Close up photo of vegetablesResearchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that plant-based eaters have a significantly lower rate of contracting moderate-to-severe symptoms of COVID-19 than those following a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet.

A group of nearly 3,000 healthcare workers in six countries completed a survey detailing COVID-19 side effects (if testing positive) and information detailing lifestyle and dietary patterns.

After controlling for major risk factors such as smoking, physical activity, and age, results showed that those following a plant-based diet were 73% less likely to report severe symptoms of COVID-19 compared to other groups. This research highlights the important nutrients and minerals plant-based diets provide in helping the human body fight disease.

Conclusion “In six countries, plant-based diets or pescatarian diets were associated with lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19. These dietary patterns may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19.”

Kim H, Rebholz CM, Hegde S, et al. Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets
and COVID-19 severity: a population-based case-control study in six countries. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2021;0. doi:10.1136/ bmjnph-2021-000272

Laura Bustard is an actuary who is passionate about plants. She has conducted research on the emergency food system and prescription-produce, and recently worked for FairShare CSA Coalition in Madison, WI. She now lives in Goleta, CA, and works remotely for The Standard, holding a Masters of Science in Urban and Regional Planning and a Fellowship from the Society of Actuaries. 

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