A Harvard University study found that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as the severity of COVID symptoms. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consuming fruits and vegetables daily.
Dr. Saipin Chotivichien, director of the Department of Health’s (DOH) Office of Nutrition, discussed the Harvard findings. She explained that the study found a 9% reduced risk of contracting COVID in people who consumed large amounts of fruits, vegetables and legumes. These people also had a 41% lower risk of developing severe COVID symptoms compared to those who ate fewer produce. Those who based their diet on fruits and vegetables and completely abstained from meat and processed foods meanwhile had a 73% lower risk of contracting COVID.
Dr Saipin said the WHO recommends a varied diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. She said these should be part of every meal and also recommended reducing sodium intake by capping it at 1 teaspoon a day. Sugar and sugary foods and drinks should also be limited.
The head of the Bureau of Nutrition listed a number of lung-beneficial foods, including ginger, bell pepper, apple, pumpkin, turmeric, tomato, cereals, olive oil, oysters and berries. The DOH provides a mobile app called Food Choice to help people make food purchasing decisions.(NNT)