Right now, during the COVID-19 outbreaks that are still showing up across the country, doctors say that in order to be your healthiest, you should consider going vegan—or at least mostly plant-based.  Amid the coronavirus pandemic, more and more attention has been drawn to the benefits of plant-based nutrition in boosting immunity and lowering your risk factors such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and other conditions that put you more at risk in the fight against COVID-19.

One group of doctors has created the non-profit Plant-Based Health Professionals UK and is encouraging people to participate in No Meat May. This campaign is dedicated to the idea that if we all eat a mostly plant-based diet this month, we will emerge healthier (as will the planet). The best defense against the virus right now is a strong immune system, and eating more plant-based foods rich in vitamins C, A, E and Zinc can help bolster your immunity.

Major study upon study connects eating meat and poultry and dairy with higher risks of heart disease, type  2  diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, kidney stones and many other significant health problems that are also risk factors for complications from COVID0-19.

A good diet is the most powerful weapon we have against disease and sickness," writes T. Colin Campbell in The China Study. Dr. Joel Kahn, a leading plant-based cardiologist advocates for eating an even more colorful fruit and vegetable-based diet now, to boost immunity, and says he has added "therapeutic foods" such as purple cabbage, recently-harvested sprouts, onions, and garlic," to his diet to stay healthy during the pandemic. "I’m also eating gigantic salads, which I always did, but they’re now the center of my meals."

Dr. Gemma Newman, who bills herself as The Plant Power Doctor, wants the public to know just how detrimental an impact factory farming industry has on global health: “Some politicians and commentators blame China. They do not mention that all of the recent major disease outbreaks have been caused by tampering with animals, or that our chicken salad and pepperoni pizza could be the next big health risk,” Dr. Newman said via her Instagram account.

In the wake of the global health pandemic, Plant-Based Health Professionals have also released a PSA on how to maintain a healthy immune system through diet and lifestyle. Some of the key points may be ones you already know, but they bear repeating:

Eat the rainbow, get plenty of vitamin C from fruits and veggies, and consume nitrate-rich vegetables like arugula, rhubarb, and cilantro since “several studies have suggested that nitric oxide may inhibit the replication cycle of viruses such as SARS, another coronavirus.” Another important food group? Fiber-rich foods like avocados, chia seeds, and yes, Newman’s favorite non-pandemic sparking lentils.

She goes on to explain the many diseases that have been transferred over time from animals to humans, such as Spanish flu from poultry and swine flu from pigs as well as SARS-CoV (civets), MERS-CoV (camels), and others, infecting an estimated 2.5 billion people each year, according to Newman.

Whether we want to look at our dietary habits or not, one thing is clear: These massive factory farming operations are not working. “Our industrial-scale poultry farms are like a ticking time bomb. This pandemic has brought us a visceral sense of what that can mean for humans. This pandemic also shows us how connected we are. What one person does affects another,” Newman continues in her social media post. “The same applies to the food choices we make too, and now this is more clear than ever before. I don’t know when this pandemic will end, or how many lives will be lost. But one thing I do know. I can guarantee that lentils will not spark a viral pandemic anytime soon.”

Echoing Newman’s sentiment, Plant-Based Health Professionals UK director, Dr. Shireen Kassam, MD, a consultant hematologist, expresses the pressing need to ditch animal products, especially meat: “More than 90 percent of the meat we consume is produced in industrial-scale factory farms, which provide the perfect conditions for the generation of novel infections with epidemic and pandemic potential,” said Kassam, via VegNews, adding that as a result of the rampant use of antibiotics in these factory farm settings, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the amount of antibiotic-resistant infections impacting human beings. “We have now entered an era where it is not uncommon for doctors to find themselves treating patients with bacterial infections for which there are no effective antibiotics,” she says.

In the wake of the global health pandemic, Plant-Based Health Professionals have also released a PSA on how to maintain a healthy immune system through diet and lifestyle. Some of the key points may be ones you already know, but they bear repeating: Eat the rainbow, get plenty of vitamin C from fruits and veggies, and consume nitrate-rich vegetables like arugula, rhubarb, and cilantro since “several studies have suggested that nitric oxide may inhibit the replication cycle of viruses such as SARS, another coronavirus.” Another important food group? Fiber-rich foods like avocados, chia seeds, and yes, Newman’s favorite non-pandemic sparking lentils.