Findings from researchers at the University of Crete, in Greece have found that children who consume a Mediterranean-style diet may cut their risk of asthma by up to 80 percent.
The Mediterranean diet rich in cereals, wine, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fish and olive oil has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and protection against some cancers. The diet is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, tocoperherols and polyphenols.
The study, of 690 children between the ages of 7 and 18, found that a high consumption of foods typical of the Mediterranean diet, including nuts, grapes, oranges and tomatoes were associated with 50, 81, 70 and 68 percent reductions in wheezing, respectively.
Children who ate nuts at least three times per week were 46 percent less likely to wheeze.
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal Thorax, suggest the protective effect may be a result of the antioxidant status of the Mediterranean diet.
According to the Asthma Society of Canada, 3 million Canadians have asthma. For more information on asthma, please visit the Asthma Society of Canada website.
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