Plant-foods and whole grains help healthy lung functioning

A new study indicates that eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish help in keeping heart and lungs of men healthy.

Men who followed a diet that was closest to “Mediterranean” ideal had only half the likelihood of developing chronic lung diseases when compared to men with eating habits farthest from this eating pattern.  This was revealed by Dr.Raphaelle Varraso of Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues, Boston.

Those following a “westernized” diet pattern, consumed more of refined grains, red meat, sweets, desserts, French fries etc., which quadrupled the risk associated with lung diseases.

Fruits are associated with better lung functioning and lowers risk of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Dr.Varraso and colleagues conducted trials to investigate the effect of diet on the lung health of an individual. They studied 42,917 men who participated in the Health Professional Follow-up Study for a couple of years. They were divided into five groups, based on their adherence to the strict dietary pattern, which was rich in plant-based foods, fish and whole grains. The men were further categorized on the basis of how westernized their pattern of diet was.

In a span of twelve years, 111 men had a new diagnosis of COPD. Those who followed the strict diet pattern had hardly a fifty percent chance of developing lung diseases, in comparison to those who followed the westernized diet. The risk for lung disease among those who followed westernized diet was nearly 4.56 times greater than those with least westernized diet patterns.

Vegetables and fruits, which are rich in antioxidant vitamins C and E, are associated with better lung functioning, and the omega 3 fatty acid in fish helps better lung health. On the contrary, the processed meats comprise of nitrites that produce molecules, which worsen the lung functioning, while refined grains boost up sugar levels and thereby impair lung functioning.