An apple a day helps keep your allergies away. In the Crete diet study, researchers found that people whose diets incorporated apples as a staple had greater protection against both allergies and asthma. Apples are rich in quercetin — a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties. Much of the benefits come from the peels, which are also packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which prevent cellular damage.
Another 2007 study found that pregnant women who ate apples reduced the risk of their children developing asthma. Researchers looked at the eating habits of women during pregnancy and, later, their children’s reported allergies. Kids whose moms ate the most apples during pregnancy were less likely to report wheezing or to have doctor-confirmed asthma at age 5, compared with kids whose moms ate few apples.
Snacking regularly on apples, or other healthful foods high in antioxidants, may help prevent wheezing in adolescence too. Dr. Jane Burns of the Harvard School of Public Health studied the relationship between poor diet and respiratory symptoms and said in a statement, “Our study, as well as other research, suggests that higher intakes of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory micronutrients are associated with lower reports of cough, respiratory infections, and less severe asthma-related symptoms.”
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