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Mediterranean Diet a Potential Strategy against SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Dr. Olga Nickole Kuyan

21 Dec 2021

Italian scientists find out the benefits of the Mediterranean diet against coronavirus

Italian scientists from the University of Magna Græcia have found that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19. This is reported in an article published in the journal Medicina.

The researchers looked at the possible effects of the Mediterranean diet on the risk of developing coronavirus infection. It is known that the Mediterranean Diet represents the traditional eating habits of populations living around the Mediterranean Sea, and it is associated with a lower risk of overall mortality and cancer incidence and cardiovascular diseases.

It turned out that the Mediterranean diet contains several vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and phytochemicals with potential activity against COVID-19.

The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), unrefined olive oil, and fish. Such a diet almost excludes foods containing saturated fats, in particular dairy products, meat and poultry. Moderate wine consumption is also often included in the Mediterranean diet.

Healthy eating habits affect inflammation and the immune system, and may have a protective effect against severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The study demonstrates how the COVID-19 pandemic period has affected nutritional behaviors. Data reported in the study suggested that during the lockdown period a substantial part of the population had unhealthy nutritional behaviors. Changes in eating habits, such as an increase in the consumption of frozen products (81.3%), coffee intake increase (64.8%), and sweet foods increase (55.9%) were observed. The reduction in alcohol consumption was declared by 81% of participants. Positive weight change was declared for 58.8% (40.6% underwent an increase of +1–3 kg). In addition, 70.5% of participants declared a decrease in physical activity during the pandemic period. That is why Mediterranean countries Italy and Spain were the most affected.
The results indicate that the Mediterranean diet could represent one of the best food protocols as the adjuvant therapeutic choice of COVID-19.

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