Plant-based diet can Protect against COVID-19 ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Key Highlights

  • SARS-CoV-2, has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.
  • Evidence showed that plant-based diet with less processed food, give you more micronutrients than unhealthy diet.
  • A new study found that quality plant-based diet can protect against COVID-19.

Covid-19 is a new infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. [1] โ˜ ๏ธ

Currently (till September 2021), there is no treatment option available for Covid-19. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

However, scientists around the world are working hard to find and develop a treatment for Covid-19. [1]

But a new study finds an important fact about this disease.

Researchers from the UK finds that a quality plant-based diet could reduce the risk of COVID-19. ๐Ÿฅ—

Interesting right? ๐Ÿ˜„

Letโ€™s dig deep into it. ๐Ÿง

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The Study Process

This research was published in the journal GUT. [2]

Researchers from King’s College London (United Kingdom) and Harvard Medical School analyzed almost 600,000 ZOE COVID Study app contributors for this study. [3]

They completed a survey about their diet during February 2020 (pre-pandemic). 

Researchers also analyzed the diet quality using a healthful Plant-Based Diet Score, which emphasizes healthy plant foods such as fruits or vegetables. ๐Ÿง

According to the researchers, this is the first longitudinal study that related diet and COVID-19.

Medical Research,
600,000 ZOE COVID Study app users have participated in this study.

The Result of this Study

After months of follow-up, 19% of the contributors were diagnosed with coronavirus.

Researchers found that a quality plant-based diet can reduce the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 by 10% and the risk of infection by up to 40%.  ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

They also found that diets rich in ultra-processed foods and few plant foods can significantly increase the risk of COVID-19.

This study also considered other influencing factors, such as body mass index (BMI), age, smoking, ethnicity, underlying health conditions, and the use of the mask as a method of protection against COVID-19.

The authors found that participants who lived in low-income neighborhoods and had a poorer diet quality had up to a 24% higher risk of coronavirus.  ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Researchers Note

“For the first time weโ€™ve been able to show that a healthier diet can cut the chances of developing COVID-19, especially for people living in the more deprived areas. Access to healthier food is important to everyone in society, but our findings tell us that helping those living in more deprived areas to eat more healthily could have the biggest public health benefits.” told Dr Sarah Berry, study co-lead and Reader in nutritional sciences at the School of Life Course Sciences

Professor Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at the School of Life Course Sciences, said: โ€œThese findings chime with recent results from our landmark PREDICT study, showing that people who eat higher quality diets (with low levels of ultra-processed foods) have a healthier collection of microbes in their guts, which is linked to better health. You donโ€™t have to go vegan, but getting more diverse plants on your plate is a great way to boost the health of your gut microbiome, improve your immunity and overall health, and potentially reduce your risk from COVID-19.โ€

Covid 19 Affected, Plant-based diet can Protect against COVID-19
Till now prevention is the only solution for Covid-19.

How can a Plant-based diet can Protect against COVID-19?

According to Sara Seidelmann, MD, PhD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, “Plants are abundant in micronutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and minerals โ€” iron, potassium, magnesium,”. “These nutrients can support our immune system since they play key roles in the production of antibodies, proliferation of lymphocytes [white blood cells], and reduction of oxidative stress.” [4]

All of which can help increase your immune system’s chances of fighting off a virus, such as COVID-19. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

My Opinion

Now, what does this finding mean to you? ๐Ÿค”

Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. [5]

But it doesn’t mean you have to be vegan. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Just make sure, majority of calories should come from plant-based foods.

Include fruits and vegetables in every meal.

This type of diet should be rich in vegetables, oily fish, whole grains, as well as few processed foods and refined carbohydrates.

I recommend trying to avoid highly processed foods. 

Remember, a balanced diet is a key to good health and a robust immune system. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Women Eating Healthy Salad
Balanced diet with regular physical activity is the key to good health.

The Final Word

Covid-19 is here to stay. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

This is a fact.

So, with the quality of diet, lifestyle change is necessary to prevent any future pandemic.

Try to be active, sleep regularly, drink enough water and eat a balanced diet. ๐Ÿฅ—

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References

This article is written by a certified nutritionist and verified by scientific evidence. โ˜‘๏ธ

We rely on reputed and specialized media sites, academic research institutions, peer-reviewed studies, government agencies, and medical associations to source information. ๐Ÿ“ฐ

We avoid using tertiary references. Know more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. ๐Ÿง

Following are the references of this article. 

  1. World Health Organization (WHO): Coronavirus. Accessed 10 September 2021.
  2. GUT (BMJ): Diet quality and risk and severity of COVID-19: a prospective cohort study. Accessed 10 September 2021.
  3. Kings College London (KCL): Eating a plant rich diet reduces risk of developing COVID-19. Accessed 10 September 2021.
  4. SHAPE: Can Eating a Plant-Based Diet Lower Your Risk of Developing Severe COVID-19? Accessed 10 September 2021.
  5. The Permanente Journal: Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. Accessed 10 September 2021.

A. R. Choudhury is a IGNOU certified nutritionist in India with a Bachelorโ€™s and Masterโ€™s degree in Biochemistry. He also has considerable research experience and additional certificates in nutrition. ๐Ÿ‘ย  Abdur started NutritionCrown in 2020 to organize nutrition information under one umbrella. โ˜‚๏ธย  He is passionate about empowering people to make well-informed food choices to support their health. Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals. ๐Ÿ’ช ๐Ÿฅ—