New Study Suggests Plant-Based Diets Lower Risk of COVID-19
A recent study conducted in Brazil has revealed that individuals who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet may have a lower chance of contracting COVID-19. The study, involving 702 adults, found that those with a plant-based or mainly vegetarian diet had a 39 percent reduced risk of developing the virus.
The participants were divided into two groups: those with a largely plant-based diet and those who consumed both plant-based and animal products. Out of the total participants, 424 were omnivores, while 278 followed a plant-based diet. Surprisingly, the omnivores had a higher percentage of COVID-19 infections (52 percent) compared to the plant-based group (40 percent).
To ensure the accuracy of the findings, the researchers took into consideration various factors including physical activity levels, body mass index, and pre-existing medical conditions. Despite these considerations, the results remained consistent, suggesting that plant-based diets may have a protective effect against the virus.
Interestingly, the omnivore group had lower levels of physical activity and a higher likelihood of having existing medical conditions and obesity. These factors are known to increase the risk of COVID-19, further highlighting the potential benefits of a plant-based diet.
The research team speculates that a plant-based diet’s positive impact on the immune system, such as improving heart health and reducing blood pressure, may also contribute to lowering the risk of infections, including COVID-19. Previous research has also shown a connection between plant-based diets and reduced severity of COVID-19 infections.
In addition to the standard precautionary measures like wearing masks and practicing good hygiene, this study suggests that individuals may consider incorporating elements of a plant-based diet to further lower their risk of contracting the virus.
The findings of this study have been published in the prominent medical journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health, adding to the growing body of research exploring the potential benefits of plant-based diets in the fight against COVID-19.
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