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As Omicron Variant Surges, Plant-Based Diet Is ‘Booster’ for Fighting Severe COVID-19

As the Omicron variant continues to cause a record number of infections, new commentary in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition calls for people to adopt a plant-based diet, which research shows can reduce risk from COVID-19 severe and fatal. Researchers on the Physicians' Committee cited several studies showing the benefits of a plant-based diet for COVID-19. One study showed that a healthy, plant-based diet was associated with a 9% lower risk of contracting COVID-19 and a 41% lower risk of contracting COVID-19. Another study found that health care workers who followed a vegan diet and who had the greatest exposure to COVID-19 patients had a 73% lower risk of developing moderate to severe COVID-19. Okinawa, Japan, which has seen low death rates from COVID-19, is a true example of the benefits of a predominantly vegetarian diet. The authors suggest that clinicians and the general public adopt plant-based diets to mitigate increased infection rates and improve overall health. Kahleova and Barnard recently published the results of a clinical research study conducted by the Physicians Committee that found that a plant-based diet helped hospital workers in Washington, D.C. improve their health and quality of life during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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