Eating plenty of apples and tomatoes may help prevent respiratory disease, according to a presentation last week at the 97th annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham, UK, used a test called forced expiratory volume 1 (FEV-1), which measures the amount of air a person can expel from his or her lungs in one second. They studied 2,633 adults in 1991 and again in 2000. The investigators found an association between the intake of apples and tomatoes and increased FEV-1. Eating more than five apples each week was strongly associated with increased FEV-1, as was having tomatoes more than three times a week. Wheezing was also less common among people who consumed apples, tomatoes and bananas. Apples and tomatoes have high levels of antioxidants, which may protect lung tissue from oxidative damage caused by air pollution and cigarette smoke.
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