All of us are in the COVID-19 pandemic. For safety, it has been suggested by leading health organizations in the world for us to wear masks, wash our hands, and keep our distance with one another. This is great protection from getting COVID-19. But, is there anything else we could do to protect us from COVID-19?
Food, yes, the food that we eat truly has a profound effect on our immunity and protection in lowering the risk of COVID-19. Although it’s new for all of us, researchers and medical doctors have known the risk factors of COVID-19, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and many more.(1)
It’s been shown that these conditions can have so much improvement by eating a whole food plant-based diet and our lifestyle choices.(2) If you already have some of these risk factors, now is the time to adopt a whole food plant-based diet!
Well, maybe you are wondering, is there any direct impact from eating a plant-based diet and lowering the risk of COVID-19? The answer is yes though we still can’t understand it fully! A little glimpse of hope has now been found. From those who died from COVID-19, it was found that they experienced gut dysbiosis.(3)
It means their gut microbiota composition is not balanced between the good and the bad, more of the bad bacteria compared to good bacteria. When gut dysbiosis happens, the lining of your intestine is not as tight as it is supposed to be, so bad bacteria may go into your bloodstream and go to the lungs.(4) And this can impact the immunity in the lungs.
Who would’ve thought that there is a cross-talk between your gut and your lungs? One study wrote, “The composition of balanced gut microbiota is known to have a major influence on the effectiveness of lung immunity.”(5)
The next question is, “what can cause gut dysbiosis so that your intestine is not as tight as it is supposed to be?” Research has found a western-style diet, which is high in saturated fat, can affect our gut composition and result in gut dysbiosis.(6) The same can happen when we consume sugary foods.(7) In contrast, the opposite occurs when a high fiber diet a.k.a, a plant-based diet, is consumed. Microbial diversity and good bacteria improve, and it will fix gut dysbiosis.
In this pandemic, it is the best time for us to start a plant-based diet because it will improve your gut microbiota, profoundly affecting your lung immunity. It’s not enough to just eat “superfoods.” Let’s eat a wide variety of high-fiber plant foods, and you will have extra protection from within against COVID-19!