We’re in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has affected and killed many people throughout the year, especially people with preexisting conditions.
The question that comes to mind is: Can a plant-based diet protect people from COVID-19? The answer, switching to a plant-based diet can help protect you from COVID-19.
Plenty of research has been conducted on the health benefits of a plant-based diet and the results are stunning. Having a plant-based diet is connected to lower chances of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and cancer. One doctor shows this to be true in a study he was involved in.
In the 1980s, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. of Cornell University partnered up researchers at Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine conducted a study to investigate diet, lifestyle, and disease mortality in rural China.
They wanted to compare the plant-based diet of rural China to the animal-based diets of Western countries. What the team found was astonishing.
Combined with other studies of cancer and human studies on heart disease, diabetes, and other related diseases, results showed a whole-food, plant-based diet could not only prevent theses disease but also reverse them.
This is good news for those with these diseases and worried about getting infected with COVID-19. Those with these preexisting conditions are more vulnerable to getting COVID-19. So how can a plant-based diet help with COVID-19?
During the study, researchers investigated hepatitis B (HBV), causes primary liver cancer. They collected data on people having antibodies and antigens, disease mortality rates, and nutritional risk factors. What they found is HBV antibody prevalence was highly correlated with vegetable consumption, dietary fiber, and plant protein. Meaning the higher the plant food consumption leads to more antibodies.
When a virus invades a host like us, our immune system kicks in and adapts to the invading virus. The immune system mounts a defense by making antibodies for the virus. Since COVID-19 is a viral disease, its possible for the body to create antibodies to combat it. This is a great solution individuals can control.
In the study, people who consume more animal protein had fewer antibodies, even those who consume a very low amount of animal protein. It’s believed that switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet should decrease the severity of disease symptoms while also increasing COVID-19 antibodies. The effects may start within a few days, maybe providing enough time for people not infected with COVID-19 to buildup their immune system.
There isn’t any direct proof at this time, but researchers are confident this strategy can produce a faster and safer solution for coping with viral diseases like COVID-19. Just imagine a world where everyone switched to a whole-food, plant-based diet.
We probably wouldn’t have to wear masks anymore, social distance from each other, or wait for new vaccines to be developed that’ll likely be partially effective at best. Until that happens, as individuals, can adopt this lifestyle practice and protect yourselves and your families. We need to start taking responsibility for our own health.
This switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet is important to not just health but also protect social norms, our jobs, and our economy. If and when the next flu season or epidemic, do you want to fo through social distancing, wearing masks all the time, quarantine in your house for weeks, losing your jobs again?