A Healthy Diet Can Reduce the Risk and Severity of COVID-19
Data from 592,571 participants showed that a healthy diet can reduce the risk and severity of COVID-19. Participants who ate a plant-rich diet, such as plenty of fruits and vegetables, had a 9% lower risk of developing COVID-19 and a 41% reduced risk of developing severe complications compared to those with unhealthy diets.
What are the new findings?
A dietary pattern characterised by healthy plant-based foods was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19.
We found evidence of a synergistic association of poor diet and increased socioeconomic deprivation with COVID-19 risk that was higher than the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone.
The beneficial association of diet with COVID-19 risk seems particularly relevant among individuals living in areas of higher socioeconomic deprivation.
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Plant-based Diets May Lessen COVID-19 Severity
Research published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health found that dietary habits play an important role in the severity of COVID-19 infection. In six countries, plant-based diets were associated with lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19. These dietary habits may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19.
COVID-19 can have long-term health effects—commonly described as “long COVID”—after recovery. A recent study published in 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐿𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑡 showed that 68% of patients had at least one lingering symptom after six months. A year later, half still had symptoms, and one third experienced breathing problems. Even after one year, 20% – 30% of those moderately ill and 54% of those severely ill still did not regain full lung capacity. The best way to stay safe is to avoid COVID-19 with good personal hygiene practices and to get vaccinated.