Skip to main content

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains play a role in the impact of COVID-19

Fruits and vegetables

There has been a significant increase in healthy habits and mental health awareness over the last three years. The rise of COVID-19 cases around the world has motivated positive changes in many people emphasizing the importance of a healthy, balanced diet to prevent disease.

Scientific articles show that most researchers agree that adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet has significant benefits.  It can reduce the risk of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, anemia, coronary heart disease and cancer. Vegetables and fruit provide a significant part of human nutrition. They are important sources of nutrients, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals, which are essential for a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

The early studies we have available now show that there is a strong correlation between COVID-19 and diet. Studies conclude that a diet characterized by healthy, plant-based foods which include mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19. Despite the increased need for further research to better understand the role and specifics, researchers are encouraging people to increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their diet.

Now more than ever, we need to be mindful of our mental health. It’s not surprising that as stress levels rose during the pandemic, mental health simultaneously worsened. Over the past years, people worldwide have reported increased anxiety, depression, and mood changes.

It has been found that some of the changes people noticed in their mental health during quarantine may have been related to changes to their dietary and physical activity habits.

One survey noted that people who reported negative changes to their exercise habits during the pandemic simultaneously reported poorer mental health, while those who had improved exercise habits experienced better mental health. Another survey in adolescents found similar results, observing that those who had better nutrition and moderate exercise during the pandemic reported fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

As mental health is closely related to physical health, diet and physical activity likely had some influence.