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Healthy eating and COVID-19

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Healthy eating and COVID-19

Eating well, being active, getting enough sleep and managing stress can all help to keep your immune system strong.  Many different vitamins and minerals are needed for proper immune function.  Eating a variety of healthy foods each day and drinking plenty of water can help you get the nutrients you need to maintain overall good health. Learn more about healthy eating:

Post COVID-19 or long COVID

Some people who had COVID-19 continue to experience symptoms for many months or years. Symptoms like fatigue, taste or smell changes, can affect how you eat. If you are finding it hard to eat, call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered dietitian. Learn about how healthy eating can support your recovery:

Chronic health conditions

People with chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.  If you have a chronic condition, eating healthy foods and being active can help you keep well and avoid complications. Follow any dietary recommendations from your health care provider or registered dietitian. Reach out to your health care provider if you find it hard to manage your condition or are feeling unwell.

Learn more about managing chronic health conditions:

Food safety

There's no evidence that COVID-19 spreads by eating foods contaminated with the virus. It’s still important to handle food safely to prevent food-borne illness (food-poisoning). When preparing food for yourself or others, use good hygiene practices. Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food, after handling raw food and before eating. Wash or scrub fresh fruits and vegetables under cold, running, tap water.

For answers to common questions about cleaning, disinfecting, and general food safety, visit:

Food access

Loss of income, changes to support services and being unwell with long COVID may make it hard for some people to access the food they need. Below is a list of programs and services that may help:

  • For non-health related information, including financial, childcare and education supports, visit: BC's response to COVID-19 . Or call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) between 7:30am and 8pm Pacific time, seven days a week
  • Dial 2-1-1 or visit for information about community services
  • Contact your local social service organization or public health unit to find out about programs and services in your area. Check if your community has local food security groups if you are looking for food programs. Look for community gardens, farmers markets and free or low cost meals. These may be part of your health authority, local government, social service organizations or they may be independent
  • Use the Government of Canada Benefits Finder to learn about benefits that you might be eligible for
  • Reach out to family, friends, neighbours and local services for help with grocery shopping and food delivery. Delivery is an option at some stores and is useful for people who are not able to leave their homes for reasons such as illness or mobility challenges

Last updated: September 2023