If you hear your kids wheezing, give them a glass of apple juice. A British study found that children who drank apple juice once a day cut their likelihood of developing a wheezing problem in half compared to kids who drank it less often. Another study found that women who ate apples regularly during their pregnancy were less likely to have children who suffer from asthma or wheezing. Apples are packed with phenolic acids and flavonoids that are known for reducing inflammation in the air passageways, a common feature of both asthma and wheezing. (Here are more of the best and worst foods for asthma.) “Asthma has increased in prevalence,” says Alan Mensch, MD, senior vice president of medical affairs at Plainview and Syosset hospitals in Long Island, New York. “Some people speculate it’s because our diets have gone from a healthy diet to a less healthy diet over the past couple of decades.” Don’t miss these other everyday items that can cause lung problems.
The mono and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil are great for more than just your skin, hair, and heart; they also play a role in lung health. In fact, olive oil may help fight the health risks associated with air pollution like increased blood pressure and impaired blood vessels—factors that can reduce your oxygen supply, make your heart pump faster and make breathing more difficult. An Environmental Protection Agency study administered fish oil, olive oil, and no oil to three groups of adults; after one month, participants breathed in filtered air and polluted air for several hours. The olive oil trumped all by boosting the blood vessel’s response to pollutant stress and increased levels of tPA, a blood protein that dissolves clots, which can give you shortness of breath. Scientists believe the oleic acid, an anti-inflammatory component found in olive oil, may be responsible. “Olive oil is a healthy oil that serves an antioxidant function, says Norman H. Edelman, MD, Senior Scientific Advisor for the American Lung Association. “It helps fight the primary effects of pollutants, which is inflammation and the bad molecules that come from inflammation, which are the oxidants.” Here’s how to know if you’re actually buying fake olive oil, which is surprisingly common.