This Diet Is Best If You Get COVID-19

We know that a whole food, plant-based diet is good for overall health but is it possible that such a diet can protect against diseases like COVID-19? 

A new study in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health has found evidence that it can. It found that a whole food, plant-based diet is linked to significantly less symptoms from COVID-19 than any other diet. 

The study surveyed almost 3,000 health care workers in six countries on their dietary habits and COVID outcomes. These workers had significant (almost daily) exposure to COVID-19 and therefore were considered high-risk for getting the disease.

It’s important to note that the study focused on a diet’s role in the severity of symptoms, not prevention of the disease. We know that many people who get COVID-19 show little to no symptoms (asymptomatic) whereas others feel like they’ve been hit by a freight train with lingering symptoms (long COVID) – or worse (death). So, severity of symptoms is something that varies considerably among people. Why? We can’t know for sure, but your immune system probably has a lot to do with it and your immune system is strengthened or weakened by your lifestyle habits including what you eat. This study presents evidence that your diet can play a role in the severity of symptoms.

The study found that participants who followed a plant-based diet and a pescatarian diet (fish) had a 73% lower chance of having moderate to severe symptoms from COVID-19. The people in this group reported eating lots of nuts, legumes, beans, vegetables, and fruits with the pescatarian sub-group eating fish regularly. In contrast, the group that ate a keto diet of low carbs and high protein from meat reported having a 43% greater chance of having moderate to severe symptoms! 

What you eat matters

Eating a diet high in nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables gives you fiber and vitamins A, C, D, and E and other nutrients which all help boost your immune system. In contrast, meat and especially processed meat is inflammatory and has been shown in many studies to raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.  

You may not be able to prevent getting COVID-19 despite your best efforts but if you do, you want to be able to not only survive the disease but have your body fight it quickly and without severity of symptoms. Science reveals that switching to a plant-based diet and avoiding meat may be one important way to do that.

Read: Top Foods To Eat To Prevent Coronavirus

Danny Kwon JD

Danny is the executive director of Life and Health and identifies with the struggle most people have to eat and live healthy, going back to his days eating fast food and working long hours as an attorney all the way to his present trying to find ways to get his kids to eat their veggies. Those challenges inspire him to produce evidence-based media designed to help people live healthier, happier lives. Danny is also the CEO of Carbon Biotech, the makers of Black Ice charcoal patch and is an attorney licensed in California and Canada.

6 Comments
  1. I clicked on your: Read: Top Foods To Eat To Prevent Coronavirus, and was informed that this was not available to read.
    Can you tell me why I was not able to view this article?

    Sincerely,
    Lucille

    1. Refresh your page and try it now. Sorry for the broken link. I think it should work now. Thanks for letting us know!

  2. I greatly appreciated to READ this article about the research findings and especially to read of a comparison to a “KETO DIET’ which, strangely to me seems to be, becoming so FAD today. O HOW do souls, IDOLIZE FATS in their diets. THANK YOU.

    1. If you are referring to the Top Foods To Eat To Prevent Coronavirus article, the link has been fixed. It should work now.

  3. Please check your pescatarian diet statistic. The study stated that “individuals who reported following plant-based diets and plant-based diets or pescatarian diets that were higher in vegetables, legumes and nuts, and lower in poultry and red and processed meats, had 73% and 59% lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19, respectively.”

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