A Meditteranean diet may prevent childhood asthma and allergies

October 1, 2008 in Allergies & Intolerances, Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

A Meditteranean diet may prevent childhood asthma and allergies

Eating a Mediterranean diet may protect children from developing asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever), say researchers from Mexico.

In this recent study, researchers examined the association between both children's diet and their mother's diet during pregnancy, and the development of asthma and hay fever in 1,476 children aged 6 to 7 years old.

Among these children, following the Mediterranean-style of eating was associated with fewer cases of asthma, wheezing, hay fever and other allergic responses like sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.

No association between consumption of a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy and reduced risk of asthma or allergic responses in children.

Mediterranean-style eating means enjoying a high intake of vegetables, fruits and nuts, legumes (beans), fish and whole grains, and a low intake dairy products, red meat, sweets and fat.

It's thought that eating a diet that's rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables during childhood may protect the lungs from oxidative damage that may contribute to asthma and allergies.

Asthma is one of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses in North America, affecting 13% of all Canadian students aged 5 to 19.

For more information on the connection between nutrition and asthma, check out our nutrition strategies for managing asthma.

These findings were published in the in the September 2008 issue of the journal Allergy.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.