According to a large-scale study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, fibre-rich foods reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases. The study of 388,000 male and female Americans aged 50 to 71 also showed that frequent consumption of these foods can also decrease the overall risk of cancer. Whole grains were found to be most beneficial among fibre rich foods in this aspect. Fibre has also gained reputation for helping to stabilise blood pressure and cholesterol, and is therefore helpful for diabetics and heart patients.
New research from the University of Crete shows that asthma is less common in children whose mothers ate a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit and vegetables during pregnancy. Eating vegetables more than eight times a week and pulses (peas, beans and lentils) more than once a week helped most. These foods contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals including antioxidants which help keep us healthy. This study also found that eating red meat more than three to four times a week increased the risk.
Scientists from Columbia University have found that people who eat lots of cured meats such bacon, ham and hot dogs, are more likely to suffer from the serious lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The researchers looked at 7,352 people and found that those who ate the most cured meats had the worse lung function. Cured meats contain high levels of compounds called nitrites, which act as preservatives and colour fixatives. Nitrites give rise to reactive nitrogen species; molecules that may cause damage to the lungs.