In terms of occurrence COVID-19, we know the most tried and tested advice: get vaccinated, wear a face mask in public, observe social distancing. But lesser known — and perhaps just as important — is how to boost the immune system to reduce the risk of getting infected with the virus. Using solid data from non-COVID specific studies, experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, to exercise, reduce stress, and take vitamins C and D. But new research suggests that your daily diet may directly protect against COVID. Read on to find out more – and to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss this one Certain Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.
Study analyzed nearly 600,000 people
For a study recently published in gut, researchers looked at nearly 600,000 participants in the COVID symptom study, who submitted information to a smartphone app. The participants, who lived in the US and UK, were followed from March to December 2020. At the start of the study, they answered questions about their eating habits before the pandemic. The quality of each person’s diet was evaluated using a diet score that emphasized plant foods such as fruits and vegetables.
What the research found
The study found that people on a plant-based diet had a lower risk of contracting COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill from the virus. People who scored in the highest quartile of the diet score had a 9 percent lower risk of developing COVID — and a 41 percent lower risk of developing serious disease — than people in the lowest quartile.
“These findings were consistent across a series of sensitivity analyzes that consider other healthy behaviors, social determinants of health, and community virus transmission rates,” said the study’s lead author, Jordi Merino, a research associate at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical. school .
Diet can reduce COVID risk
“While we cannot overemphasize the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in crowded indoor environments, our study suggests that individuals may also be able to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 or poor outcomes by paying attention to their diet.” said co-senior author Andrew Chan, a gastroenterologist and chief of the clinical and translational epidemiology unit at MGH.
This group is particularly at risk
The researchers found that people with lower socioeconomic status and unhealthy diets had a much higher COVID risk — more than the sum of each factor’s risk alone. “Our models estimate that nearly a third of COVID-19 cases would have been prevented if one of the two exposures — diet or deprivation — were not present,” Merino said.
The researchers pushed for developing public health strategies that encourage healthy eating. “Our findings call on governments and stakeholders to prioritize healthy nutrition and wellness with impactful policies or else we risk losing decades of economic progress and a substantial increase in health inequalities,” said Merino.
How to stay safe there
Follow the basics and help end this pandemic wherever you live – get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with a low vaccination coverage, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distancing, avoid crowds, don’t go in with people you don’t hide with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and that of others, don’t visit any of these 35 places you are most likely to get COVID.