Scientists, on Thursday, found out that eating tomatoes and apples reduce the risk of lung damage caused by smoking.
The study was done by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US and found that smokers who consumed a diet with more apples and tomatoes had a lesser chance of lung dysfunctionality over a period of 10 years.
The study found that adults who are more than two tomatoes or more than three portions of fresh fruits had slower decline in lung function as compared to those who did not eat that much.
The study also found a less risk of decline in lung functionality in those people who had never smoked or stopped smoking, along with following the diet.
Poor lung functionality has been linked with chronic diseases like lung cancer, heart diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).
Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins, said, “This study shows that diet might help repair lung damage in people who have stopped smoking. It also suggests that a diet rich in fruits can slow down the lungs natural ageing process even if you have never smoked.”
She added,” The findings support the need for dietary recommendations, especially for people at risk of developing respiratory diseases such as COPD.”
The study, which is published in the European Respiratory Journal, analysed data from 680 people, those who signed up for a health survey in 2002, in Germany, England and Norway. The participants had to answer a questionnaire and undergo two types of lung-function tests in the start, and again after 10 years.
One of the test measured how much air a person can exhale in a second, and the other examined how much they could inhale in six second.
Factors like person’s height, weight, gender, income and level of physical activity was taken into consideration to analyse any association between diet and lung health.
Ex-smokers, who had a diet high in tomatoes, had around 80 ml slower decline over the 10 years.
Vanessa said, “Lung function starts to decline at around age 30 at variable speed depending on the general and specific health of individuals. 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 around the world.”