By Michael J. Dorfman
The other day, I was reading the Sun Sentinel newspaper from South Florida. An article that caught my eye explained that a group of scientists had begun to study the health conditions of people under 60 years of age who had died from the Covid-19. They found that 90 percent had underlying health conditions–high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. In other words, having these health issues put young people into the same dangerous situation as the elderly who have the highest rate of death from the disease. Many people believe that chronic diseases are mostly age-related and afflict the elderly. With this information we can see that this is simply not true. Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even cancer can begin at an early age. Case in point, obesity and type 2 diabetes: originally, because it was never seen in children, type 2 diabetes was called adult onset diabetes. Unfortunately, living a poor lifestyle, especially with regards to nutrition, has resulted in children becoming more and more unhealthy and increasingly susceptible to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Some of us are aware of the influence that whole plant-based foods have on strengthening our immune system so that, even if we get infected, chances are excellent that we’ll experience only mild symptoms or none at all. Plant-based foods also prevent and even reverse chronic diseases that weaken our immune system and make us an easy prey for the virus.
Our immune system has two main functions. The first is to thwart foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, as they attempt to enter our body. It is able to do this if it has antibodies at its disposal from a previous, similar virus. That’s why our body is able to successfully fight off annual flu while suffering only minor symptoms. Covid-19 is a novel virus, meaning that our body doesn’t have the antibodies to deny its entry. That’s when the second immune system function comes into play. Our body can adapt to the new virus and produce the antibodies that it needs to fight it. However, that depends on whether or not we’re following a healthy lifestyle founded primarily on the consumption of whole plant-based foods. If we have a healthy diet, the body can form antibodies at a relatively rapid rate. As a result, the strengthened immune system will have the capacity to inactivate the virus. Although consuming a diet based on whole plant-based foods doesn’t mean the virus won’t infect us, it should increase our defenses to avoid the worst effects from the infection.
With the positive effects that a plant-based diet has on our immune system and overall health, we can be in a better position to defeat the virus and avoid the fear associated with it.
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