Berries Help You Breathe Better, New Study Finds

May 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm

A new study finds dark-pigmented fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and purple grapes improve lung function.

Adding more berries and grapes to your diet is a tasty way to give your lung health a boost, new research suggests.

People who ate the most foods with a particular type of flavonoid, called anthocyanins, maintained the best lung function as they aged, the study found.Anthocyanins are found in dark-pigmented fruits and vegetables such as red grapes, blueberries and purple potatoes.
“Foods rich in anthocyanin flavonoids might protect the lungs through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,”  said the study’s lead author, Vanessa Garcia-Larsen.
Researchers found flavonoids in the lung tissue a few hours after the study’s participants ate such foods.
This suggests that anthocyanin-rich foods might have a role protecting the lungs against environmental pollutants, Garcia-Larsen said.
The study included nearly 500 adults from Norway and England. The participants all completed dietary questionnaires and a lung function test at the start of the study. Ten years later, their lung function was tested again.These dark-pigmented fruits and vegetables seemed to be most helpful for people who never smoked and those who had quit smoking.

The toxins in smoke may impair the ability of antioxidants or anti-inflammatory effects to counteract smoking damage, Garcia-Larsen said. But when smokers quit, she said, they did get a benefit from anthocyanin in fruits and veggies.

Want even more anthocyanins? Pick wild berries. Wild berries are richer in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, than farmed.

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