Eating fresh apples and tomatoes can repair lung damage, according to study
12/02/2019 / By Bobbi Bruce / Comments
Eating fresh apples and tomatoes can repair lung damage, according to study

Time and again, you are constantly bombarded with reminders that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health. Not only can it inflict damage to your lungs, but it can also affect your heart and other organs. Thankfully, a recent study has found a way to reverse the damage caused by smoking.

It is a widely known fact that positive lifestyle changes can lead to good health. But did you know that consuming more fresh fruits like tomatoes and apples could help slow down the decline of lung function caused by smoking and restore damaged lung tissue?

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A diet rich in fresh fruits benefits former smokers

A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health evaluated the diet and lung function of over 650 adults in 2002 and after 10 years. The participants, who came from Germany, Norway and the U.K., then answered a survey about their diets and overall nutritional intake. They also underwent a procedure called spirometry, which records how much oxygen the lungs can take.

The participants were tested to see how much air they could expel from their lungs – two instances were recorded: how much they could exhale in a second and in six seconds. The researchers took into account other factors, such as include age, height, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic status, physical activity and total energy intake.

Their findings revealed that adults who, on average, ate more than two tomatoes or more than three portions of fresh fruit a day experienced a slower decline in lung function than those who ate less than one tomato or a portion of fruit per day. Adults who stopped smoking and ate a diet rich in tomatoes and fruits like apples and bananas also experienced a slower decline in lung function over a ten-year period. This indicated that the nutrients they were getting from their diets aided in repairing the damage caused by smoking. Additionally, participants who ate the most tomatoes — even those who did not stop smoking — experienced a slower decline in lung function than those who ate less.

“Lung function starts to decline at around age 30 at variable speed depending on the general and specific health of individuals,” said Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, the study’s lead author. In their article, which was published in the European Respiratory Journal, she and her colleagues propose using diet as a means of aiding lung damage repair for people who have quit smoking. They believe that a diet rich in fruits also slows down lung aging in both smokers and non-smokers alike.

“Our study suggests that eating more fruits on a regular basis can help attenuate the decline as people age, and might even help repair damage caused by smoking. Diet could become one way of combating rising diagnosis of COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] around the world.”

However, the researchers only saw the protective effect in fresh fruits and vegetables and not in other dietary sources, such as processed foods and dishes that contain fruits and vegetables products like tomato sauce.

“The findings support the need for dietary recommendations, especially for people at risk of developing respiratory diseases such as COPD,” Garcia-Larsen added.

The study was funded by the European Commission and led by the Imperial College London.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 480,000 Americans every year. It has detrimental effects on almost all of the body’s organs and leads to many diseases, impairing the overall health of smokers.

This further emphasizes the importance of adopting a healthier lifestyle to quell the negative effects of smoking. As this research suggests, an apple a day can quite possibly save your lungs, and yourself, from a dire fate.

Read more stories on the detrimental effects of smoking at StopSmoking.news.

Sources:

ScienceDaily.com

CDC.gov

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