For smokers who’ve managed to quit, the road to fully repairing lungs damaged by the habit may seem like a long one.
But new research suggests help may be close at hand — in the kitchen.
The decade-long study of 650 British and European adults suggests that diets high in tomatoes and fruits, particularly apples, could speed the healing of smoke-damaged lungs.
The foods’ respiratory benefits might not just be restricted to ex-smokers, noted researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
“It also suggests that a diet rich in fruits can slow down the lung’s natural aging process even if you have never smoked,” said lead author Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, an assistant professor of international health.
The study included more than 650 adults in Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom who had their diet and lung function assessed in 2002 and again 10 years later.
The study wasn’t designed to prove cause and effect. However, people who ate an average of more than two tomatoes or more than three portions of fresh fruit a day, especially apples, had a slower decline in lung function than those who ate less than one tomato or less than one portion of fruit a day, the researchers reported.
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