Results from a preliminary study by researchers in Europe show that Covid-19 mortality rates may be lower in countries where people consume high amounts of cabbage.

The study results show that increasing the average consumption of cabbage or cucumber by 1 gram a day could reduce a country’s mortality rate by 13.6 per cent or 15.7 per cent, respectively.

According to South China Morning Post, the new study from France says that foods containing raw and fermented cabbage may be beneficial against the coronavirus by reducing the levels of a compound that helps the virus infect the body.

The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was limited to Europe, and found that cabbage – whether raw, pickled in sauerkraut or mixed into coleslaw – as well as cucumbers and kimchi, the Korean delicacy made from pickled cabbage and other vegetables, could help people build up resistance to the virus, which has killed more than 600,000 worldwide.

NUTRITION

“Nutrition should not be overlooked as a factor behind Covid-19 deaths, said Dr Jean Bousquet, former chairman of the WHO Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases, and colleagues in the paper posted on pre”-print server medRxiv.org on Saturday.

“Little attention has been given to the spread and severity of the virus, and regional differences in diet, but diet changes may be of great benefit. Nutrition may play a role in the immune defense against Covid-19 and may explain some of the differences seen in Covid-19 across Europe. I have now changed my diet, and it includes raw cabbage three times a week, sauerkraut once a week, and pickled vegetables,” he said.

The researchers however cautioned that the results could have been affected by uncertainties such as deaths being counted differently in some countries, but it was the first attempt to link death rates with food consumption.

Read more about the study here.

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