Changing the conversation about health

Boosting immunity against coronavirus: ‘Now’s the time to turn to antioxidants and polyphenols’

The College of Medicine Chair, Dr Michael Dixon, has been speaking about how we can boost our immune system by eating well while in isolation in the coming weeks.

Advising that food and nutrition can play a crucial role in keeping our health in optimum condition, the GP told video-streaming channel HealthFlix that eating the right foods can help keep the body strong.

GP and College of Medicine Chair Dr Michael Dixon seen being filmed for online video streaming service HealthFlix on how to re-connect at a time of personal disconnection 

He said: ‘There’s lots of things we can do to improve our immunity through extra antioxidants and eating plants with polyphenols… and that advice goes not only for Covid-19 but also in helping to prevent heart disease and cancer a whole range of other things.’

In terms of what we should be putting on our plate, he suggested: ‘Eat dark greens, broccoli, spinach or any coloured root vegetable such as beetroot or carrots and any fruit ending in the word berry; black, blue…’

He added: ‘The alliums, such as leeks and garlic and onions, are very strong in the same sort of chemicals and also even things like dark chocolate and certain teas, particularly green tea. Those who want a glass of red wine, well that’s something that’s very much permitted too.’

Click on the video below to watch the full interview


Dr Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon is a GP and National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription (NHS England), as well as being Chairman of the College of Medicine. Dr Dixon has been appointed as a government advisor on GP commissioning. Dr Dixon is a strong advocate of preventative medicine, healthy living and integrated care. In his Devon practice, patients are able to directly access a range of health check and self-help initiatives; emergency and maternity services; NHS community services including podiatry and physiotherapy and, for certain patients and certain conditions, complementary therapies. The philosophy is to help patients keep well instead of waiting until they are sick before helping them. Its success is demonstrated by the practice’s low referral rates and high scores on all performance indicators. Dr Dixon is also Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster; Honorary Senior Fellow in Public Policy at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham; and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Integrated Health at the Peninsula Medical School. He is also a Senior Associate at the King’s Fund where he is a member of the Steering Group of the Inquiry into quality of GP care.