A study out of Northwestern University of 37,988 participants has found an unexpected link between diet and COVID-19. The research suggests that drinking coffee may be associated with added protection against the virus. The data, published in the Nutrients journal, further shines a light on the connections between the food we eat and how it affects our health.
Drinking one or more cups of coffee per day was found to be linked to a 10% lower risk of COVID-19, as opposed to having less than one cup a day. Java is a major source of caffeine and polyphenols, which both have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, researchers found. Antioxidants, found in many superfoods, including fruits and vegetables, help protect the cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and may help you live longer (via Healthline). By decreasing inflammation, we can help the immune system function more optimally.
Along with coffee, vegetable consumption was also found to lower the risks associated with COVID-19, while processed meats increased the risks. “A person’s nutrition impacts immunity,” states Marilyn Cornelis, one of the studies authors and professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (via Northwestern Now). Cornelis further notes that “the immune system plays a key role in an individual’s susceptibility and response to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.”
Maybe food isn’t medicine per se, but it certainly plays a part in our overall health.