Plant-Based and Meat-Free Diets Proven to Reduce odds of Severe COVID Infection

What foods help prevent a severe course of COVID?

This article found on dw.com, is mostly focused on the findings of this study.

“In six countries, plant-based diets or pescatarian diets were associated with lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19. These dietary patterns may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19. “

Kim H, Rebholz CM, Hegde S, et al
Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets and COVID-19 severity: a population-based case–control study in six countries
BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2021;bmjnph-2021-000272. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000272

This is a highly remarkable and significant finding. The study was conducted on health workers, 95% of them doctors themselves. The article states that the study does have limitations, such as factors like sleep, stress, other lifestyle choices that were not taken into account, but cannot totally be discounted.

It goes on to say that it is not necessarily removing the meat that results in stronger immunity, rather the increased intake of plant-based foods, many of which are more rich in vitamins and antioxidants and provide a much wider range of balanced nutrition in general. The article makes some general recommendations:

  • Eat a varied diet full of legumes, vegetables and grains, which will provide you with most of the minerals you need, as well as healthy proteins.
  • Eat at least 400 grams of fruit everyday. This ensures you receive your daily dose of Vitamins and Antioxidants.
  • Do not exceed 12 teaspoons of sugar in a day as it will inhibit your immune function.
  • Take an adequate amount of Omega 3 fatty acids. In a clinical study on critically ill COVID patients, survivability was increased by 19% with supplementation.
  • Support your Gut Microbiome with prebiotic and probiotic food. The health of your beneficial bacteria are key in all immune functions. Studies conducted on COVID patients show that when gut bacteria becomes dysfunctional, severe symptoms quickly follow.

Editor’s Note:

Reading the article and the studies cited blew me away! It is great to know that there is now research that backs the effectivity of a healthy diet in COVID infection.

There are few things I would like to add. As in many of the articles of this type that we have featured, they do not mention that choosing organic food is also a big factor in increasing the effectivity of your immune system. Organic food is better for your gut microbiome and contains up to 60% more antioxidants. Conventional produce also contains chemical residues which put a strain on your immune system.

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