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Regular Tomato, Apple, and Banana Consumption May Slow Lung Decline in Former Smokers

Smoking does serious damage to the lungs, some of which may be irreversible. However, a recent study suggests that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, particularly apples and tomatoes, may help repair the lungs of former smokers.


Participants in the study included 680 adults who underwent diet and lung function assessments in 2002 and again 10 years later. All of the participants completed questionnaires about their diets and nutritional intake and also underwent spirometry, which is a procedure that measures the capacity of the lungs to take in oxygen. This test uses Forced Exhaled Volume in 1 second (FEV1) and Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) to measure lung function.


After adjusting for age, height, sex, body mass index, socio-economic status, physical activity and total energy intake, the researchers found that eating more apples, bananas, and tomatoes was associated with a slower decline in 3.59 m l year and 3.69 mL year in FEV1 and FVC, respectively, in all of the participants. However, ex-smokers who ate a diet high in tomatoes, apples, and bananas had an 80 ml slower decline in lung function over the 10-year period compared to those with a diet low in tomatoes, apples and bananas.


Researchers from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted the study. It was published in the December 2017 issue of European Respiratory Journal.


Previous studies have shown that tomatoes may help reduce high levels of cholesterol and improve heart health. Tomatoes are an important part of the Mediterranean Diet, which is considered to be one of the healthiest diets in the world.


Previous studies suggest that apples may help lower the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Apples can easily be added to your diet as a healthy snack.

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