Dietary recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nutr Rev. 2021 Mar 9;79(4):382-393. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuaa067.


Optimal nutrition can improve well-being and might mitigate the risk and morbidity associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This review summarizes nutritional guidelines to support dietary counseling provided by dietitians and health-related professionals. The majority of documents encouraged the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods. Thirty-one percent of the guidelines highlighted the importance of minerals and vitamins such as zinc and vitamins C, A, and D to maintain a well-functioning immune system. Dietary supplementation has not been linked to COVID-19 prevention. However, supplementation with vitamins C and D, as well as with zinc and selenium, was highlighted as potentially beneficial for individuals with, or at risk of, respiratory viral infections or for those in whom nutrient deficiency is detected. There was no convincing evidence that food or food packaging is associated with the transmission of COVID-19, but good hygiene practices for handling and preparing foods were recommended. No changes to breastfeeding recommendations have been made, even in women diagnosed with COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; breastfeeding; food; hygiene; supplementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pandemics
  • Vitamins*


  • Vitamins