Coffee, vegetables can reduce the likelihood of COVID
It is not yet known why these dietary factors may be affected, and it is important to note that research cannot prove a correct cause-and-effect relationship.
Cornelis suggested that coffee seems protective while tea is not a higher amount of caffeine.
“Otherwise, they may be the only other ingredient in coffee and differentiate it from tea. For example, tea is rich in flavonoids. With coffee they are polyphenols, specifically chlorogenic acid, which is a fairly unique ingredient. Coffee,” Cornelis said. “He has been involved in other diseases unrelated to COVID-19, but may also be promoting that relationship.”
In a similar combination, consumption of red meat does not appear to increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, but processed meat does.
“The relationship doesn’t have to be tied to all meat, but it could be the actual processing of those foods. They’re just hypotheses, but since COVID-19 is so new, obviously more research is needed,” Cornelis said.
Consuming a lot of vegetables seems to be good, in terms of risk, he said, even if you know if there are more differences between specific vegetables with certain nutrient profiles.
“Some of these findings are indicative of good eating habits. I think it speaks to the importance of good nutrition, not only for COVID-19, but only for overall health,” Cornelis said.
It is not a substitute for the vaccine
Certainly, coffee and vegetables are not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine and other recommended preventative measures, experts say.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyone 12 years of age or older should get the vaccine. Vaccines are not yet available for younger children.
Dr. Karen Studer is the director of the residential prevention program at Loma Linda University in California. That said, the findings of the study are similar to the teachings of lifestyle medicine and the idea that food is medicine.
“A whole food diet, which includes plant-based diets, especially fruits and vegetables and grains, will protect you from many diseases. It seems exciting that it is also present in the case of infectious diseases like COVID-19,” Studer said.