Almost 10 million British adults have started researching their immune system online since the coronavirus pandemic began. A poll of 2,000 adults found 15 per cent have taken it upon themselves to become more knowledgeable in recent weeks.
And three in 10 adults have been more mindful of their body’s defence system than ever before.
Parents are also taking more proactive steps to support their children’s defences, as six in 10 are concerned about the resilience of their children’s immune system, particularly as schools have started to re-open.
As a consequence, adults and children are consuming more vegetables, exercising more often and taking vitamin supplements, in the hope they are doing the right thing to support their bodies.
One in 10 of the parents polled by Boots Vitamins are also sending their children to bed earlier, and 17 per cent are offering them more fruit.
Boots nutritionist, Vicky Pennington, said: “Micronutrients such as Vitamins A, C and D as well as Zinc and Selenium (to name just a few) are all really important in supporting the functioning of the immune system.
“While no single food can supply the perfect nutrient mix, eating a healthy, varied and balanced diet is the best place to start and many people are mindful to support their diets too by supplementing with key nutrients.”
The study also found that as people desperately try to educate themselves about their immune system, one quarter have turned to ‘Doctor Google’ for advice, while 14 per cent have consulted their GP.
And three in 10 have referred to the NHS website for the information they need, according to the OnePoll figures.
But although some may be unsure about their immune system they are taking steps to support their own body’s defences, with one in four claiming their diet and meal planning has changed for the better since lockdown.
A further 28 per cent are also taking a vitamin or other supplement to help boost their health.
Vicky Pennington, for Boots Vitamins, added:
“There is often confusion around what the immune system is and how it works – it is essentially a network of cells, proteins and organs that defend the body against infection.
“Maintaining a healthy intake of fruit and veg, drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, as well as a regular exercise and sleep routine are all ways in which we can take care of our immune systems.”
FOODS TO SUPPORT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
• Dark leafy greens
• Kiwi fruit
• Green peas