How to Prevent COVID-19


2020 marked the beginning of a pandemic that affected billions of individuals globally. COVID-19 is a disease caused by an infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The SARS-CoV-2 virus belongs to the coronavirus family that primarily cause respiratory problems. 

They also have the potential to affect other organ systems within the body. It is a highly contagious disease and can be passed on very easily. The likelihood of contraction varies based on pre-existing conditions, environmental factors, age, ethnicity, gender, and immune health. COVID-19 affects the immune system and can cause multi-organ failure in some worst cases. 

As of the 15th of November 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that there have been 50 million reported deaths due to COVID-19 globally, with numbers rising, despite vaccine and booster shot rollouts in the majority of countries. 

Signs and symptoms 

Symptoms of COVID-19 are varied and subjective. However, some of the specific symptoms, as outlined by the CDC and the NHS, have been mentioned below. 

Symptoms can manifest from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and range from mild to moderate expression in most individuals. The list includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Fever
  • Cold
  • Puffy eyes
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Body aches
  • Joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing

Can you reverse this disease? 

Yes, it is indeed common for most people to go back to leading fully functional lives after battling COVID-19. However, it is extremely important to familiarise yourself with the lifestyle choices and risk factors associated with the illness. This can help you on your path to recovery. 

Understanding the importance of certain lifestyle factors can potentially guide you in making the changes necessary to go back to leading healthy lives with fewer or no side effects. The immune system plays a key role in this condition. The stronger the immune system, the greater the ability of the body to prevent the disease and/or reduce the severity of symptoms.

Lifestyle factors:

The following lifestyle factors have the greatest impact on increasing your risk of this chronic health condition/disease. 

We will also look at what you can do to reduce your risk from today.


Nutrition and its link to COVID-19 have been researched widely. It indicates that nutrition affects cellular activities of gene expression, cell activation, signalling of molecule function, transport of nutrients, breakdown of components, and other metabolic and regulatory functions that affect the levels of gut microbiota - healthy bacteria needed for proper bodily function. 

Gut microbiota are responsible for building and supporting the immune system and its functions, thereby highlighting its importance in preventing the disease and recovering from it. 

Primarily, vitamin and mineral intake, including zinc, iron, vitamins A, B12, B6, C and E, is extremely vital in strengthening the immune system.1

Researchers have summarised a diet recommendation applicable to the general population with regards to protection against COVID-19.2

  • Daily intake of fruits, including apples, bananas, strawberries, melons, grapefruits, blackcurrants, oranges, papaya, pineapples, and cantaloupes, with a serving size of 2 cups (4 servings)
  • Fresh vegetable intake, including ginger, cinnamon, garlic, lime, broccoli, kale, dried fenugreek, dried coriander, and green bell peppers, in a size of 2.5 cups (i.e. 5 servings), as well as legumes, such as beans and lentils
  • Whole-grain foods and nuts, such as unprocessed corn, wheat, brown lentils, millet, yam, sweet potato, taro, cassava, etc. (180g) Nuts should be consumed in small amounts and these include almonds, coconut, and pistachios
  • Red meat may be consumed; however, only in small amounts, once or twice a week
  • Lean meat from chicken and turkey may be consumed 2-3 times per week (160g)
  • Food from animal sources, such as fish, eggs and milk, can be consumed 3-4 times a week
  • Snacks can be in the form of fresh fruits and raw vegetables rather than foods high in sugar, salt or fat 
  • Vegetables should not be overcooked to maintain the nutrient content
  • Salt intake should be limited to 5g per day
  • Unsaturated fats should be consumed in the form of either avocado, fish, nuts, olive oil, maize oil, olive oil, canola or sunflower oil
  • Saturated fats in butter, fatty meat, cheese, cream, and fried foods should be avoided
  • Hydrate: drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
  • Carbonated (fizzy) drinks, concentrated juices, and drinks high in sugar should be avoided

Other precautionary measures, given the nature of the spread of COVID-19, should be taken:

  • All raw fruits and vegetables should be washed
  • Utensils, food handling devices, and surfaces should be washed, cleaned and disinfected before and after use
  • Raw and cooked foods should be stored separately to prevent the transfer of bacteria from raw to cooked foods
  • Physical activity 

The importance of being physically active has been well researched, indicating its benefits in maintaining cardiovascular, mental, pulmonary and general physical health. 

The benefits of introducing exercise and becoming active as a recovery measure from COVID-19 has also been highlighted.3 It is extremely beneficial when coupled with a healthy diet. Exercise does not necessarily warrant extensive gym sessions if that is something you do not enjoy. Yoga, tai chi, cycling, skiing, horse riding, tennis, squash, or even home exercises, gym-free exercises, and long walks can be useful alternatives. 

Exercise helps to keep our immune system strong by ensuring healthy bodily function. 

A strong immune system helps the body fight infections. Therefore, it is vital to assess your current activity status and make necessary changes to lead more robust, healthier, and stronger lives.

For some exercise-related tools, click below:


Obesity refers to a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 31 or higher due to an excess calorie intake and a low-calorie expenditure. Influenced by a variety of genetic, environmental, physical, and even socioeconomic and geographic factors, it is associated with mortality for several other health conditions - i.e. it can cause fatal complications. 

Being overweight is also a predisposing factor for other health conditions. This reduces the strength of the immune system, thereby reducing the ability of the body to fight COVID-19. Research has indicated that obesity can increase the symptoms of COVID-19 and their severity.4 

It is therefore vital to assess your weight and ensure that you are leading a healthy lifestyle to protect yourself from infections and other diseases. 

For some weight management-related tools, click below:

- Seeking medical advice for weight loss

- BMI calculator 

- Weight loss tips  

- Email support for weight loss

- Calculating the amount of weight you need to lose

- Weight loss plan

- Calorie counting


Smoking has a direct link to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. It also increases the severity of the symptoms of COVID-19. 

Research has provided evidence of the increase in the severity and progression of symptoms of COVID-19, such as coughing, pneumonia, congestion, and other respiratory illnesses. This incites an immune response. Smoking can reduce the quality and incidence of such immune responses, which causes the severity of symptoms and thus the likelihood of being infected by COVID-19.5 Smoking also exacerbates cardiovascular issues and problems with blood flow, which further contribute to COVID-19 complications. It is therefore vital to understand the problems and risks associated with smoking to recover from and/or prevent COVID-19. 

If you are a current smoker, you must aim to reduce or stop smoking as this is not only harmful to you but also to those around you. Second-hand smoke also poses a risk to respiratory health. Smoking contains chemicals that can cause cancer and affect neurotransmitters in the brain. This is gravely dangerous and even applies to e-cigarettes.

For smoking cessation-related tools, click below:

- NHS Smokefree website

- Quit Smoking treatments

- Information on stopping smoking


Alcohol has a considerable impact on physical health, both on its own and with regards to COVID-19, as evidenced by research

Alcohol has far-reaching short-term and long-term effects caused by binge drinking, prolonged consumption over the years, or excess consumption of alcohol. It can damage the liver, thereby weakening the immune system. 

It also brings about inflammation, tissue scarring, and deteriorating blood flow. Furthermore, it can also affect the regular functioning of the cells within the body and cause cell death. It can also cause organ damage. 

It is therefore vital to check on your alcohol consumption and consider limiting it, to lead healthier lives and promote general mental and physical wellbeing. 

For alcohol cessation-related tools, click below:


Sleep is extremely important to live normal, healthy lives. Sleeping for 6-8 hours every night can help you with your daily activities, balance fluid levels in your body, promote proper cell and organ system functioning (including the immune system), improve digestion, attention and focus. It is the fuel that we need to lead a balanced lifestyle.

Research is indicative of the link between COVID-19 and sleep. Sleep can be disrupted during COVID-19 due to isolation, quarantine, as well as other health-related factors.

This can disrupt the circadian rhythms within the body. Circadian refers to the sleeping pattern of the body, influenced by hormones, such as melatonin. Sleep is therefore extremely important to maintain a good immunity against COVID-19. 

For sleep-related tools, click below:


Vaccination is an extremely important part of COVID-19. It has helped countries fight this illness and ease out of the pandemic. COVID-19 has disrupted billions of lives worldwide and will continue to do so if we as citizens of this world do not comply with our duty of getting vaccinated. 

It is not only beneficial to you but also reduces the likelihood of those around you being infected. Additionally, vaccination can reduce the severity of symptoms of COVID-19 if you contract it. 

The government and other health authorities have highlighted the need for vaccination as well as booster shots. Booster shots are now necessary, even if you have taken both doses of the vaccine. 

If you have not been vaccinated, it is extremely crucial that you do so, especially with the potential of new restrictions, which would require proof of vaccination to access certain public facilities and gatherings. 


Physical and mental wellness is important for leading a healthy and balanced life.

Research has shown that individuals with mental health disorders are at risk of testing positive for COVID-19 and/or a higher risk of expressing severe symptoms upon infection. Mental health disorders can affect the brain via inflammation, an immune response that should ideally be simulated during infections, especially COVID-19. This can cause neurological problems and further worsen your health. 

Physical health also contributes to ensuring wellbeing when coupled with a good diet. 

Your wellbeing can be maintained in simple ways to raise your general sense of awareness towards yourself and your surroundings. 

This can help you understand the implications of certain negative lifestyle habits, improve your mental health, and help you on your journey to being a healthier and stronger version of yourself.  

For wellbeing-related tools, click below:


Lifestyle factors can play a major role in helping you recover from COVID-19, and most importantly, in preventing it. Despite vaccination and booster shots, it is quite possible to contract COVID-19. 

This illness can cause respiratory dysfunction, cardiovascular, neurological, digestive and pulmonary problems. It can disrupt your daily life and can be fatal in many cases, depending on a variety of factors. 

Internal factors can range from pre-existing comorbidities, such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, mental illnesses, or other chronic conditions.

Whilst external factors include lifestyle habits, exercise, diet, nutrition, hydration, geographical location and socio-economic factors. 

It is possible to prevent COVID-19 and lead normal lives after contraction if you understand what the necessary changes are.

A good diet, coupled with light activity, can transform a range of domains in your life. It helps maintain weight, thereby aiding those obese or overweight to improve immune function, digestive and metabolic function, cardiovascular function, and promote general physical and mental health. 

Alcohol and smoking cessation are some lifestyle choices that can influence your life in positive ways, by improving your health and immunity. 

These choices reduce your susceptibility to COVID-19 and help you recover from it. Finally, self-care and wellbeing for leading a balanced lifestyle are key. 

  1. Diagnostic testing

At Klarity we use the latest technology when it comes to diagnostic testing. Our home blood tests give you health insights and personalised recommendations. Find out which test you should take.

Ishana Gole

Master of Science - MS, Bioscience Entrepreneurship, UCL (University College London)
Ishana is a Biomedical Science student with a keen interest in neuroscience and past experience in online consulting, marketing and advertising. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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