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This diet has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19!


The World Health Organisation (WHO) warns about the high risk of COVID-19 due to the JN.1 variant, a type of BA.2.86 Omicron variant. A study from Universidade de Sao Paulo reveals that a plant-based diet reduces Covid risk by 39%. The study, published in the British Medical Journal Nutrition Prevention & Health, highlights that a diet high in vegetables, legumes, and nuts, and low in dairy and meat products helps ward off the Covid infection.


COVID-19 risk is still high. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against the disease, as 10,000 deaths have been reported in December due to the recent wave of infection fueled by JN.1 variant, a type of BA.2.86 Omicron variant. In view of the rising threat of COVID, researchers have been working to understand the emerging variants and how the human body can keep itself safe from the viruses. One such study is about the role of a plant-based diet on COVID. A study by researchers from the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil has found that people following a largely plant-based or vegetarian diet are 39 per cent less likely to get infected with COVID.
The study published in the “British Medical Journal Nutrition Prevention & Health” has found that those who consumed meat more than three times a week reported a “significantly higher” incidence of COVID-19 than those dependent on plant-based or vegetarian diets.

How may a diet high in plants lower the incidence of COVID-19?

The findings suggest that a diet high in vegetables, legumes and nuts, and low in dairy and meat products may thus help ward off the infection, they said. “Plant-based dietary patterns are rich in antioxidants, phytosterols and polyphenols, which positively affect several cell types implicated in the immune function and exhibit direct antiviral properties,” the researchers wrote.

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More than 700 adults — 424 omnivores and 278 people whose diets are predominantly plant-based, comprising vegetables, legumes and nuts, and less or no dairy and meat were included in the study. The participants were surveyed through questionnaires for details around their usual eating patterns and diets, along with lifestyle and medical history, and vaccination against Covid.
In all, 47 per cent or 330 people reported having had a Covid diagnosis or an incidence. Of these, 32 per cent (224) had mild and 15 per cent (106) moderate to severe symptoms, the researchers said.

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They also found that the omnivores reported a significantly higher incidence of Covid than those consuming plant-based diets — 52 per cent vs 40 per cent. The omnivores were also found to be more likely to have experienced moderate to severe infection — 18 per cent vs 11 per cent. The researchersures in t further said the omnivores also reported more medical conditions and lower rates of physical activity, along with showing a higher prevalence of overweight and obese conditions — all of which, they said, were factors associated with a higher risk of getting infected with Covid and having severe symptoms.

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