Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) left a lasting impact on the world where it not only had serious implications to the healthcare system, but also on individuals at a higher risk for other illnesses. In an effort to protect themselves from experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19, other alternatives to alleviate the risk of the viral infection are being investigated. As documented in previous research, adopting a plant-based diet improves immunity against viruses. Hence, this study aims to investigate the associations between plant-based diets and the effects of COVID-19.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of 500 adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who have tested positive for COVID-19 in 2022. Participants are to fill out food-frequency and COVID-19 questionnaires. To detect significance, an ANOVA is to be used to compare the dietary patterns in each COVID-19 severity group (ASYMP, MILD, MOD, SEV, CRI).
Results: Expectedly, participants with the highest alongside most frequent intake of plant-based foods and seafood exhibit mild COVID-19 symptoms based on related studies. Whereas participants with the lowest intake of plant-based foods are expected to display symptoms corresponding to the critical and severe COVID-19 groups.
Discussion: Foods derived from plants are rich in vitamins and minerals that function as anti-inflammatories and boost immunity against COVID-19. Plant-based diets are comprised of low-fat, low-sodium foods, resulting in lower BMIs and risk of comorbidities like heart disease which further reduces the risk of severe COVID-19.
Conclusion: Considering this, a plant-based diet can be proposed as a lifestyle change that may aid in managing COVID-19. Through this protocol, the direct association between diet and COVID-19 will highlight the importance of nutrition for immunity as other infectious diseases continue to emerge.
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