It’s been more than two years since the first coronavirus cases were widely reported, and doctors and researchers have had more time to figure out not only what makes the virus tick, but also what helps us strengthen our immune systems in order to fight it. And it turns out that the one thing that gives our immune system a boost so that it can deal with COVID-19 more effectively is something that already helps us get through the morning — our cups of coffee.
According to a Northwestern University study, drinking at least one cup of coffee per day can reduce your risk of developing COVID by 10%, as does eating slightly more than half a serving (or 0.67 servings, to be precise) of cooked or raw vegetables — except for potatoes. However, if you consume processed meat, just 0.43 servings increases your risk of contracting COVID-19. The study focused on those who tested positive for coronavirus.
Marilyn Cornelis, an associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University and a member of the research team, did not believe it was the caffeine in coffee that made it a magical slingshot against COVID. “Alternatively, it could be that other components of coffee distinguish it from tea. For instance, tea is frequently high in flavonoids. Whereas coffee contains a higher concentration of polyphenols, specifically chlorogenic acid, which is a relatively unique component of coffee. It has been implicated in a variety of other diseases unrelated to COVID-19 but may be driving this relationship as well “According to her, she explained to WebMD.
What it does demonstrate, however, is the critical role of good nutrition in developing resistance to serious diseases such as COVID. “Nutrition has an effect on immunity,” Cornelis explained. “Moreover, the immune system is critical in determining an individual’s susceptibility to and response to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19” (via Northwestern University).
Dr. Karen Studer, who directs the preventative medicine residency programme at Loma Linda University in California, concurs, noting, “The benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet — which consists primarily of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — include protection against a variety of diseases. This is significant because it appears to be true for infectious diseases such as COVID-19 as well ” (via the Health News Tribune).