Monday, February 16, 2015

Breath Easy with a Healthy Diet

Although smoking is the primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), new research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that a poor diet can also be a contributing factor. COPD refers to a group of conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema and may cause symptoms such as chronic cough, wheezing, excessive mucus production, fatigue and shortness of breath during daily activities. Participants in this study filled out a food frequency questionnaire, and those with a diet containing a high intake of vegetables, whole grains, polyunsaturated fats, nuts and omega-3 fatty acids, a low intake of red and processed meats, minimal refined grains and sugary drinks, and moderate alcohol consumption were a third less likely to develop COPD. These results were conclusive even after accounting for each participants BMI, age, smoking status and ethnicity. These researchers also hypothesized that antioxidants may be the agent responsible for the decreased risk of COPD, and antioxidants would be obtained in a healthy balanced diet.

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