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February 29, 2024 •

More Plants, Less Covid

Chickpea salad

A plant-based diet appears to offer significant protection from contracting COVID-19. That was the highly motivating conclusion of a new study. For this study, scientists recruited two dietary groups: adults who regularly consume plant-based diets (278) and omnivores (424). The plant-based group included vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians (those who consume meat 3 or fewer times a week). 

Each study subject was asked about their dietary habits, lifestyle habits, previous medical history, and Covid vaccination status. There was no significant difference in age, sex, or vaccination status between the two groups. Although both groups reported similar Covid symptom severity, those adhering to plant-based diets were nearly 40 percent less likely to contract the Covid virus vs. the omnivores.

Past studies have shown similar findings which strengthens the position of plant-based diets as winners for protecting against viral infections like Covid. This makes logical sense as plants contain powerful immune-modulating compounds, namely phytochemicals, and fiber, totally absent in animal foods, as well as much higher levels of key vitamins and minerals required for optimal immune function.

BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health online https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/early/2024/01/02/bmjnph-2023-000629