A Mediterranean Diet Can Fight The Harmful Consequences of Air Pollution

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Air pollution has negative effects on our environment and economy, but also on our health. Each year, almost 8 million people die because of air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, there is a way to counteract the negative effects of free radicals: a Mediterranean diet. Researchers at New York University School of Medicine, USA, found that this diet can reduce the health damage from air pollution because it is rick in antioxidants.

Countering Free Radicals With a Mediterranean Diet

This diet contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil, and poultry. It is rich in antioxidants, and it proves to be a great way to fight against the negative effects of air pollution.

In a long-term study, the authors followed the evolution of health of almost 550,000 people for 17 years. These people had an average age of 62 and lived in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

The participants of the study were divided into five groups, according to their diets. They also estimated the exposure over the years to NO2 and Ozone (O3) particulate matter with a diameter of less or equal to 2.5 microns, an indicator of air pollution.

Lower Rate of Deaths in The Group Consuming a Mediterranean Diet

A follow-up study conducted over three decades later found that out of the 550,000 participants, almost 127,000 died.

The results showed that the group with the higher consumption of Mediterranean diet had a lower probability of death. The rate of death increased by 5% with the increase of 10 parts per billion increase in the concentration of NO2 in the air.

In the group of participants that adopted only a Mediterranean diet, only 2% of people died.

Scientists have concluded that the Mediterranean diet has a great health benefit, providing the body more antioxidants to fight against air pollution.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere