It has long been known that breathing and eating interact with each other for better or worse, and that food can have important effects on our breathing.
At the World Congress on Pulmonary Diseases held in Florence, Italy in 2009, many investigations attempted to unravel the relationship between respiratory diseases and health.
The biggest problem is bronchial asthma. Dr. Michael Abramson of Melbourne, Australia, studied the habits of 81 patients with bronchial asthma and compared them with a group of 338 healthy individuals having a special interest in eating high-fat fish. He found that this food increased the risk of asthma 1.5 times. On the other hand, the ingestion of salt (sodium) seemed to have a preventive effect, reducing the risk 30 times.
This study is related to previous studies that report how certain foods or ingredients can benefit breathing. A recent inspection of 3,000 men in Finland and the Netherlands found that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables improved respiratory capacity.
In Italy, it is believed that this benefit is from the vitamin C of fresh fruit, while in Finland it is thought that the effect comes from the vitamin E found in vegetables. In the Netherlands, scientists concluded that the protective effect was due to beta-carotene.
An English team reported, after analyzing the 2500 gallon lung capacity, that eating apples is a good way to prevent respiratory diseases.
Subjects who ate 5 apples per week or more had an expiatory volume of 140 ML greater than people who did not eat apples. These examples clearly show how a food can affect your breathing.
But the opposite is also true. Dr. Christophe Pison, based in Grenoble, in France, inspected more than 700 patients with chronic respiratory failure (CRF) and found a significant reduction in non-fat mass by up to 80%. “CRF was long considered a primarily respiratory phenomenon,” adds Christophe Pison. “But for their effects on the organism they clearly indicate that they should be treated as a systemic disorder, in which malnutrition is a preponderant factor.”
Therefore, these patients should eat more than the general population. This point was highlighted in one of the oral presentations by Dr. Annemie Schols, from the Department of Pulmonary Disease, the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands. “Oral liquid nutrition,” said the Dutch doctor, “favors a significant increase in respiratory function after only two or three weeks of treatment.”
So eat better and healthier to have more vigorous lungs.