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Diet link to asthma and allergies

Eating fish and "fruity" vegetables can help reduce asthma and allergies in children, a study claims.

Researchers found that the eating habits of expectant mothers and their offspring affected childhood breathing and allergy conditions.

Children who consumed more than 60g of fish and 40g of "fruity" vegetables a day, such as tomatoes and aubergines, were found to be less likely to suffer from asthma and allergies.

The report's author, Dr Leda Chatzi, from the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Crete, said: "After adjusting the results for a wide range of variables, we concluded that the link between symptom-free children and a diet rich in fruity vegetables and fish was statistically significant.

"The biological mechanisms that underlie the protective effect of these foods is not fully understood, but we believe that the fruity vegetables and fish reduce the inflammation associated with asthma and allergies."

Professor John Warner, head of the department of paediatrics at Imperial College London, added: "The interesting thing about this study is that it followed a large number of children from the womb to the age of six and a half, and incorporated a wide range of dietary, social and health factors.

"It provides parents with specific advice about the health promotion benefits of including fish and fruity vegetables as part of a balanced diet for both their children and the rest of the family."

Imperial College London

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