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Harvard study: Healthy diet associated with lower COVID-19 risk and severity – Harvard – Harvard Health

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Staying Healthy
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Here’s more incentive to eat a healthy diet: it’s associated with a reduced risk of developing COVID-19 and its serious complications, according to a study published online Sept. 6, 2021, by the journal Gut. Researchers asked about 593,000 adults (mostly middle-aged and older) what they ate in February 2020, and then followed their health through September. Scientists found that people who reported eating the most fruits, vegetables, and legumes had a 9% lower risk of getting COVID and a 41% lower risk of developing severe COVID during the study period, compared with people who reported eating the least fruits and vegetables. Researchers also found a link between COVID and a poor diet or socioeconomic disadvantages. "If you could remove just one of those factors — diet or disadvantage — we think nearly a third of the COVID-19 cases could have been prevented," notes Jordi Merino, the study’s lead author and a research associate at the Diabetes Unit and Center for Genomic Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. The study was observational and doesn’t prove conclusively that a healthy diet prevents COVID. Researchers point out that getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in indoor settings are still the most important approaches to ward off the disease.
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Staying Healthy
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Any given year, we’ll collectively come down with one billion colds and up to 45 million cases of flu, while the number of new cases of COVID-19 keeps rising. In this guide, you will learn how to avoid getting any of these three viral infections, and, if you do get sick, what you can do to feel better. You’ll also learn when your condition is serious enough to call a doctor. The report also provides specific information about high-risk groups for whom COVID and the flu can be very serious.
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