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Here is good news for smokers who are still concerned about the health of their lungs. A new study suggests that including fresh fruits and tomatoes in one's diet can help in restoring the lung damage caused by smoking.

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This study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, US, observed that the decline in the lung function over a decade's time was slower among former smokers who included tomatoes and fruits in their diet in high quantities.

Adults who ate more than two tomatoes or included three portions of fresh fruit in their diet per day showed a slower decline in the lung function, the researchers found.

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 Other dietary sources like processed foods which had fruits and vegetables in them like tomato sauce, as well as other dishes were also examined by the researchers but they didn't have the same protective effect on lung function like veggies and fresh fruits had.

A study carried out by researchers at Imperial College London, UK, found that the depletion in lung function was slower in adults who never smoked or stopped smoking and consumed tomatoes in high qualities.

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People with poor lung function are prone to death caused by all sorts of ailments which include lung cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

"This study shows that diet might help repair lung damage in people who have stopped smoking. It also suggests that a diet rich in fruits can slow down the lung's natural ageing process even if you have never smoked," stated Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins.

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"The findings support the need for dietary recommendations, especially for people at risk of developing respiratory diseases such as COPD," Garcia-Larsen, lead author at European Respiratory Journal stated further.

The diet and lung function of more than 650 people belonging to Germany, Norway and the UK were examined by the researchers in 2002 for this research. The lung function of the partakers was assessed again 10 years later. Questionnaires assessing the diets and overall nutritional consumption of the participants were filled by them.

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The partakers even underwent spirometry – a test that measures lung function, specifically the amount and/or speed of air that can be inhaled and exhaled.

"The study controlled for factors such as age, height, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic status, physical activity and total energy intake," quoted a report by NDTV.

fruits, fresh fruits,

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A significant finding was made among former smokers who included tomatoes and fresh fruits in their diet in abundance. It was found that the decline in the lung function was 80 ml slower in them over the ten-year span. This means that the nutrition they are consuming aids in repairing the damage caused to their lungs because of smoking.

"Lung function starts to decline at around age 30 at variable speed depending on the general and specific health of individuals," said Garcia-Larsen.

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"Our study suggests that eating more fruits on a regular basis can help attenuate the decline as people age, and might even help repair damage caused by smoking. Diet could become one way of combating rising diagnosis of COPD around the world," she concluded.