A team of researchers found that a person’s diet determines his risk of contracting the coronavirus and the severity of his symptoms.
A new US study shows that people whose diets depend on healthy plant foods have a lower risk of contracting the novel coronavirus and how severe the symptoms are, according to the Asian News Agency.
In a report published on Wednesday, the agency noted that the beneficial effects of this diet on the risks of infection of the coronavirus were particularly related to individuals living in areas of high social and economic deprivation.
For the study, conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States and published in the journal GUT, researchers examined the data of 592,571 participants from the United Kingdom and the United States between March 24, 2020, and December 2, 2020.
At the beginning of the study, participants completed a questionnaire on their dietary habits prior to the pandemic, where the quality of their diet was assessed by points on the extent to which they followed the vegetarian diet, which focuses on healthy plant foods such as fruits and vegetables.
The Agency noted that during the study, 31,831 participants were infected with Coronavirus, but the study showed that the participants who were present in the top quarter of the evaluation were 9% less at risk of Coronavirus infection and 41% less at risk of severe symptoms, compared to the individuals who were in the bottom quarter of the diet assessment.
The paper’s lead author, Jordi Merino, was quoted as saying: “Our study suggests that individuals may reduce their risk of coronavirus or their severity in case of infection by paying attention to their diet.”
Researchers pointed out that adopting public health strategies that improve access to healthy foods may help reduce the burden of the coronavirus pandemic.
Merino added: “Our findings are a call for governments and stakeholders to prioritize healthy food systems through effective policies, otherwise we risk losing decades of economic progress and dramatically increasing health problems.”