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Eating Broccoli Daily Could help Asthma Patients Breathe Normally

Jun 30, 2014 07:51 AM EDT

Broccoli could help asthma patients to breathe easy, a new study suggests.

According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, eating one to two cups of lightly steamed broccoli could prevent asthma from worsening.

Other vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family such as kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and bok choy also help reverse lung damage, the study found.

The study is one among the several research papers that look into the benefits of adopting dietary changes along with medication for treating a particular condition.

"Laboratory tests have shown that consumption of broccoli changes the formation of the airway and may make clear breathing easier for those who suffer from asthma and allergies," said Nadia Mazarakis, who is an author of the study and an honors student at the University.

"Blockages in the airway were reversed almost entirely," said Mazarakis. "Using broccoli to treat asthma may also help for people who don't respond to traditional treatment."

The study is still in its experimental phase. Researchers said that people suffering from asthma should follow standard medical care.

The study will be presented at the 2014 Undergraduate Research Conference about Food Safety in Shanghai, China.

Cruciferous vegetables are a good source of fiber and are rich in nutrients including several carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin), vitamins C, E, and K, folate and minerals, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other researchers have been trying to understand the effects of compounds present in these veggies on cancer growth and development. Other research have shown that daily consumption of broccoli is associated with lower risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer.

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