A new study published in European Respiratory Journal found that consuming tomatoes helped to halt the natural decline of lung function over time, particularly in ex-smokers. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health observed 605 adults and found that those who consumed two or more tomatoes and three servings or more of fruit exhibited a slower decline of lung function during the 10-year observational period. Researchers also discovered that smokers who consumed the highest amount of tomatoes and other fruit (particularly apples) slowed lung damage, suggesting that components in those plant-based foods aid in lung repair. “Our study suggests that dietary factors might play a role in preserving ventilatory function in adults,” the researchers concluded, “by slowing down a decline in lung function. In particular, dietary antioxidants possibly contribute to restoration, following damage caused by exposure to smoking, among adults who have quit.” This study adds to a growing body of scientific evidence that reveals the medicinal properties of plant-based food, including a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that found that replacing animal proteins with plant-based sources helps to prevent heart disease.
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