NYS Certified Nutritionist

Plant-Based Diets Linked to Better COVID-19 Outcomes

On June, 7, 2021 an online article in the BMJ’s [British Medical Journal] Nutrition, Prevention & Health, reported the health outcomes of health care workers in six countries, with high exposure to patients suffering from COVID-19.

Participants who followed plant-based diets had a 73% reduced incidence of moderate to severe COVID-19. In contrast, those who consumed low carbohydrate, high protein diets were 48% more likely to experience moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms.

The higher intake of legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruits rich in fiber, and vitamins A, C, and E, was presumed to support the immune system of those health care workers. My own research tells me that being overweight is associated with more serious symptoms associated with COVID-19. In general, people who consume a plant-based diet tend to be leaner, and less likely to suffer from preexisting conditions, like Type II diabetes, that can complicate the trajectory of the illness . Moreover, these diets are anti-inflammatory, and scientists know that inflammation is a particular risk factor for patients suffering from COVID-19.

Epidemiologists tell us that although we may be through with this COVID-19 pandemic, this unpredictable virus is not through with us. Deciding to better care for our health by choosing to eat plant-based diets, may reduce our weight, and reduce our risks of many illnesses, including COVID-19.

As health writer Michael Pollan says, “Eat real food…not too much…mostly plants.”

Dateline: Latham, Albany County, New York