Eating fruits and vegetables decreases your risk of developing asthma.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Because of the antioxidant qualities of fruits and vegetables, eating more of them will decrease your risk of developing asthma.
WHAT WE KNOW
Dietary patterns characterized by the “Mediterranean Diet,” which includes high consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish as well as a low consumption of saturated fat from animal sources, has been associated with a lower occurrence of asthma symptoms.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
An international study spanning across 20 countries and involving more than 50,000 children was conducted to assess the association between dietary factors, asthma and allergy. The conclusion stated that a higher increase of fruits, vegetables and fish, as found in the “Mediterranean Diet,” was in fact associated with a decreased occurrence of asthma and wheeze. There was also some evidence that a “Western” diet rich in saturated or hydrogenated fat and soda may be associated with increased asthma and wheeze.*
The reason fruits and vegetables may be protective against asthma and wheeze is due to their antioxidant qualities. Vitamin C and B-carotene (a form of vitamin A) in particular have been studied for their positive lung function effects as well as favorable effects on asthma. These vitamins are found in many fruits and vegetables.
Consumption of a “Mediterranean Diet” rich in fish, fruits and vegetables is already widely recommended for a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. This same eating pattern is now proving to be beneficial in providing some protection against wheezing and childhood asthma symptoms. Bottom line? This is yet another reason to eat lots of fruits and vegetables!
A diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits and vegetables is the best way to promote a long and healthy life! And with more than 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables available, it’s easy to find a few you like! Remember that all forms – fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice – count toward your daily recommended amount.
See our Top 10 Reasons to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables for even more reasons fruits and veggies are so good for you!
*Nagel, Gabriele, et al. “Effect of Diet on Asthma and Allergic Sensitisation in the International Study on Allergies and Asthma in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Two.” Thorax 65 (2010): 516-22.