In a new clinical trial led by La Trobe Unviersity in Melbourne, promising findings showed that children with asthma experienced improved lung function after following a Mediterranean diet rich with fatty fish for six months.
“We already know that a diet high in fat, sugar and salt can influence the development of asthma in children and now we have evidence that it’s also possible to manage asthma symptoms through healthy eating,” says lead researcher Papamichael, speaking to Huffington Post.
“Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Our study shows eating fish just twice a week can significantly decrease lung inflammation in children with asthma.”
Researchers gathered 64 children from Athens in Greece, aged 5 to 12, all suffering from mild asthma. They then divided the kids into two groups. The first half were made to eat two meals of cooked fatty fish ( or at least 150 grams) every week over a six month period. The second group continued with their normal eating habits.
Interestingly, at the end of the trial, the children who were placed on a diet rich in fatty fish exhibited reduced bronchial inflammation by 14 units. The team of authors add that a reduction of above 10 units is significant according to international guidelines.
“Following a traditional Mediterranean diet that is high in plant-based foods and oily fish could be an easy, safe and effective way to reduce asthma symptoms in children,” adds Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos, co-researcher and head of La Trobe's School of Allied Health.
Looks like salmon, sardines and trout are on the menu tonight!
You might also like: