Fruit, grains, vegetables, nuts: their consumption would protect the lungs. A study conducted by the universities of Sydney and Newcastle shows that these fiber-rich foods enable the body to produce fatty acids, essential for the prevention of certain lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is characterized by bronchial obstruction, cough and chronic mucus. This disease is insidious and most patients do not notice any symptoms until they are well established. In most cases, smoking is the cause.
Anti-inflammatory fatty acids
To test the effects of dietary fiber on lung health, researchers have exposed mice to cigarette smoke. Some rodents received a fiber-enriched diet. The researchers discovered that cigarette smoke reduces the production of certain fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties and therefore causes inflammation, but the use of fibers eliminates this effect. "We discovered that the fibers can reduce inflammation and breakdown of the lungs," says Dr. Phil Hansbro, lead author of the study, that improves lung function.
These results are not a call to stop all COPD treatments, but indicate that nutrition plays an important role in lung health, especially for people at high risk.
Between 25 and 29 grams per day
A study that was published earlier this year in The Lancet already called for more fiber consumption. According to researchers, this would protect the body against many diseases and improve life expectancy. Consumption between 25 and 29 grams of fiber per day reduces mortality by 15 to 30% regardless of the cause. Only one in five men and one in ten women do it daily. If you want to reach this threshold, know that 25 grams of fiber is 100 grams of chickpeas, plums, dried figs or lentils.
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