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Plant based diets and covid

🌱In a just released study of over 2500 health care workers in Europe, following a plant based or mostly plant based diet was associated with a massive 73% LOWER risk of developing moderate to severe covid infection

🌱This was published in the Bmj, one of the most highly respected medical journals in the world

🌿Health care workers from 6 European countries were surveyed over 2 months of 2020 (Jul-Sept) and completed dietary surveys and demographic info

🌿Only people with very high levels of exposure to covid were included, 95% of these were Dr's (emergency, ENT, ICU etc)

🌿People who ate plant based diets were 73% less likely to develop moderate /severe covid, and people who ate plant based/pescatarian were 59% less likely to, compared to others in the survey

🌿These people also had higher levels of fruit, vegetable, nut, and legume intake, and lower levels of added sugar, red meat, and poultry intake (ie a whole food mostly plant based diet)

🌱People who ate a high protein low carb diet (ie high in animal products and low in plants) were over 3x more likely to have moderate to severe covid than those who ate a plant based or pescetarian diet

🌱While the study acknowledged there may be confounders (ie people eating plant based diet may be more health conscious and practice other healthy behavior) its still a highly significant finding, given these were all health workers and exposed to high levels of covid during a peak time

🌱Another similar study (also published in the BMJ) used data from 592 571 participants of the smartphone-based COVID-19 Symptom Study. They found that fruit and vegetable consumption was directly related to risk of covid infection, and severe covid

🌱People with the highest consumption had a 41% lower risk of severe covid, compared to those who ate the least. Interestingly this effect was most marked in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation (almost double the effect compared to areas of low deprivation)

As we know covid disproportionately affects people in lower socioeconomic groups this effect is particularly important

🌱Its been shown that people with obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease are more likely to get severe symptoms/die from covid, and plant based diets are known to reduce the risk of these

🌱Plant based diets are also generally higher in antioxidants, and linked with lower levels of systemic inflammation, which is also thought to play a role in covid severity

🌱Yet another reason to add more plants into your diet!!

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