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Vegetarians 39% less likely to get COVID: Report

A study in the 'British Medical Journal Nutrition Prevention and Health' suggests a 39% lower likelihood of COVID-19 among individuals with plant-based diets, compared to frequent meat consumers. Of 700 participants, vegetarians had an 11% infection rate, while mixed and meat-eaters had higher rates. The research highlights a correlation, not causation, between diet and COVID-19 risk. 

Vegetarians 39% less likely to get COVID: Report vkp
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First Published Jan 11, 2024, 11:28 AM IST

A study published in the 'British Medical Journal Nutrition Prevention and Health,' says that researchers found that individuals who predominantly consume plant-based diets, such as vegetarians, have a 39% lower likelihood of contracting COVID-19 compared to those who frequently consume meat. The report suggests that plant-based foods not only enhance overall immunity but also provide essential nutrients crucial for combating viral infections.

The study, encompassing over 700 adults, revealed significant disparities in infection rates based on dietary choices. Of the participants, 40% identified as vegetarians, among whom only 11% reported being infected with the virus. In contrast, among the 52% who followed a mixed diet and the 18% who were meat-eaters, infection rates were notably higher.

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The research underscores the potential benefits of plant-centric diets in reducing susceptibility to COVID-19. The findings point to the idea that the consumption of greens, legumes, nuts, and dairy products positively contributes to immune system health, offering a shield against viral infections.

While the study underscores the association between dietary choices and COVID-19 susceptibility, it also highlights individual factors that can influence outcomes. Researchers found that those who consumed meat three times a week were more prone to COVID-19 infections compared to their plant-based counterparts.

It is crucial to note that the study does not imply causation but rather suggests a correlation between dietary habits and COVID-19 risk. Individuals should consider these findings alongside other preventive measures recommended by health authorities.

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In light of these results, public health experts encourage individuals to adopt a balanced and plant-rich diet to fortify their immune systems. Incorporating a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts, and dairy products into daily meals may contribute to overall health and resilience against infections.

As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing pandemic, understanding the potential impact of dietary choices on COVID-19 susceptibility adds another layer to preventive measures. While maintaining a healthy diet is essential, it's equally important to adhere to guidelines such as vaccination, hygiene practices, and social distancing to minimize the risk of infection.

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