Mediterranean Diet Wards Off Childhood Respiratory Allergies
: "A 'Mediterranean' diet rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts protects against allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms, suggests research published ahead of print in Thorax. The researchers assessed the dietary habits, respiratory symptoms, and allergic reactions of almost 700 children living in four rural areas on the Greek island of Crete.
The children were all aged between 7 and 18 years of age. Skin allergies are relatively common in Crete, but respiratory allergies, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis are relatively rare. Parents completed detailed questionnaires on their children's allergic and respiratory symptoms and dietary habits.
Whether the children ate a 'Mediterranean' diet was measured against a set of 12 foodstuffs, including fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil. Eight out of 10 children ate fresh fruit, and over two thirds of them ate fresh vegetables, at least twice a day."