Plant-Based Diets May Reduce The Odds Of Getting Sick From COVID, According To New Study

As far as COVID-19 is concerned, the WHO recommends being mindful of all the usual suspects such as washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer, avoiding large gatherings and crowded places, and staying at home if you feel like you're getting any of the common symptoms associated with the virus. With that in mind, it's important to note that we're learning new things about the virus every day. Here's one example: A new study has now revealed that following a plant-based diet may lower your risk of getting the most severe forms of COVID-19.

According to the BMJ, healthcare professionals from the U.S., U.K., Italy, Spain, Germany, and France participated in a survey from July to September 2020. They answered several questions about the patients they had been treating, their dietary habits, COVID-19 outcomes, and demographics. Per Eat This, Not That!, the results have been significant considering that they show a positive link between a plant-based diet and a stronger immune system. 

The findings are encouraging

According to a press release from the BMJ, plant-based diets as well as eating patterns that focus on consuming fish may actually be effective in lessening the severity of COVID-19. In fact, the survey found that individuals who followed plant-based diets had 73% lower odds of experiencing moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms. Hyunju Kim, Ph.D., assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins, was one of the authors of the study. Kim told Eat This, Not That!, "Compared to participants who reported following plant-based diets, those who reported following 'low carbohydrate, high protein diets' had greater odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19."

As indicated in the press release, one of the drawbacks of the study was that there were more male respondents compared to female participants. Additionally, Shane McAuliffe, Deputy Chair of the NNEdPro Nutrition, said that the study was "limited" in terms of size, and it's important to exercise caution while interpreting the results. At the same time, McAuliffe acknowledges the importance of good nutrition. He said, "...a high quality diet is important for mounting an adequate immune response, which in turn can influence susceptibility to infection and its severity."