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Berries and grapes may keep you breathing easy

New research suggests that adding more grapes and berries to your diet could be a tasty way to give your lungs a boost. Researchers claim people who ate the most foods with a particular type of flavonoid, called anthocyanins, maintained the best lung function as they aged. Anthocyanins are found in dark-pigmented fruits and vegetables such as red grapes, blueberries and purple potatoes.

"A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help protect the lungs against damage, preserving their functionality and reducing the risk of developing respiratory diseases later in life," said the study's lead author, Vanessa Garcia-Larsen. She explained that by the time people are 30 years old, they've generally reached their peak lung capacity.

"After this time, lung function started to slowly decline for everyone. The speed of decline will vary from one person to another, depending on several factors, such as smoking, physical activity, exposure to certain pollutants and the presence of other medical conditions."

Processed foods, such as cured meats, have been shown in previous studies to be linked with a steeper decline in lung function, claims Garcia-Larsen. But the new study found that those who ate a large amount of dark-coloured fruits and vegetables had a slower per year decline in lung function compared to those who ate fewer of these anthocyanin-filled foods.

However, upi.com states that the study was only designed to find an association; it cannot yet prove cause and effect.

Publication date: 5/22/2018


 


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