In Ivory Coast diseases of the lower respiratory tract are in the third place for premature death. Smoking and in particular air pollution due to the combustion of biological material are considered to be main risk factors (1). The reduction of air pollution and smoking behavior should be a top priority in the prevention of respiratory diseases. Where this is not possible, measures do not take effect or improvements occur only slowly, alternative solutions are needed.
Multi-intervention programs highlight the importance of a healthy diet for the prevention of respiratory diseases. A micronutrient-rich diet, in particular the daily consumption of fruits and vegetables can help to prevent pulmonary diseases. This is explained by the antioxidant effect of a healthy and balanced diet, which can counteract radical-induced decreases in lung function (2). Scientists from Poland and Sweden have calculated that each additional portion of fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 4 to 8 % as a result of lower respiratory tract disease. Peppers, apples, pears and green leafy vegetables were the most effective. Bananas, berries, citrus fruits, green beans or root vegetables helped somewhat less well (3).
Read and see more:
- Students4Kids. Life Expectancy and Burden of Disease in Ivory Coast. Blog. Available under: https://students4kids.org/en/blog/life-expectancy-and-burden-of-disease-in-ivory-coast/
- R. Varraso et al. Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 and risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among US women and men: prospective study. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h286
- J Kaluza et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of COPD: a prospective cohort study of men. Thorax Published Online First: 22 February 2017. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2015-207851. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2015-207851