Protective effect of fruits, vegetables and the Mediterranean diet on asthma and allergies among children in Crete. Leda Chatzi, Gianna Apostolaki, Ioannis Bibakis, Isabel Skypala, Vasilki Bibaki-Liakou, Nikolaos Tzanakis, Manolis Kogevinas and Paul Cullinan.
Background: Atopy is not uncommon among children living in rural
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed in 690 children aged 718 years in rural
Results: 80% of children ate fresh fruit (and 68% vegetables) at least twice a day. The intake of grapes, oranges, apples, and fresh tomatoesthe main local products in
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest a beneficial effect of commonly consumed fruits, vegetables and nuts, and of a high adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet during childhood on symptoms of asthma and rhinitis. Diet may explain the relative lack of allergic symptoms in this population.