This week scientists delivered a groundbreaking news in relation to health and the ongoing pandemic, in a new major study published worldwide. Vegans are 73% less likely to get seriously ill from Covid-19, a similar percentage in protection as some of the Covid vaccines
The research – which took place across six countries, including the UK showed that those who had plant-based diets were 73% less likely to develop severe symptoms from Covid-19, confirming what many in the vegan world had long suspected: there is a direct link between veganism and avoiding symptomatic infectious disease.
By contrast, those who ate a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet were more likely to get seriously ill as a result of the virus which has left the world in a pandemic for over one year now.
The new study has been published in the British Medical Journal, one of the most respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, as a Nutrition, Prevention and Health study. It involved health workers from six countries, including more than 2,300 who had not had Covid and 568 who had.
The US-based authors of the study said that, given the results, "dietary patterns may be considered for protection against severe Covid-19".
The latest study supports previous studies that suggest vegans have extra protection against viral illness. A study published in 2016 said that "vegans have low rates of viral diseases."
"There is evidence that vegans and vegetarians have lower rates of coronary heart diseases because of low LDL cholesterol, lower prevalence of obesity, lower rates of hypertension and diabetes mellitus," it said.
In another study, it was quoted “Vegan diets are associated with better cardiovascular health” according to a review published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.
Plant-based diets have been shown to help prevent and treat asthma. Possible mechanisms include the positive effects from consuming plant-based diets rich in antioxidants and fibre on factors including inflammation, oxidation, and gut microbiota.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans are also loaded with nutrients — like beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc—that can boost immune function, something we should all be trying to do right now. While a plant-based diet can’t prevent Covid-19, it can treat the underlying conditions that can exacerbate its severity.
People are changing their lifestyle and eating habits for the better, and a new survey, that focused on changing consumer habits over the last 12 months, has found 1 in 5 (20%) people have reduced the amount of meat they are eating while 12% say they’ve minimised their eggs and dairy intake. Seven per cent of respondents revealed they have cut down on all three, meaning that 1 in 4 (25%) have actively cut back on some form of animal products since the first lockdown. In a second survey aimed at those of had cut back on animal products], 35% said they were mainly motivated by health concerns, with that figure rising to 39% for those aged 55+, while 30% said the environment was their primary motivation. 1 in 4 (21%) said it was down to animal rights issues.
* The author is an expert in vegan wellbeing and health. Instagram @Ghanim92
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