Covid-19 and a Plant-Based Diet

The more time we spend researching the link between severe Covid-19 cases and a plant-based diet, the clearer it becomes that symptoms, hospitalisation or death are less likely when you eat a whole food, plant-based diet.

Why is this?

Well, we know first and foremost that a diet rich in these food groups and low in oil, processed, saturated and refined foods is a sure way to optimise health, decrease one’s chances of autoimmune disease, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and obesity. If you have one or more of the above, your chances of suffering from Covid-19 are higher. However… the good news is that recent research shows a whole food, plant-based diet could help prevent these diseases.

A study published in the  BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health showed that healthcare workers across Six countries who followed a plant-based diet had 73% lower chance of moderate to severe Covid-19 illness, whereas those who followed low-carbohydrate, high protein diets were 48% more likely to have moderate to severe illness. 

We are also seeing in the latest research that another positive side effect to a plant-based diet is the anti-inflammatory properties these whole and plant foods contain. This positively contributes to putting disease into remission and therefore decreases likelihood of severe Covid-19 symptoms. The biggest driver of elevated inflammation is imbalance in the gut and micro-biome which can both be healed by a healthy lifestyle focused on a diet rich in plant foods and whole grains. Food can be medicine, if we eat the right food...

ZOE’s recent PREDICT nutritional study showed that people who eat a high quality, plant-rich diet are less likely to catch Covid-19 or end up in hospital with it. This was the first time this diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing the disease and reaffirms how beneficial a diet free of dairy, meat and fish can be for one’s health in the long run. 

The root cause of countless autoimmune diseases tends to go back to an unhealthy diet composed of processed foods, saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and refined sugars (AKA. The Standard American Diet). A balanced, whole food, plant-based diet happens to be void of these unhealthy products and gives your body the starch, fibre, minerals, vitamins and proteins needed to keep a healthy gut and in turn balance the immune response. These processes are vital so that the body can better deal with disease and a potential case of Sars2 Covid-19. 

So...what can YOU do to strengthen your defences and in turn lessen the chances of getting sick due to this virus?

-Adopt a diet rich in whole and plant-based foods. For example, introduce more leafy greens, vegetables, beans, potatoes , nuts, seeds, herbs, chickpeas, lentils, fruits and whole carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa or bulgur wheat.

-Avoid processed, refined, saturated and simple foods. These include sodas, ready-made meals, sauces & snacks, deli meats and other animal products, sugary treats, oils, white carbohydrates and high sodium foods.