Does being vegan mean you are safe from succumbing to Covid-19?
Well, we cannot definitively say yes, but we can say that the chances you’ll survive this pandemic are much higher.
A healthy, plant-based diet lies at the intersection of two powerful, protective forces.
- As described elsewhere on this site, eating plants strengthens your immune system, which is needed to fight off the coronavirus.
- Vegans enjoy lower rates of chronic diseases, which have shown to be highly correlated with hospitalizations and deaths during the pandemic.
Your chances of surviving a bout with Covid-19 are much higher if you can avoid or reverse a chronic disease.
The link between pre-existing chronic diseases and negative outcomes for people who test positive for the coronavirus is incredibly strong.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that 89% of the people hospitalized with Covid-19 had one or more of the major chronic diseases — hypertension, obesity, lung disease, diabetes or heart disease.
Among people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, people with those underlying ailments have been six times more likely to require hospitalization than those without, according to the CDC’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Team.
And if someone suffers from multiple chronic diseases, as is often the case, the CDC states, “The more underlying medical conditions someone has, the greater their risk is for severe illness from COVID-19.
Studies in other countries have yielded similar findings.
A study from Lombard, Italy, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine found that risk factors for Covid-19 deaths included pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
And a Chinese study of Covid-19 patients who died found that 76% of them had a chronic illness, such as heart disease or diabetes.
A major study in U.K., published in the British Medical Journal, produced similar findings.
You get the picture.
A healthy, plant-based diet can help you avoid, and often times reverse, chronic disease.
Fortunately, there is something we can all do to prevent or even reverse chronic diseases — and that’s eat a healthy, plant-based diet.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — the United States’ largest professional association of nutritionists and registered dietitians — has confirmed that vegans are at reduced risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, the exact ailments linked to Covid-19 morbidity.
The Adventist Health Study — perhaps the largest study of vegan diets in history — found that vegans were 62 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, even when body mass index (BMI) is controlled for.
The National Institutes of Health Women’s Health Initiative — which tracked 100,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 — found that those consuming the most animal products had a 61% higher risk of developing heart disease, when compared to women who consumed the fewest animal products.
You should wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands vigorously. But you might get the coronavirus anyway. To greatly improve your chances of surviving, it is clear that the best thing you can do is adopt or maintain a healthy plant-based diet.
At Jewish Veg, we care first and foremost that you transition to veganism, whatever form that takes. But during this perilous moment in history, we encourage you to take your veganism to the next level and consume a diet rich in unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes and beans — and a diet relatively low in processed sugars and oils.
And we’re not just encouraging you. We’re here to help you. Please take full advantage of our free Plant Pathways program.
Together, we can emerge from this pandemic with our health intact, or even enhanced.