A new study shows a diet high in fiber from fruit and soy foods may reduce the incidence of chronic respiratory symptoms -- especially cough with phlegm.
Researchers studied more than 570 patients who experienced cough with phlegm and more than 44,000 patients without the respiratory problem. Participants were given a food frequency questionnaire to determine if certain foods were associated with a reduced risk of respiratory symptoms.
Results show fruits, such as apples and grapes, and other high-fiber foods were associated with a reduced risk of cough with phlegm. Researchers say nutrients known as flavonoids may be responsible for the reduced risk. The trend was observed in both smokers and nonsmokers. However, they say smoking is still the most important factor in determining whether patients will experience the respiratory condition.
Preventing the initiation of smoking is still the most important primary prevention method for chronic respiratory symptoms , however researchers say that promoting a diet high in sources of fiber and flavonoids, such as fruit and soy, may be an important contribution to primary prevention strategies.