An estimated 17 million Americans suffer from asthma. Several items can trigger an asthma attack, ranging from dust and pollen to exercise, stress, and certain foods. Just as some foods can cause asthma, a new study has found that some types of food may also be effective in reducing asthma attacks, or even preventing them from occurring.
To find out which foods may influence the risk of asthma, scientists analyzed data on more than 68,000 French women using a food frequency questionnaire that tracked their consumption of 238 different foods. Overall, 3.1 percent of the women reported having asthma.
When the results were broken down by specific foods, the analysis found that women who reported consuming the highest amounts of leafy, green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce were 22 percent less likely to say they had asthma compared to women with the lowest intakes. Women who ate the largest amounts of carrots had a 20 percent decreased risk of asthma, and women eating the most tomatoes had an 18 percent reduced risk. These results were seen even after other factors, such as smoking, weight and caloric intake, were accounted for.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that people consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day for overall health. If you suffer from asthma, or if you’re just interested in improving your diet, talk to your doctor of chiropractic about ways to increase your intake of carrots, tomatoes and other healthy foods. You’ll feel better for it!
Romieu I, Varraso R, Avenel V, et al. Fruit and vegetable intakes and asthma in the E3N study. Thorax March 2006;61(3):209-215.