Abu Dhabi study finds healthy diet is key to cutting COVID-19 hospital stays

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Patients with COVID-19 will recover faster if they had a healthy diet prior to falling ill according to a new report by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DOH).

Researchers examined the lifestyle of 1,038 patients between the ages of 18 and 69.

It found a statistically significant correlation between diet and the length of stay in hospital to treat the symptoms of the virus.

The research showed that their immune system was stronger if they had been eating the right food.

Those who followed a healthy diet had a shorter stay in hospital.

Sumaya Al Ameri, Section Head Complaints in Healthcare Quality at DoH, said, "The study has proven that adopting a healthy lifestyle contributes to boosting the body’s immunity system and strengthening its ability to fight and recover from diseases in general and complications associated with COVID-19 in particular. Our advice is to adopt a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, low processed foods, high vitamins, minerals and bioactive phenolic compounds."

Al Ameri added that other lifestyle habits play a critical role in maintaining wellbeing including exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking.

The study included a structured questionnaire about demographics and lifestyle as well as the duration of stay at the hospital.

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