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Ask Dr. Nandi: A few apples a day might keep lung decline at bay

Posted at 5:54 PM, Dec 22, 2017

Good news for all you current and former smokers out there. There might be a natural way to clean up some of the mess you made from all those years puffing away on cigarettes.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that eating lots fruits and veggies — especially red ones like tomatoes and apples — helped slow the process of lung decline in subjects over a ten year period.

Not only that, but eating such foods might actually help to repair damaged lungs. 

Researchers found that consuming three servings of fresh fruit daily, especially apples, seemed to slow down the rate of lung decline in test subjects.

omatoes were particularly effective at helping lung function too; folks who ate two or more tomatoes per day saw similar benefits. So it appears that there is something in these foods that's responsible for helping our lungs heal themselves. 

This is something that can benefit everyone. Here are my prescriptions.

  1. Don’t smoke. Even though this research is promising, eating more fruit likely won’t reverse damage in lungs devastated by a lifetime of smoking. 
  2. Eat your fruits and veggies raw. Processed foods don’t appear to have the same health benefits.
  3. Always wash fruits and veggies before you consume them to remove dirt and pesticides.
  4. If possible, eat locally-raised organic fruits and veggies, which tend to have a higher nutrient content. 

You don’t even have to be a smoker to reap the benefits of these lung-healing foods. The average person’s lungs begin to decline around the age of 30, depending upon how healthy they are.

So eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will be good for your lungs regardless of whether or not you’ve been smoking.