As we start to look back on the wild year we had in 2020, studies are starting to emerge about how different diets and lifestyles are linked with the severity of COVID-19 illness and symptoms.
Most recently, a study published in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health showed that there may be a correlation between a plant-based diet and less severe illness from COVID-19. The study was done through a self-reported, online questionnaire with 100 questions. Of the 568 COVID-19 cases reported in this study, 138 of them reported moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms, while the other 430 cases reported very mild to mild symptoms.
This study took a look at COVID-19 patients from six different countries from July 17 to September 25, 2020 who had contracted the virus. They found that those in the study who followed plant-based diets had a 73% lower chance of moderate to severe COVID-19 illness. But interestly enough, people in the study who followed low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets were 48% more likely to have moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms.
They pointed out that the participants who were eating a plant-based diet were ingesting a lot of legumes, nuts and vegetables that have lots of fiber and vitamins A, C, and E that support the immune system and overall health. This is probably why they had a lower chance of suffering from moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms.
One important thing to point out in this study is that it doesn’t conclude that a dietary habit can prevent you from getting the virus, only that it might help you develop less severe symptoms if you end up contracting the virus.
So what is a plant-based diet anyway? A plant-based diet means you are mostly eating foods that are derived from plants. It’s not a vegetarian or vegan diet because you are able to eat animal products on this diet, but it means that the majority of your meals consist of foods that come from plants.
If you are following a plant-based diet, then you are probably eating lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, oils, and whole grains. According to Havard Health, plant-based diets can be great for your health. When looking at vegetarian diets, they’ve been shown to lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Researchers also saw health benefits in Mediterranean diets, which is a diet that is mostly plant-based with the addition of yogurt, eggs, fish, cheese, and poultry a few times a week. They saw a reduced risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers (specifically colon, breast, and prostate cancer), and depression in people who follow this diet.
With all of these health benefits that come with a plant-based diet, it’s no wonder that these study participants had a lower chance of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Though this study is very young and doesn’t have enough data to provide a concrete conclusion, incorporating more plant-based foods into your everyday routine couldn’t hurt.
Another way to do this is by popping in any of the pods into your Vitapod and enjoy your delicious, nutrient-dense drink in the morning, afternoon or even in the evening with dinner. All Vitapod pods are vegan, except for Beauty+ which contains collagen, and are packed with plant antioxidants called flavonoids which help your body build up its immune system and fight illnesses.