginger ad turmeric are anti-inflammatory while onions and garlic have sulphur compounds that are also anti-inflammatory.

Managing stress and sleep

are two very important lifestyle habits. When the body is under stress, it activates its ‘fight or flight’ response, which suppresses many functions, including that of the immune system. Equally, according to leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker, a lack of sleep is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and immune system failure. In his book Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams he explains how ´´after just one night of only four or five hours’ sleep, natural killer cells drop by 70%´´.

Alcohol and smoking

have been shown to have a detrimental effect on immunity particularly on the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract. Make sure to stick to the recommended daily alcohol guidelines for men and women. Smoking may increase your daily vitamin C requirements.

Dark coloured berries

are good for the immune system as they contain high levels of antioxidants, including anthocyanidins. Elderberries are particularly beneficial, having useful antiviral and antibacterial effects against the influenza viruses and common respiratory pathogens. Black Elderberry has been shown to help limit the length and severity of flu symptoms. Good brands are Pukka and Biocare. Please contact these companies for more information and talk to their technical team.

 Looking after our Gut.

70% of our immune system resides in our gut. Start with eating vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and fermented food (start with very little). A high diversity in the gut microflora is associated with improved health outcomes. A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis – headed by Dr J. Gordon, shows that beneficial gut microbes thrive when fed specific fibre types.


Vitamin C

Found in kiwi fruit, bell peppers, oranges, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, grapefruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mango, tomatoes, spinach, peas, melons, parsley, berries, blackcurrants, apples, papaya, bean sprouts, etc. Vitamin C aids the action of neutrophils during infections. It also supports production of lymphocytes, important in antibody production and immune system coordination. It also assists the production of interferons which help to activate the immune system against viruses. In short, Vitamin C is also a natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial. If you want to supplement, it is a good idea to use a low-acid form to reduce stomach irritation. Powders are usually good as you can control the dose. With any supplements, if you are under medical supervision, and/or on medications large doses of vitamin C may interfere with them. Always consult a doctor before use. Good brands are Biocare, Nutri Advanced, Cytoplan.

Vitamin D

D3 is found in Herrings, mackerel, salmon, oysters, cottage cheese, eggs, fortified cereals. Another plant based form of vitamin D, known as ergocalciferol or D2, can also be obtained from the diet (rich food sources are mushrooms, fortified soya milk and almond milk) or via supplementation.

Vitamin D is beneficial for its ability to enhance immunity and protect against infection. Low vitamin D has been associated with both acute and chronic illness. Adequate vitamin D is essential for a proper functioning immune system, and a large part of the population are thought to have low levels. It is very easy and inexpensive to test yourself so please be in touch with your doctor or a lab (Genova Diagnotics UK) to do a test. It is important to test vitamin D levels before supplementing and obtain professional guidance on dosage, how long for and retesting.


Found in Seafood, shrimps, shellfish (esp. oysters), haddock, canned fish, ginger, lean red meat (esp. lamb), nuts (esp. pecans, brazils, almonds, peanuts), peas, turnips, egg yolk, whole wheat, rye, oats, seeds (esp. pumpkin), rice, lentils, pulses, molasses. It is important for many systems in the body. Zinc deficiency depresses immune function by impairing the activity of macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells. Zinc supports the integrity of the respiratory tract and contributes to a normal function of the immune system.

Vitamin A

Found in beef liver, fish liver oil, dairy products, eggs. Beta-carotene (beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A) is found in plant-based food such as watercress, cabbage, squash, sweet potatoes, melon, pumpkin & pumpkin seeds, mangoes, tomatoes, broccoli, apricot, papayas, tangerines, asparagus, cashew nuts and beans. Vitamin A is required for innate and adaptive immunity. Vitamin A also contributes to the maintenance of normal mucous membranes (mouth, nose, respiratory tract, digestive system and genitourinary tract), an integral part of the innate immune system which is the first line of immune defence. They are permeable, allowing nutrients into the body, while protecting it from infectious agents, allergens and other harmful substances.

If pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any kind of medication or have a medical condition, consult a healthcare practitioner before using any supplements. None of the advice featured here is intended to supersede the medical advice of your doctor, who should be contacted if you think you are displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.