The study was done by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the USA 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. But now including more of tomatoes and fruits in the diet will help to attenuate the decline as people age.
The researchers also inquired about several different dietary sources like dishes as well as processed foods that contain fruits in addition to vegetables-like tomato sauce-however, the effect had only been observed in fruits and veggies that were fresh. The team of researchers discovered the magic numbers of tomatoes seemed to be two a day, while three servings of other fresh fruit slowed the decline, as compared to people who included less than one tomato or less than one serving of other fruit a day.
The tomato also stood out in another respect: Ex-smokers who ate at least two tomatoes a day had a slower decline in lung function over the 10 years than those who didn't. "It also suggests that a diet rich in fruits can slow down the lungs natural ageing process even if you have never smoked". "The findings support the need for dietary recommendations, especially for people at risk of developing respiratory diseases such as COPD". Meanwhile, the research was published in the European Respiratory Journal.
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To do so, they examined the diet and lung function of more than 650 adults in 2002, following up with the individuals 10 years later.
As per the researchers, in addition to keeping your lungs young, tomatoes have been linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer and heart diseases. The study controlled for factors such as age, height, sex, body mass index (an indicator of obesity), socio-economic status, physical activity and total energy intake. The participants from Germany, Norway and United Kingdom were given questionnaires that analysed diets and nutrition. With age, our lungs start to decline and lose vitality.
Among former smokers, the link was "even more striking", implying their diet was helping to fix damage done by tobacco, the team said.
"Diet could become one way of combating rising diagnosis of COPD around the world", she added.
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