It’s not yet clear why these dietary factors might make a difference, and it’s important to note that the study can’t prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship.
The reason coffee seems protective while tea doesn’t could be the higher amount of caffeine in coffee, Cornelis suggested.
“Alternatively, it could be other constituents of coffee that are unique and distinguish it from tea. For example, tea is often high in flavonoids. Whereas with coffee, it is more polyphenols, in especially chlorogenic acid, which is actually a relatively unique constituent of coffee, “Cornelis said.” It has been implicated in other illnesses unrelated to COVID-19, but could also be at the root of this relationship. . ”
In a similar juxtaposition, consuming red meat does not appear to increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, but processed meats did.
“The relationship may not necessarily be with all meats, but it could be the actual processing of those foods. These are just speculations, but because COVID-19 is so new, research more are obviously needed, ”Cornelis said.
Eating lots of vegetables seemed like a good thing, in terms of risk, she said, although it is not known if specific vegetables with certain nutrient profiles make a bigger difference.
“Some of these findings are just indicators of good eating habits. I think it just speaks to the importance of good nutrition, not just for COVID-19, but just for overall health,” Cornelis said.
Does not replace the vaccine
Certainly, coffee and vegetables are not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine and other recommended preventive measures, experts say.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says anyone aged 12 and over should get the vaccine. Vaccines are not yet available for young children.
Dr. Karen Studer is Director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at Loma Linda University in California. She said the study’s results are similar to the teachings of lifestyle medicine and the idea that food is medicine.
“The benefits of a complete plant-based diet – which consists primarily of fruits, vegetables and grains – will protect you from many illnesses. This is exciting because it appears to be true for infectious diseases such as COVID-19 as well. “said Studer.
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