People who eat a diet mostly of vegetables do have fewer colds and get sick less often.
Right now, it's too early to see a correlation between people who are vegetarian and whether or not they get COVID. Still, it can be extrapolated from other viral infections like RSV and the flu that the chances are lower.
But why is that?
The Real Reason Why Vegetarian Diets Help People
Fruits and vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals. Packed with antioxidants and other nutrients, they help our immune system stay strong and our body function normally.
A good defense against colds and flu is better than trying to fight it once you catch it. Antioxidants help make a strong defense.
But that's not the only reason. If it all came down to the right nutrients, supplements would work. Many people take good supplements that provide many the correct types of nutrients, but they don't have the same resistance.
So, what's really going on?
Many vegetarians will tell you it's because they avoid meat and that it is the animal protein that creates the weaknesses against aging, diseases, and the common cold.
But the research just doesn't back that up.
In fact, it shows the opposite.
When people who are eating a typical American diet cut out meat, they get sicker. That's because the majority of them are still eating grains and processed food.
However, when researchers took a look at people who cut out grains from their diet and kept the meat, they found the same resistance against colds and flu as found in vegetarians.
They found the same with processed foods.
The real reason why vegetarians tend to be healthier is they replace more processed foods and grains with fruits and vegetables, not because they cut out meat.
The real reasons vegetarians are healthier are fruits and vegetables.
Why Are The Health Benefits Only In The Short Term?
Different varieties of vegetarianism get different results. But, one thing is clear, the health benefits to vegetarian living are incredibly good between 6 months and 2 years. Then, the benefits decrease.
Why is that?
Turns out you really do need protein and a lot of it.
The problem stems from vegetable-based protein because it is not properly balanced for human consumption. As omnivores, we're supposed to be eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and some animal meats.
Twenty-two amino acids make up all the proteins in our bodies. We need to consume eight of them from our diet. It's challenging to get creatine from a vegetarian diet.
Vegetarians get sick and lose the health benefits because they don't have enough of the right balance of protein in their diet.
Vegetarians who eat fish, shellfish, and eggs tend to do better than those who don't eat any animal proteins at all.
How To Make The Vegetarian Diet Benefits Last A Lifetime
If you want to stay healthy and keep your resistance to cold, flu, and covid, you have to give your body what it needs to be healthy and survive.
Many vegetarians who incorporate eating animal protein maintain a diet much healthier for their bodies They can get enough of the proteins they require and natural B12, iron, calcium, and zinc many vegetarians lack.
The body doesn't need much. Incorporating one egg into your diet per day and two to three 4oz serving each of beef, chicken, and fish per week is really all that's required.
If you've chosen a vegetarian diet for health reasons, keeping up your health requires more protein than you're probably getting
But, if you've chosen the vegetarian out for ethical reasons, this poses quite a dilemma. How do you maintain your health and your moral convictions?
My teacher once told me that to do good in the world you have to be part of the world, and being sick because of your diet is not letting you be part of the world.
So, you can make choices to minimize the impact and make a statement.
Small, local farmers take care of their animals much better and much more naturally than factory farms. Supporting local farmers not only helps them continue to survive, but it takes the corporate dollars away from the factory farm.
Rather than just becoming an outlier, someone easily dismissed by the corporations, your actions suddenly have meaning. For every dollar you spend with a local farmer, it has a two-fold impact on the economy.
You can maintain your health and produce a massive impact simply by choosing local.
Of course, you have to make the majority of your diet vegetables. Grains and processed foods, especially fake meats, significantly reduced your health and well-being.
A diet filled mostly with fruits and vegetables and a small amount of quality protein can make a huge difference in your long-term health and by choosing correctly, you can make a big impact.