A healthy diet including more fruits and vegetables may help reduce asthma symptoms and gain better control of conditions, according to new findings published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Although research has established diet as a factor in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other diseases, experts still debate whether it plays a role in asthma.

Researchers analyzed data from a detailed respiratory questionnaire answered by nearly 35,000 French adults. Among them, 28% of women and 25% of men had at least one asthma symptom. All the participants were asked to report the number of symptoms they experienced over a 12-month period.

After adjusting for factors like smoking and physical activity, it was found a healthier diet could reduce the likelihood of asthma symptoms by 30% in men and 20% in women.

A healthy diet is made up of a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and fiber. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are elements in a healthy diet that potentially lower symptoms, researchers concluded.

On the other hand, the least healthy diets included a high consumption of meat, salt, and sugar. Such foods were linked to inflammation, which could potentially worsen asthma symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25 million Americans have asthma. The new findings encourage healthcare professionals to discuss the importance of good nutrition for controlling or preventing asthma symptoms.

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